Need some ideas for celebrating All Saints Day with your family? Here are simple, easy-to-implement traditions for celebrating this feast in your home with children of all ages!
We LOVE celebrations in our home. My daughters are 5 and 7 and the thought of celebrating a feast day in our house is thrilling!
I enjoy seeing life through them. The smallest flower or weirdest bug lights up their eyes with joy and wonder.
If you have little kids, celebrating feast days in your home doesn’t have to be complicated.
Even if your kids are not-so-little anymore, there are some simple, easy things you can do to make feast days special in your home.
Supplies: “Dress like a Saint”
A fun, popular way to celebrate All Saints Day is to dress up as your favorite Saint. I love the pictures of teeny toddlers dressed like Mother Teresa or St Therese or Mother Mary. So adorable! Older children can choose their favorite saint, dress like him or her, and tell everyone facts about his or her life.
My girls love dressing up and need no excuse to do so.
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Supplies: Holy cards, Saints statues, balloons, crepe paper, candles
We love decorations at our house! (For me, the simpler the better!) My daughters love balloons and streamers. I just blow up a bunch of balloons and call it good. The girls can “decorate” as they choose.
This is a perfect day for getting out all the holy cards of Saints and putting them around.
You can stick them to the wall near your home altar with ticky-tacky or tape or set them up on the dinner table or on your dresser or arrange them around a fall wreath or create a simple banner to hang on the wall.
Make it simple!
Small, simple (unbreakable) statues are also fun and easy to use, especially for the littlest ones. These Shining Light Saint Doll statues are perfect!
Supplies: Cake mix
Make a cake! (Who doesn’t enjoy cakes and special treats?)
You can make a special cake (or cupcakes!) and decorate it or simply make some favorite, “special” cookies. The easier the better.
If you have time and energy, have your kids draw pictures of the saint, cut them out, and stick them on top of the cupcakes.
Supplies: Children’s books about Saints
Choose a few favorite saints and talk about their lives with your children.
Read a short biography, discuss it and look at pictures (or holy cards or statues).
There are a lot of great saint stories and books you can use.
This book, Saints Around the World by Meg Hunter-Kilmer, is the BEST. We love the beautiful pictures and the wonderful, realistic (not saccharine) stories.
There are many saints we had never heard of before, so we learned a lot!
This series, Saints and Me by Barbara Yoffie, is cute for younger kids. The recommended age range is 4-9. The books have very colorful illustrations on every page and a simple storyline.
Young Faces of Holiness by Ann Ball has stories of children saints and martyrs. This is recommended for ages 9 and up.
One book that would be good for teens is Faces of Holiness by Ann Ball. This book has modern saints (with real pictures).
Even though these aren’t books, I do want to mention the Glory Stories by Holy Heroes. Both of my girls LOVE listening to these dramatized saint stories while I drive.
These are great for car rides. We’ve listened to the story of Juan Diego and Blessed Imelda more times than I can count.
Catholic Playground has lots of free Saint coloring pages. You can print out a few and let your little ones color.
Here are some special ideas you can choose from to incorporate into your family prayer time:
- Depending on the age of your children and their attention span you could read some bible verses related to the communion of Saints. (Some examples: Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Ephesians 1:22-23, Revelations).
- Read parts of the Catechism (some ideas: paragraphs 946-948, 954-962)
- Interactive and theatrical prayers times (and bible readings) are great for small children. After the reading, act it out (or draw a picture of the scene together). When we act out the scene, we get everyone involved. When my youngest was 1.5 years – she even participated!
- Pray the Litany of the Saints (or part of the litany if you have very small children.) (One of my favorite songs is Matt Maher’s “Litany of the Saints”. Listening to it always makes me teary-eyed.)
- Make up a spontaneous prayer of your own and encourage your children to do so as well. My daughters often spontaneously pray (even when my youngest was 2 years old).
- Ask for the intercession of your favorite saints.
Rev 7:9 “After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.”
More ideas for older children and teens:
Encourage each one to look deeper into the life of a favorite saint and in particular to think about what he or she struggled with and how he or she exemplified virtues (and which one). Discuss why they were declared a saint. Talk about the process to become a saint.
Action step: Have your older child or teen talk about ways they can live that specific virtue in their daily lives (at school, at church, in the community, at their jobs, at home, etc.) Be specific – we all need to make specific, concrete resolutions in order to grow. They could write them down in a journal or notebook and look at the resolutions again in a week or a month.
I encourage you to celebrate the major feasts and solemnities in a special way with your children. You can choose one or two simple, easy-to-implement ideas and make them traditions in your family for celebrating All Saints Day in your home. If you start when your kids are very little and continue celebrating every year, this will help them to deepen their understanding as they grow, realize the importance of feast days, and give them beautiful memories in reference to prayer and celebrating the life of the Church. Pray together as a family and share your own tips and ideas below!