Wednesday, May 2, 2012

DIY Mass Bag

Do you have trouble getting your kids to behave during Mass? I do! Although my children are 6, 8 and 12, I have a very hard time with my two youngest boys. It doesn't help that they have both been diagnosed with ADHD and I am the only church-attending parent.

With all of these hindrances, there have been days that I wanted to throw my hands up and retreat. Until I discovered the idea of Mass Bags, that is.

While perusing the internet, I saw some great ideas for "Busy Books" and things generated by LDS moms and I realized that they are on to something. I continued to read blog posts about these ingenious inventions and knew I needed something like this for use with my own boys.

My children are older than most children who need something to keep them busy so it was hard to find anything that was geared towards my children's ages so I decided to put something together myself.

First I considered making a busy book but decided that my boys were not really going to sit and complete the activities. So then I got the idea to fill one of our bags with things to keep them busy. Many DIFFERENT things so that they would not become bored within the one hour that we sit quietly during Mass (If you have a child with ADHD or Autism, you may be able to relate). So, here is what I came up with:

1. Coloring Books and pages printed from the internet. I try to rotate these during different liturgical seasons and feasts of the church. For example, in the picture, I have coloring books about the Passion of Christ- I am changing out the Lent stuff today and am going to print some great Easter/Communion stuff for April/May. Need some freebies to print? Check out these great free resources:

Holy Heroes- I print a lot of stuff from here. During thier Lenten, Advent, and Summer Adventures, there are tons of freebies available. Check in often for some free samples,too. I have also purchased some of thier coloring books~ great high-quality books!

St. John The Baptist Catholic Church Religious Ed Department- a coloring page for almost any Catholic topic you can imagine!

Catholic Toolbox- has links to lots of handwriting coloring sheets and other great printables for your Mass Bag!

Catholic Kids Weekly Mass Bulletin- a great way to catechize your children while keeping them quiet!

Check out my "Catholic Kids" Pinterest board for tons of freebies that I collected all over the web!

2. Small Linking Toys or Kids Meal toys that are appropriate. The linking toys in the photo are actually kids meal toys from Wendy's. I combined the boys toys to create a mini playset. These are great for quiet building.

3. Catholic Games that only require one player. You don't want your kids mingling with one another- or worse- with someone else's kids while they are supposed to be reverent. I have some Patron Saints Catholic Cardlinks pictured above but there are also some online freebies you can use to create something great for your kids!

Saint Joseph Memory Match Game- print two sets and put them in a ziploc

The Good Shepherd Number Order Game Use this game to practice putting numbers in order

Christian Sticker Matching Game I just bought a few more packages of these stickers from Dollar Tree before they are gone. They seem to reappear during Lent... If you cannot get them there, perhaps you can split with someone and purchase them from Autom.

4. Other Stuff like crayons, stickers, blank paper, Religious Ed leftovers, etc.

These bags can be adjusted according to your child's age and attention level. I know some people may disagree with the idea of a child doing anything but sitting in the pew quietly (believe me, I have met my fair share in my own parish) and I believe that children should eventually learn to be as quiet and reverant as we adults. Until then, I will be in the "training room", doing just that- training my boys.

Thanks for stopping by! Alicia


  1. Love your Mass Bag! We have a few kids in our church that need one. :)

    Thank you for mentioning my blog. I hope others find the information useful in making their own Mass Bag.

  2. Thanks! It was a "duh" moment for me when I finally made this bag but I can tell you that I no longer have anxiety attacks at the thought of going to Mass with my boys. I love your blog and all the information that you offer Catholic/non-Catholic Christian moms and teachers!

  3. All great ideas! Love the links to the free printables. :-)

  4. Thanks for the ideas for some new things for our Mass Bag. My 4yo is pretty good most weeks during Mass, but the summer months with no Children's Liturgy are challenging-especially when Daddy is out of town for work. (I found you through the Tea with St. Anne link-up over at Crafolic.)

    1. That is great! I'm glad you found it useful! I kind of wish we had children's liturgy... my kids LOVE going to Religious Ed but loathe Mass, maybe with something like that, it would keep their attention.


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