Friday, November 11, 2016

Looking forrward: What's coming up in the atrium over the next few weeks

Hi everyone,

Here are the topics we will be covering in the next few weeks, along with a reminder of the days we will NOT have sessions because of the holidays:

Nov 13 - Review liturgical colors using the chasubles

Some of the materials we have been working with will be put away, and we will start working with new items that reinforce the colors of the church's liturgical seasons.  (Purple="preparing for the feast"=Advent and Lent; White="the feast"=Christmas, Epiphany and Easter; Red="feast of the Holy Spirit"=Pentecost; Green="growing season"=ordinary time.) 

 (For your info, in the atrium with the young children, we call it "preparing for the feast" instead of Advent and Lent, although we still use the words "Advent" and "Lent."  But using phrases like "preparing for the feast" and "growing season" are more tangible to them, so they remember them better.  When the children get older, we just call them the common names used in the church, like Advent, Lent, etc.)

Nov 20 - Liturgical calendar.  

This is a big work that I may present to the oldest children this year, since it involves sitting still for quite a while and putting together a wooden puzzle with many pieces.  The younger children, and the children in the first year in this program, may have a difficult time staying focused with this work.  I may give the younger children a work day so they can spend more time working with the new liturgical color material that was presented on November 13.  If your child is younger, don't worry--they will see this presentation eventually!   

Nov 27 - No class; Thanksgiving holiday

Dec 4 - St. Nicholas Presentation.

I have a wonderful presentation that helps the children learn more about the "first Santa Claus" or St. Nicholas. They will learn that St. Nicholas was a real person who lived long ago in a country far away, and that he did many things to help other people.  I use a miter-shaped piece of fabric and lay out various pieces that represent aspects of St. Nicholas' life -- like a small crosier made out of a pipe cleaner, gold coins, a ship, etc.
When my children were younger, I would give this presentation to them on St. Nicholas Day (December 6).  They always loved it; I'm sure your children will too!

After atrium and 9:30 Mass, you can continue the celebration by attending the SJA Mom's Donut Feast.  The theme of the December feast is St. Nicholas and they will have a game or activity to do while you are at the feast.

Dec 11 - Prophecy:  The Names
This presentation helps the children learn how to meditate over a Bible passage.  In this case, the Bible passage is Isaiah 9:4 (9:5 in some Bibles):

For a child is born to us.

A Son given us.

Upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him




Prince of Peace

I have some wonderful individual work that goes with this -- purple plastic ornaments with the various names of Jesus written on them, and the children match them to a chart. 

If you are looking for a fun family project, you could replicate this at home.  Just purchase some inexpensive plastic ornaments, and use a gold paint marker to write the various names of Jesus on each ornament (such as "Father-Forever," "Prince of Peace," etc.)  Then talk about those names while you hang the ornaments on your tree.  If you do a search online for keywords like "Names of Jesus ornaments" you will get some great ideas and inspiration.  This page has some coloring sheets that can be printed out, colored, cut out and then hung on your Christmas tree.

Dec 18 - Infancy Narratives:  The Visitation

I'll use a small diorama and figures of Mary and Elizabeth to "re-enact" the story of when Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth.

December 25 & January 1 - No atrium; Christmas Holiday
 Dec 18 - Infancy Narratives: Visit and Adoration of the Magi (Wisemen)   
After Christmas, I'll use a diorama to- re-enact the story of how the Magi visited Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. 

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