Are you looking to have an All Saints Day Party and don't know where to start? Maybe you've been to one before but would like some different ideas. Many Catholics like to have a Saints' party as an alternative to Halloween for their kids.
Our homeschool group has been having one for years. I can't tell you how much the kids look forward to this. Once the party is over, they're already be talking about what Saint they would like to be for the next year's party!
I'll outline the events for the day and hopefully that will give you some good ideas of how to structure your own event, or something new to add to your already existing party.
Ideally you'll need a room big enough to hold a good amount of people and have room to do things like a procession, games and possibly a pot-luck. We rent the gym from a local parish school.
The first order of the day is to have an All Saints Day party procession.
All of the kids line up and process around the gym in their costumes while we all sing, you guessed it, "When the Saints Go Marching In". We go around the gym a couple of times so that parents get plenty of photo-ops.
Next, we pray a family rosary. One year one of our member families made a HUGE rosary out of pieces of wood and big wooden spools. It is big enough that each person can sit and hold one bead in their lap while we pray. This is one of the best parts of the day. The grace that is felt at this time is wonderful!
After the rosary is finished, we have a big pot-luck dinner. I love pot-lucks. No matter how many people we have, they always seem to work out. Even when it looks like there won't be enough food, we somehow always get by.
Every year each child decorates a
paper bag with markers and stickers, puts their name on it and leaves it
on a table for candy and treats to be put into it. Each family is
asked to bring enough candy, holy cards, stickers, nickels, etc. for 100
One year, however, we did something different.
Instead of just putting the candy in the kids' bags, we had them do "souling". This was a neat tradition that was popular in various European countries back before Reformation times.
Each family put the names of deceased relatives and friends on slips of paper - one name per piece. The moms then sat in a line around the gym holding their pieces of paper and their candy. As the saints processed through the line, the mom would put a piece of paper and a piece of candy in each child's bag. The children were instructed that each time they ate a piece of candy, they had to pray for one of the people whose name they received.
Finally, as the adults set to cleaning up, the kids are engaged in various types of games and relay races. We also offer a few paper games such as "Name the Saint" where clues are given and you have to guess which saint they are referring to, and "Guess the Saint" where you have to look at a picture of a saint and guess who it is.
There are a few books that I recommend that you can read with your kids before All Saint's Day.
The first book is called "The All Saints Day Party" and it tells the story of Maggie and Max and how they go about getting ready for their party. The reason I'm so excited about this is because it is illustrated by the same young lady who illustrated my book "A Plan for Joy in the Home"! She is so talented and I'm excited for her to have this opportunity at such a young age. Check out the book, I don't think you'll be disappointed!
These next books will be helpful if your kids are not sure which Saint they want to be. Kimberly Fries has written Saint books for boys and girls that are simple yet beautiful. These can be both helpful and a great addition to your homeschool religion instruction.
No matter what you do, take the time to really celebrate this important Feast Day. Getting your kids in touch with the Saints is so important as the Saints can be very valuable friends throughout their life.