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Tips for Young Kids at Mass

When I heard that the training season for Cross Country at Dowling ran through the summer, I realized I would be driving Mikey to practice at 8am, every day excepts Wed and Sunday. We did this last year too, but played at the nearby park most days, went grocery shopping other days. Here are my three littles at the park.

One day at the park, I had an urge to go to Mass. I went to to see if there were churches near me in the time we would wait for Mikey to finish his run. Sure enough Sacred Heart was 1.5 miles away and Mass started right at 8! If we dropped Mikey off 5-10 min early we could be there on time! So Grace and the twins go with me four days a week. And we all enjoy it for the most part! So I wanted to share some things that have made it easier for us to enter into Mass and keep the twins from causing a ruckus.

Our Tips for Mass with Youngins: Well first of all, especially in the beginning, I would bribe them with donuts or an item from the dollar store if they stayed quiet. Yep-after 15 years of parenting, I still lean hard on the bribe. Call it “motivating good behavior” if you want. It’s a bribe. And it works! Second of all-we have a Mass Bag! This can be as special as you want it to be. We have a reusable cloth grocery bag, nothing special, filled with things that help the younger kids stay engaged and quiet. We keep it in the car (because I would totally forget it otherwise).

Here’s what’s in our Mass Bags (links are our affiliate links-thanks for supporting our ministry at no extra cost to you!) :

This book is awesome! I highly recommend it for all ages! It helps the kids understand what’s happening during Mass but it’s also interactive too!

These drawing pads (picture below) have been a life saver. All the kids want to have one during mass but priority goes to the littlest ones. There have been studies about how especially with ADD kids, doodling can help kids listen better. These pads make drawing and doodling so easy and mess free!

Coloring books and colored pencil twists. It’s great to have for the younger kids who love to color. Markers get everywhere, crayons break too easily, colored pencils need sharpeners if they break but the twistable colored pencils seem to work the best for us! It’s quiet and mess free for them to color. I loved these Saint coloring books too! I also love the journals and books from Catholic Sprouts, another family-owned ministry we try to support! Here's my affiliate link to some books you may want to add to your Mass Bags. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see some cute totes you could use for your Mass/Adoration bags!

Lacing cards. There are so many to choose from! Look for the Noah’s Arc or some that have phrases about God on them. But all the animal ones are cute. These lacing cards help our little one practice hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. This would be great for 4-5 year olds but some mature 3yos may like them too! Things from home we toss in:

They each have a stuffy if the week we let them put in the bag. Sometimes they love to bring their shining light dolls! Hot wheels. This one is a big maybe. Pax loves his hot wheels but our rule is only on the kneeler and he has to keep them in his hands. But for younger boys, those rules may be hard to follow. Mass bags are simply tools to help the twins have something to do during Mass. They only get to access these bags at Mass so they stay special. As they grow older, we take more things out of the bag to encourage them to pay attention to Mass.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you something I did to encourage Grace (8yo) to keep her desire for Mass. She received her first communion in May and has received 40 communions in 3 months! I told her when we reach 50 communions, we can get a specialty coffee together. And when she receives 100 communions I would treat her to breakfast at a restaurant. Her language of love is quality time so these mommy daughter dates are extra special. If you haven't already, check out my blog post on the importance of knowing your children's love language.

If you stay at home with your little ones, going to Mass can seem like a huge undertaking, but in my experience, the mornings we make it to Mass, I seem to have more patience and grace throughout the day. The Eucharist is the breakfast of champions, not to mention the graces poured out upon your children. It's worth a try if you are not already going!

So tell me in the comments below-do you have a Mass bag? What's inside? Have any other tips to have Mass with young kiddos?

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