Mass Bag for the Little Ones

           It's 9:00AM on Sunday morning and I am running around my house like a mad woman, putting shoes on tiny feet, and shoving little arms in teeny jacket arm-holes, pouring some cheerios and milk in small, plastic containers for my toddler and getting my sling ready for the baby.  I find a few small, quiet  toys for my wee ones and get all of us out the door.  I lug the infant seat, diaper bag with one hand and hold my toddler's hand with the other and we waddle into church.  My little darlings are fairly quiet during church, but looking at Down on the Farm and playing with plastic keys don't seem like spiritually fulfilling activities for my little angels.

       The solution? A Mass Bag!

Thank you, dear friend from MOMS group!  I purchased cheap denim bags ($5 for 3 from walmart), Ribbon, some Decorative Buttons, and felt in coordinating colors and went to work.  With about 1 weekend's worth of work, I had an adorable bag for my toddler to take to Mass.  It was fairly easy, and my mistakes hid themselves well.   Best of all, it is small enough that she can carry it herself!  I stocked it with the essentials, a few books and quiet toys that won't be missed during the week, and set it aside where I can easily grab it.  Now all I have to do is through the snack and sippy in the bag and head out the door.  LOVE IT!

What would you put in a Mass Bag, you ask?
  • Small bag of wipes and diaper
  • small snack and sippy(we used cheerios in a plastic bag that we handed out.  That minimized the risk of mess making and ensured that the cheerios lasted the whole mass.)
  • a few toys like a soft doll, small coloring book, preferably with Catholic images 
  • a Catholic board Book or two.  Some of my favorites are:

(If you plan to purchase any of these items from Amazon, please use these links, as I do get a small stipend from Amazon for advertising the items.)

As my children get older, naturally the items they take to church will change as well.  My preschooler no longer gets a snack or sippy.  She is limited to the books and a Dollie.  We do not get them out right away, but use them as needed.  As her attention span lengthens she will leave the bag at home and begin to participate fully in the mass.  When to make these transitions for your child is a personal choice, unique to your specific child.  Only you know when to start tapering down the extras for your child.  I would say a good rule of thumb is to drop the bag altogether by at least somewhere around the end of 1st grade, remembering that the earlier your children learn to be attentive and participative during the mass, the better for them in the long run.     

Happy Crafting!

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