To make the banner:
Choose a durable fabric like felt or burlap that is approximately one yard long (36 inches) and 2 feet wide (24 inches). If desired, cut out felt letters that designate the area as belonging to the children (like Children’s Chapel) and attach them permanently with fabric glue. For each season, cut out the appropriate letters (like LENT or ORDINARY TIME) and stick on the banner with hook/loop fasteners.
To make the symbols:
Copy the pattern. Cut the individual parts out of construction paper. The colors given are only suggestions. Use whatever colors you like (or use up whatever colored papers you have available!) Outline the whole symbol onto a stiffer paper or cardboard and cut this out. Glue the construction paper symbol onto the cardboard to make it sturdy. If desired, cover with clear laminating paper. To attach to the banner, use hook/loop fasteners.
To make posters:
Depending on the size of your group, cut a large piece of poster board in half. In the center, write the Responsorial Psalm (or print it from a computer and glue it on) Half a regular size piece of posterboard serves well for 30-40 children. For a small church, one poster may serve all weekly Masses; for larger congregations, you may need to complete one poster per Mass or group of children.
To make poster cut outs:
Copy the pattern and cut out one for each child from construction paper. (Quite often, the suggested shape or something similar is available from a teachers’ supply store as a calendar cut-out or small note pad.) The children will use these to create a poster each Sunday with all their names on it.
To make Offertory symbols:
Copy the pattern onto white paper and make one for each child. Cut them out in advance so that they are ready to decorate.
Parent letters are included in this book. They are designed to remind the parents of the Scripture readings and tell them the main focus in the Liturgy of the Word that the children attended. It also includes activities for the family to share that will reinforce the message for the children and will offer ways that families can incorporate the scriptural message into their daily lives.
The plans are written to include sending home activity or coloring worksheets and stickers that are appropriate to the readings for the day.
Stickers can be purchased in many places, Christian bookstores, teaching supply stores and often, regular discount stores.
My method of choosing worksheets and stickers is this:
First I try to match up the scriptural passage of one of the readings. (This works about 70% of the time)
Next, I think of the message—sometimes the same stories (in the Gospel) are reported by different writers. Worksheets are sometimes specified for a more familiar version rendition.
Failing this, some Sundays in a season have many different worksheets available (an example would be a common parable—like the story of the Good Samaritan). Sometimes I use the extra types on surrounding Sundays where I can’t find anything that matches exactly.
And sometimes, there is nothing that matches! So I fall back on a worksheet that basically increases biblical knowledge—like a puzzle that incorporates all the different books of the bible, or a crossword with different names for Jesus.
For stickers, quite often you can find generic stickers that use the symbol for the day—like a heart or a sun or a cross—that will reinforce the day’s message.
Always try to send something home for the children to enjoy and share with their parents.