Best Reads for Social Distancing—For Kids!
In the middle of a long day at home with children, taking time for a great book can make all the difference. Whether we’re nine or ninety, stories calm us, teach us, and provide loving reassurance in the midst of uncertainty.
Now that we all have more time on our hands, we’re going back to some of our favorite reads for our kids, grandkids, and youngest friends. From Jewish folktales to a family hymn-sing, a very special dog on a mission, games about Francis of Assisi, and a cat who takes us on a virtual trip to Italy, these books are fun, inspiring, and faith-filled.
Teach your kids about the mysterious inner workings of the Vatican and the most important times of the church year (Christmas, Holy Week and Easter) through the Pope’s irresistible feline friend, Margaret! As Lisa Hendey, founder of CatholicMom.com says, you will “discover a Pope who loves sugar cookies and early morning walks and adorable cats just like the rest of us.” Join author Jon Sweeney on Thursday at 11 am EST for storytime with Margaret and the Pope Go to Assisi.
Once there was a town called Chelm where there was no luck. If something could go wrong, it did. The roofs of the houses always leaked. The sidewalks were cracked. The gardens grew only weeds. Nothing was ever right. In this charming story inspired by a Jewish folktale, the people of Chelm discover something better than luck—HOPE.
For the littles….Give them their very own hymn book for a family sing! Cue the music on Apple or Spotify and encourage the youngest children to join in with favorite classics such as “Jesus Loves Me,” “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “Fairest Lord Jesus,” and “I’ve Got the Joy.”
Do you believe that everyone on this earth has a unique purpose? You will after reading the true story of Keller, a very special dog born blind and deaf, and abandoned by the side of a railroad. Hundreds of children have enjoyed visits from Keller at their schools, and the author will be inviting you to meet Keller and his whole family today, April 15th at 4 pm EST.
How much do your kids know about Francis of Assisi and how he turned from dreams of military glory to a life of reckless service to God? This little book tells the story of his life, from his birth to his death, including all that was going on in the world -- knights, crusades, and the birth of the Franciscan order! A timeline, mini-history lesson with maps on the Crusades, and games and puzzles at the end of the book make it fun.
When things get crazy and the world feels scary, there’s a simple prayer practice we can all teach our kids that is calming and helps them enjoy quiet and stillness. With Journey to the Heart: Centering Prayer for Children, you can read the gentle story aloud while kids close their eyes and feel the loving presence and “still, small voice” of God speaking in their hearts.
We don’t have to use fancy church words to talk to God, we can just have a conversation or even write him a note! Inspire kids to spend a little time each day just writing to God, as they would to a friend. Rachel Hackenburg’s book Writing to God for Kids gives lots of ideas as a springboard for a new dialogue that kids can start on their own, using their senses, reflecting on their feelings, looking at nature, and processing the new “ordinary” of our daily lives.