Here in central Ohio, the phrase "in like a lion, out like a lamb" is always at least halfway true for March. This year, it's the lion part.
It's cold and Daylight Savings is coming soon. We're all stir-crazy from February, but we're not quite inclined to go outside too much. Did I mention that we're tired too?
The experienced mom in me knows there's a bout of some sort of sickness hovering on the horizon: 'tis the season, after all. I also know that I won't be able to stop it or control it.
With that in mind, I bring you my list of five fun things to do with your family in March, whether you're stuck in bed, sick of laundry, starving for fresh air, or just plain bored.
My oldest daughter is preparing for her First Communion this spring, and suddenly she has an interest in everything to do with the saints. Out of nowhere, she'll ask me if there's a patron of trucks, for example, or meatloaf.
Here are some ways I'll be getting mileage out of this idea of a saintly seek-n-find with my gang:
Find out fun facts about five different saints and task each member with figuring out who it is. Be sure to outline what resources are fair to use (i.e., the internet, saints apps, books around the house, calling Grandma, etc.).
Hide holy cards around the house. Whoever finds the most gets to hide them for the next round. But before you move on to the next round, everyone has to pick one of the ones they found and share about the saint.
Act Out a Bible Story
You really don't need to look farther than the Gospels during Lent, because this year they're full of color and stories. But you can always rely on the active fights from the Maccabees, the heroic princess in Esther, and the fun of David and Goliath.
A few ways to consider this:
Living Stations of the Cross
- Dress up and have a full-blown production.
- Dress up and have actors portray the event while someone else tells the story.
- Play a charades-like game where half the family acts out the story while the other half guesses what Bible story is being portrayed.
This could be a way to make after-dinner devotions a bit more interactive or a way to make attending Stations of the Cross at your parish this Lent more interesting for your children. They'll learn what the stations are and hopefully be more invested in the Passion of Christ after participating in this at home with you.
An Outside Scavenger Hunt
- Option 1: Adults act, children narrate
- Option 2: Children act, adults narrate
We are bound to have a few good days (or more!) this month, and getting outside doesn't have to just include running around crazy (though it will, indeed, include a lot of that!). How about taking elements of faith and tying them in to the transformation happening in the world around you?
Some clues and themes I'll be using when I get the chance:
Cook a Meal
- Resurrection: What 3 new things do you see? Where is there something that wasn't there last time we were outside? What's the greenest/brownest/dirtiest thing you can find?
- Liturgical Year: Find 4 green/purple/white/gold/red things. What's going to change colors as it grows and the seasons continue?
Though I'm not as much a fan of cooking as so many other wives and moms I know, I notice that my children love to help and be part of it. So often, sharing a meal is a way to reach out to the lonely in our lives, so I'll be considering engaging my family in cooking a meal and taking it a step farther:
Share it with someone who lives alone. Some would be more comfortable coming INTO my chaos (as opposed to me inserting my crazy crew into their silent cove), so I'll need to reach out and invite.
Deliver it to someone who will appreciate it. New moms and homebound come to mind, but I've found that, when I make certain casseroles that can be easily doubled, nearly anyone appreciates hearing that I'll be coming over with dinner on Thursday.
Garnish it with love. We eat a lot with my mother-in-law, and she loves it. What if, instead of just eating there or helping with the meal, we made it fancy and inserted some kid bling: pictures and placemats and homemade decorations? I'm sure she would love it, and my budding artists will be eager to participate!