6 Simple Ways to Celebrate Mary’s Day
By Lori Ann Watson
September 8 is the day we honor the Nativity of the Blessed Mother. Deepen the joy and love of Our Lady in your students’ hearts by making the day very special. With these fun, teacher-friendly ideas, you’ll pull together a beautiful celebration in no time.
- Make cards: In the days leading up to September 8, have your students craft birthday cards for Mary on construction paper or cardstock. You might let your class listen to the Glory Stories CDs for St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Juan Diego, or the Story of the Children of Fatima as they make the cards. You can find Glory Stories at the Holy Heroes website.
- Sing-along: Sing old favorites, such as Hail, Holy Queen; Immaculate Mary; and Sing of Mary, or turn to modern Marian kids’ music. “I Wanna’ Say Yes!” from Cat. Chat is a fun, upbeat tune that you and your children will catch yourselves singing all day long. You’ll find it on YouTube, and the CD is available here. If your students’ Hail Mary’s could use a little brushing up, you can teach them the words easily using the “Hail Mary Echo Song” from Kids Sing for Jesus, on YouTube. You can also preview and buy the album on CD Baby.
- A Mary Cake: What’s a party without cake? For the Blessed Mother’s birthday, bring out a cake frosted in white, and use the white color as a springboard for discussion about Mary’s Immaculate Conception. When you cut into the cake, blue layers can lead into a great discussion about Mary and the color blue. (If you’ve ever wondered why this color is associated with the Blessed Mother, check out this explanation on Aleteia.) You’ll find a simple blue velvet cake recipe on the Betty Crocker website.
- Craft an Outdoor Rosary: Collect 59 smooth, flat stones. Also find a sixtieth stone that is larger than the others. (This one will be your Rosary’s Crucifix.) Distribute the 59 smaller stones to students and have the students paint them with acrylic paints or paint pens. The children might use religious symbols, write Mary’s name and decorate it, or write names of loved ones on the stones. On the larger stone, paint or draw a Crucifix or cross. When the paint is dry, spray the stones with a clear sealant such as this one from Krylon and, when it’s dry, help your students use the stones to form an outdoor Rosary on the ground, with each stone representing one bead.
- Bring Her Flowers: What is the best gift you can give a mother? Prayers for her children! As a class, brainstorm intentions for people in need of prayer, and then commit to prayers for those people. Collect the prayer commitments into a spiritual bouquet. If you’d like, use this flower template from First Palette, have your students write their prayer commitments on stems to attach, and form a bouquet from the crafted flowers.
Mary’s birthday is also a perfect time for a crowning ceremony. You’ll find a beautiful playlist for a birthday crowning here.
- Classroom Traditions: What do you normally do in your classroom to celebrate students’ birthdays—and yours? Bring Mary in to those traditions for the month of September, as well. It’s an easy way to help your students see the Blessed Mother as a real person, instead of just a spiritual idea.
So often, students have a hard time seeing the reality that the Communion of Saints is all around us. Celebrating Mary’s birthday in the classroom is a great way to highlight the fact that she is always with us and always looking out for her children. Even the simplest ways of wishing the Blessed Mother a happy birthday can form wonderful memories your students will cherish.
Lori Ann Watson teaches, homeschools, blogs about Catholicism, and almost never gets caught up on laundry. She writes from North Central Florida.