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13 Items you actually need for your quiet bag!!
On Sunday, I was sitting quietly watching my girls as they quietly played during Sacrament Meeting at church, and then it dawned on me that my girls were actually being quiet!! Even the 19 month old was quiet!! Was this a dream I was having?! Because truly, it hasn’t always been this way. Usually, I am constantly trying to teach my girls to be quiet and shushing them and trying to still smile when really I just want to pull my hair out and cry. I had to think for a moment what had made the difference and I realized that I had picked more quiet activities rather than toys. So guess what friend!! Today we are going to talk about 13 items you actually need for your quiet bag for church!!
To be honest, I used to be a last minute packer. That meant whatever I found in the snack bin would quickly be thrown into the diaper bag with and whatever toys that the girls seemed to be obsessed with that week got thrown in also. And let me tell you that was definitely the wrong way to approach keeping kids quiet during church!! Because really by the time we had got to church, the interest of the toys that they had been playing with during the week no longer held appeal. I felt like I was always trying to wrangle my girls and figure out the best way to keep them still.
Five years into motherhood and I finally wised up to the best way to create a stellar quiet bag that keeps your kids quiet during church is to plan ahead!! Before I can share with you the amazing items that you need for your church bag, let me start off by saying that you need to have a designated bag that you save only for Sundays. That means that the activities in that bag will only see the light of day during church and that any little toys in there are also reserved to be played with only at church. By doing so, you can guarantee that the items packed will keep your littles quiet and reverent.
My favourite recommendation is a Thirty One bag. I absolutely adore those bags because they are so spacious and easy to throw everything into that you could ever truly want! I call it my Mary Poppins bag because it really is so stellar!! I also love that I can throw the girls scripture bags in and put it away for the next Sunday and have everything together without having to run all over the house to find something that has been misplaced. I don’t even carry a diaper bag or purse with me because I can just throw my wallet, keys, and cellphone into the side pocket and be set which is a bonus when you are trying to wrangle 3 little girls.
13 Items you actually need for your quiet bag!!
Now the items that seem to keep my girls quiet are shockingly simple things that can be found at the church bookstore, dollar store, or good ol’ Walmart.
- Lace Up Cards– My girls absolutely love lace up cards!! I haven’t gotten any to add to our church bag yet but my girls love borrowing them from friends or cousins when we are at church. Sometimes the girls will take and tie them so that they can become necklaces or try to lace them together to make a train. To be honest, the lace up cards even kept Grandpa quiet and awake during church 😉
- Boogie Boards– These boards are so super cool and can be found at Costco sometimes or good ol’ Amazon!! Boogie Boards are really cool because you can draw a picture with the special pen and then you just push a button and the picture disappears. This is a great way to go paperless and crayon less so that you have less to clean up with or worry about when you are getting ready for classes.
- The Friend– The Mormon Church published a magazine for children that is geared towards the ages of 3 to 12. They have fun mazes, colouring pages, hidden object pictures, and stories that the kids can read. My girls love to read The Friend and this will keep them occupied for a good while before they want to move onto the next activity. I also love that you can get a new subscription every month so that this keeps the magazines fresh and interesting to look at.
- Scripture Stories for children– I love giving the girls the opportunities to look at pictures of the scripture stories where they are already more opt to feel the spirit because we are in church and being still and quiet. This i a great way to familiarize your children with the stories of the scriptures in a way that invites the child to come to the scriptures rather than being expected to sit down and listen to the scriptures.
- Photo Books– Do you remember as a child being delighted to look at pictures of yourself?? My girls absolutely love to look at pictures and so I try to throw in a photo book where the girls can quietly flip through and look at photos. I believe that Heavenly Father wants us to delight in our families and build strong relationships and a great way to do that is by having photos to remember all the fun times you have had together as a family.
- Giant Coloring Books– The Dollar Tree is so awesome for having good Christian church books. Recently, I found huge bible story colouring books that I grabbed and added to our bag. I know that these books may take up a lot of room but it is a good way to get body movement and wiggles out while still being quiet. My friend’s girls are the opposite and will sit for hours colouring the tiny colouring books you can find. So if one size doesn’t work try another because it may just be what your littles love.
- Stickers– I absolutely love stickers for keeping tiny ones quiet. Rather than sticking the stickers on paper I will let the girls stick them all over their arms, clothes, and face. The girls love moving the stickers they have on all around to different parts of their bodies and this keeps them occupied when I really want to hear a talk that is being given. When Sacrament Meeting is almost over we just pull all the stickers off and throw them in the garbage. This works great but you may want your spouse or a friend to give you a once over before you run off to class. I may or may not have found a sticker in my armpit!! But I would still recommend stickers any day!!
- A new type of snack– Back when Big Girl was a baby a mom friend told me that she would buy snacks that were specifically for church. The only time that child would ever see that snack was during church and that was the only time they would ever get it. This meant that her children would be on their best behaviour so that they could get the yummy treat!! For her she used yogurt bites, gum for her older children, different disney cookies or crackers or fruit snacks. Another mom I know makes up a container of trail mix. She will layer it with nuts, chocolate chips, craisins, marshmallows, M&Ms, and dried fruit. She said her children will spend time tilting the containers back and forth until they can pick out the yummy things that they want to eat and this seems to keep them quiet when she most needs them to be.
- Cheap Kids Meals Toys– One momma who blogs over at sweetcharli recommended saving those toys that you get from kids meals. Rather than throwing away the toys that they won’t play with at home pack them up for church?? She said sometimes you can snag some cool things. A toy that wouldn’t be played with at home might just be a great toy that can keep them preoccupied for a while to they are quiet at church!!
- A clip board– One blogger momma named Steph recommended using mini clipboards to keep things in place and together and I love this idea. I recently started using clipboards and just love them so much!! And if I love them then my girls would too!! So if you have stray colouring sheets that you have floating around your church bag grab a clipboard and clip it all together!!
- Foam Puzzles– When we visit Grandma’s church the girls love pulling out the foam puzzles she creates with foam poster board. Grandma takes pictures she finds of the Saviour with children and glues them to the foam poster board. She then traces out puzzle pieces and exact knives out the pattern pulls it apart and throws it in bags. The girls have actually gotten into fights about who got which picture on the way to church one day because the girls love these foam puzzles a lot!!
- MagniDoodle Board– My girls absolutely love those doodle boards that pulls up the magnetic shavings to create a picture or words when you write with the pen. This has also provided endless hours of quiet listening fun that the girls always seem to enjoy.
- Water Magic Books– OKay so I don’t actually know the names of these books but we find them at our dollar store on occasion. Turns out there is a brand called water magic!! Melissa and Doug have water books too but honestly we find them at the dollar store for like 3 bucks and they are great to throw in the church bag!! They are books that the pictures appear when wet but when dry the picture diappears. My girls love to use these books and are a great way for something that is mess free is you are finding crayons and markers to be getting all over the place.
I truly love all these ideas!! For Easter I was thinking of making my girls quiet books so please check back to see how my quiet busy binders ended up turning out!! And remember that when it comes to keeping our littles quiet that some Sundays will just be better than others. Enjoy the journey and remember the days are long but the years are short!! Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!