|The Importance of Catholic Play
If you're at all familiar with the writings of Catholic Home and Garden over the years, you'll know we've been banging on the same drum for eons - the importance of Catholic play.
Children learn by playing. Some play with science kits and grow up to be physicists or doctors. Some play with toy kitchens and grow up to be chefs or good wives who feed their families. Others play cops and robbers and, hopefully, grow up to be policemen or law enforcement officials. You get the idea.
They learn by doing. By playing.
Nearly every Priest I've spoken to has admitted to playing Mass when he was growing up. And most women who came of age in the pre-Vatican II Church dressed up like a nun at some point in time. While not every child is destined to have a vocation in the Church, every Catholic child is called to be a good Catholic and part of that must come from incorporating elements of the culture of Catholicism into playtime.
Several years ago, we acquired a delightful primitive Church the size of a large doll house. It was obviously a handmade work of love. Some of it was a little on the funky side. The scale didn't match, the people inside were all different sizes, but it didn't matter. It was just delightful.
Our son was an adolescent at the time, so he never really played with it, but even during those "cool" years, I overheard him and his friends looking at it and touching the features -- the bell, the lights, the tiny items on the altar. Of course they were too old to actually play with it, but still, it had its appeal.
Eventually we got rid of the large piece of furniture that it once crowned, and so I sold it. Well, maybe we lost that little Church, but we made a friend in the collector who bought it. W. Steven Burke has shared some of the incredible photos of his collection. This wonderful collection is far too nice to give to children to play with, but we hope it will inspire you.
So. Back to Catholic play. If your daughter has a doll house, why not add a few Catholic holy pictures, miniature Crucifixes or statues? Can't some of the figures be a visiting Priest or Sister? And if your son plays with action figures, why not add a Priest exorcist to send all those awful demon figures back to where they came from? One of those little cars can have a holy decal or two on it to turn it into a little God Squad. If you want to be really extravagant, add an entire Church!
OK. Perhaps we're a little crazy, but Catholic parents, don't you need something to counteract the effects of the unwholesome secular influences?
Coming soon ... two new sets of Catholic miniatures in doll house size and in play size. We've only seen one modern Mass kit available for children and it cost $325! Yikes! Too much! Please watch our site for an affordable one.
In the meanwhile, we hope you enjoy these photos as much as we did. Click the images to enlarge.
Let us know what you think.