During the month of May we’ll be highlighting our Marian dolls (which are all on sale this month!) and exploring how through play based learning we can plant a seed of faith in our children that will truly last a lifetime. Today we look at Our Lady of Lourdes! (shown here with St. Bernadette Soubirous)
The story of Our Lady of Lourdes has brought hope and healing to so many people from all around the world. It’s a powerful reminder of God’s desire for our wholeness, a taste of heaven’s promise of no more pain, crying, sickness or death.
There is so much to unpack, and so many valuable lessons to pass on!
As with any of our toys, we recommend telling your child the story first (or, let them listen to the story on our free podcast “Saint Stories for Kids”). Then allow your child to lead the direction of play. Chances are you’ll hear them repeat parts of the story that “spoke” to them.
That is a great opportunity to ask questions. Asking questions while a child plays can help them unpack the different layers of the story. A few questions here and there are all it takes! Then allow the child some time for imaginative play.
Imaginative play is critical for developing fundamental skills and lays the groundwork for educational success. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics is so concerned that not enough children are getting screen-free play with toys that encourage creative thinking (like dolls, blocks, puzzles- toys that don’t require batteries) that they are writing prescriptions for play!
When a child is allowed to “just play” with classic toys, their brain begins to do amazing things. All of the creativity flows from within the child and brings the toys to life. A good toy is 90% child, 10% toy!
Our Lady of Lourdes is famous for the healing waters that flow from her shrine. What a beautiful gift and incredible hope for the suffering!
This story is a great opportunity to talk with your child about trusting in God’s plan, and the answers we can get to our prayers (yes, no, and not yet!). Many of the people that make pilgrimages to Lourdes receive physical healings, but many don’t. But even though not everyone receives a physical healing, everyone leaves changed in some way. God’s plan is bigger than we can see, but when we trust in him, we can be sure that God hears our prayers and is doing what’s best for us. Not just for this life- but for eternal life with him in heaven!
This is just one example of how to use this story to explore and expand on an aspect of our faith. Together with your child, I’m sure you will discover even more! God bless!