How to Survive Church With Little Kids

I originally shared this article on Living Like Martha a few years ago, but wanted to share it here with all of you as well!

Have you seen the gif going around Facebook that jokes about a parent's reaction when somebody says 'When I have kids, they will never act like that'? I did -- and it got me thinking about those naive moments when I was in high school thinking the same thing about unruly kids in church.

Well, judge and ye shall be judged, Annie... no parent is perfect!

Since my husband works on Sundays, I usually take the boys to church solo, which can be a major challenge at times. For the most part, my nearly 3-year-old is pretty well behaved during mass (minus this week, when I looked up and saw him kissing the little girl in the next pew... oy!), but I still like to have a little backup just in case things take a turn for the worse. To do this, I pack nearly the same things each week that have proven time and again to keep him occupied.

Here is a look at my "Mass Must Haves" that I store away in the diaper bag each and every week:

1.) The Easter Bunny put these little plastic gears in Jackson's basket this year and they are SO cool! You basically just connect and build with them, but I like them because they are quiet and keep the toddler occupied for hours minutes at a time. (Hey, I'll take whatever I can get!)

2.) I was gifted this children's mass book when I was pregnant with Jackson and he loves looking through it and "reading" it to me.

3.) As every parent knows, quiet and (relatively) no-mess snacks are a saving grace... our favorites are Mott's Fruit Snacks and these Go-Go Squeeze yogurts (both found at Costco).

4.) St. Nicholas left this beside Jackson's shoes last year and it is so cute! It's a little activity book that not only tells the story of Christmas, but includes a bunch of correlating stickers and coloring pages. Despite it being a Christmas book, we use it year round.

5.) Crayons and paper... so simple, yet so effective!

6.) I try to keep our book selection at mass religious, so I will usually grab one of our smaller board books, like The Story of Easter.

Now it's your turn to share: What are your mass must haves? Help a mamma out!