October is Respect Life Month, but it also starts with the Feast of the Guardian Angels on Oct. 2. A wonderful way to help young children understand the dignity of human life is by learning about these angels.

The message is very simple: we are so important to God that each child is given a special angel to watch over him or her. Make October “Angel Month” with these activities:

Before meeting with your little students, read some actual angel encounter stories. Books by Joan Wester Anderson are particularly good, and one is specifically about children and angels, called “An Angel to Watch Over Me.” See http://joanwanderson.com/books/. Paraphrase one of the stories and share with the children as your introduction to a month of angels.

Do the same with other stories on different days.

Learn and then pray together a guardian angel prayer. The best known one is:

Guardian Angel Prayer

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom His love entrusts me here,
ever this day [night] be at my side
to light and guard, to rule and guide.

If you teach this prayer, talk about the meaning of words that may not be clear to preschoolers, such as entrusts, light (in this sense), guard, and guide.

Another traditional angel prayer which may be easier for young children to understand is:

Angel Blessing at Bedtime

Angels bless and angels keep
Angels guard me while I sleep
Bless my heart and bless my home
Bless my spirit as I roam
Guide and guard me through the night
and wake me with the morning’s light.

Feast on angel food cake.

Make wings from stiff paper for children to wear, or provide fabric that suggests lightness and movement to wear around little shoulders.

Provide angel cookie cutters and play dough.

Bring in angel statues for your prayer table.

Obtain holy cards of angels, one for each child to keep.

Have children make angel medallions. Each child can wear one, but also make several others for gifts to family or friends to show that everyone has an angel because everyone is special to God.

With crayons or markers, children can add faces, arms and hands, feathers, and color, to the angel figure. Consider using glitter pens. Attach to clothing with tape, or use a paper punch to create a hole and string yarn through it so it can be worn as a necklace.