Celebrating the Epiphany With Catholic Kids

There are many traditions for celebrating the Epiphany that stem from all over the world! From King’s cake to chalking your door, I have a great round up of Epiphany traditions for families here. The feast itself is a celebration of the 3 kings arriving to visit baby Jesus, and there are many ways to celebrate the Epiphany with kids. So lets dive into the ideas!

Since it’s January, check out my new printable liturgical calendar for Catholics! This includes all your major feast days and liturgical seasons along with holy days of obligation, solemnities, liturgical colors, well known Saint feast days, and more! This easy to use and beautiful calendar will be your best friend when planning out your liturgical year at home. There is both a free option and a paid option for downloading this liturgical calendar, so click here to find your options for downloading your own liturgical calendar

Epiphany Quick Facts

I always find it easiest to celebrate with my family when I know about the feast day first, so let’s take a look at some of the highlights together:

  • Traditionally celebrated on January 6 (see more under “when is the Epiphany”)
  • The 3 Kings can also be referred to as the 3 Magi or the 3 Wise Men
  • Day the 3 kings arrive to see baby Jesus 
  • This day is also called “3 King’s Day” or “Twelfth Night”
  • Celebrated by Christians all over the world
  • Kings followed a star to find Jesus, so a star is a common symbol of the Epiphany
  • Crows are worn by kings so crowns are also a common symbol of this day
  • Story of the 3 kings is found in the Bible
  • The names of the 3 kings are: Balthasar, Melchior, and Caspar
  • They brought gifts to Baby Jesus- gold, frankincense, and myrrh 

When Is The Epiphany?

The 12 days of Christmas end with the Epiphany, which is traditionally celebrated on January 6. In the United States, the Epiphany is celebrated on the closest Sunday to the 6th, so sometimes this causes confusion among Catholics. You can definitely feel free to celebrate this beautiful feast day with your kids on either of these days. We generally like to celebrate on actual January 6 so that we get the full 12 days of Christmas.

Counting Down The 12 Days To The Epiphany

My family likes to count down to the Epiphany using these 12 days of Christmas ornaments. You can hang one each day, counting all the days of Christmas. The pack also includes several other Catholic feast days that fall during the Christmas season.  It prints in color or in black and white so you can color your own. You can download your set here.

Teaching The Epiphany Story To Kids

It’s always a great idea to read a book before diving into your fun feast day activities! Any way that you teach the story to your kids would be great, be that video, picture book, or just telling them the meaning behind the feast. You can actually read them this story straight from the Bible!

Read About The Epiphany From The Bible!

You can read this story straight from the bible. Here is where you can find it in the book of Matthew:

  • Matthew 2: 1-12

Read About The Epiphany From Your Children’s Bible

I recommend having a good children’s Bible available to read from as a start to your home children’s library as it will also include many stories of the Saints and holy heroes! Although I have many children’s Bibles, The Jesus Storybook Bible is my favorite (you can read my post about my favorite Catholic children’s bibles here.) You’re likely to find this story in whatever children’s bible you have as all Christians find this an important event in the life of Jesus.

The story of the Epiphany in the Jesus Storybook Bible starts on page 192. This is actually a 4 page story in this book and I love the illustrations! This bible is so perfect for this lesson.

Here are some of our family’s favorite picture books to read on the Epiphany.

  • We Three Kings– A beautiful little picture book that follows the lyrics from the well known hymn. So perfect for the Epiphany!
  • The Last Straw– a new take on the 3 Kings story, this little camel is going to see the new born king and is getting more and more weighed down by gifts for the king as he travels. 
  • Joy To The World: Christmas Stories From Around The World– this is a treasury of many Christmas stories, but one is from the perspective of a camel traveling with the wise men. I love the colorful pictures and adorable stories in this book! 
  • Small Camel Follows The Star – Cute little picture book about a camel that follows the star. 
  • Strego Nona’s Gift– So I absolutely love Tomie de Paola’s books and illustrations, and this book is adorable! It is all about the celebration of the feast of the Epiphany and even the animals are included in the traditions of the day. Check this one out for sure! 

Epiphany Story Video For Kids

I absolutely love these adorable videos from Saddleback kids and they pack them full of tidbits from the Bible! Definitely watch this video with your kids to learn about the story of the 3 kings. Love it!

 

Epiphany Door Blessing With Chalk

Blessing the door on your home for the Epiphany is a very common tradition for Catholic families. All you need is a piece of chalk! Check out my directions on completing your own Epiphany door blessing here.

Craft The 3 Kings For The Epiphany

Making the 3 kings with kids is a really fun way to celebrate the Epiphany and get the true meaning of the day across to them. I have a whole round up of 3 kings crafts here, so be sure to check that out. 

Definitely don’t forget about my free printable nativity– the 3 kings from that set are perfect for celebrating this day!

Star Crafts For The Epiphany

The star is a common symbol for the Epiphany since the kings followed the star to find the new born king, baby Jesus. I have a fun round up of star crafts for kids here that are perfect for this feast day!

Craft A Crown For The Epiphany

In my vast experience in crafting with kids, I find that they love wearable crafts! Wearable crafts just always seem to be a huge hit. So what better way to celebrate the epiphany with them than to make their own King crowns?! I have a round up with 8 different crown crafts for kids here.  

We love crafting these simple crowns on the Epiphany! I have not met a kid yet that doesn’t love a wearable craft.

King Cake For 3 King’s Day!

This is a fun and traditional food for this feast day, and you can find my super cute and easy king cake directions here. This is the cheater’s way to make the world’s easiest king cake! 

Celebrating The Epiphany With Symbolic Food

You can also make food in the shape of crowns to celebrate the Epiphany. King cakes that are traditionally eaten on the Epiphany are crown shaped, but you can also use crown shaped cookie cutters to make cookies, sandwiches, or even cheese in the shape of crowns for the Epiphany. Find my round up of crown shaped food for the Epiphany here

Also, you may want to check out my recipe for Golden Epiphany Eggnog! This is a highly symbolic recipe to help teach your kids the true meaning behind the epiphany. Also, it’s very tasty. 🙂

I also have a super fun for kids star shaped Epiphany sandwich. This is super great because you don’t have to cook and it requires basically no prep. Just your standard sandwich stuff and a star shaped cookie cutter.

Festive cookies are also a great way to celebrate! You can find my favorite nativity cookie cutters as well as our easy system of decorating nativity cookies with diy sugar here. If you don’t have a king cookie cutter break out a star cookie cutter- just as perfect for the Epiphany!

Liturgical Tea Party For 3 Kings Day

We love to celebrate feast days with liturgical tea parties, and the Epiphany is an extra fun day to celebrate with a tea party! Check out our Epiphany tea party complete with menu plan, centerpiece ideas, book idea, and more. 

Epiphany Songs To Sing

  • We 3 Kings

When I was a kid I just absolutely loved this claymation version of the “We 3 Kings” song featuring the California Raisins. I still like to watch it with my kids for the Epiphany!

 

Hope you found some great resources here to bless your Epiphany. Happy celebrating! 

Comments

  1. CherylGoessling says

    I enjoy all your crafts and helpful ideas for celebrating liturgical events throughout the year so families can embrace the richness and joy of our faith.
    Thank you for sharing

  2. Theresa Sundstrom says

    Have you ever baked a baby Jesus in your Epiphany cake? The person who finds it is King for the day and would traditionally bake the cake for next year (or for Mardi Gras). 🙂

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