Spotted in the preschool room of a local parish -
On one hand, I appreciate the sturdy construction in this play set - solid birch, no small parts, obviously this set has survived parish life since the 70's...
On the other hand, what I don't like is the complete lack of beauty! Where's the color? Where's the artistry? (Where's the gender?)
But again on the positive side, I love the idea of children "playing church." It encourages them to pay attention when they're at Mass, and to reproduce what they see in their play time. It brings Church out into the world; a child's interpretation of ite missa est. Many priests have fond childhood memories of gathering their siblings or neighborhood children together to read the Gospel and distribute Ritz cracker communion, and that should be encouraged.
But on the fourth hand, I cringe at the description on the box. "Let young children experience the Mass in a way they enjoy most - through personal involvement and imagination. For ages 5-11." I'm possibly reading too much into it, but isn't using one's imagination to create a Mass that we will enjoy most the summation of pretty much every liturgical abuse around?