Faith at HomeExplore and enjoy your faith with your kids!
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Tips & ideas
Tips & ideas
OutdoorsFind a fountain, stream, or creek and sit near it. Listen to and watch the water; perhaps splash a bit.
On a rainy day or during a thunderstorm, listen for the rain. Watch the rain fall or be blown about, and the puddles growing. Notice the scent in the air after the rain, and the brightness of the just-washed plants and even the air. A rainbow is a special treat.
CreativitySet out art supplies that use water, such as watercolors and thick paper, or colored tissue paper squares, thick paper, and a fat paintbrush to wet the tissue paper. Enjoy what your children create. If it can be hung, hang it in a window.
PlayTell stories of our family members' baptisms. Take a moment at church to see the baptismal font up close. Provide a basin of water for washing baby dolls... or anything else! Offer white fabric pieces or other white things to use as doll clothing.
BakingMake bread together. Use a favorite recipe, or something easy for you. Even store-bought cans of crescent rolls, rolled up by little and big hands and baked at home, will be wonderful.
TraditionsLight candles for Sunday dinner. Invite a friend or two, or another family, to join yours and enjoy a Sunday meal together.
Notice with your children that the blessed water you might cross yourself with when you enter church is somewhat like the water of your baptism.
Washing Up and a Family MealPentecost, Easter, baptism, & eucharist
On Easter and Pentecost, feast days about the beginnings of Christianity, our time at church overflows with wonderful celebrations, actions, symbols, and signs to explore with our young children.
This is a great time to explore with our children two of the ways we thoroughly experience being part of the Church: baptism and the eucharist. On both Easter and Pentecost there is an ancient and powerful tradition of performing baptisms and then celebrating the eucharist. On these feast days we remember that our own baptisms made us part of the Church and we welcome the newly baptized to the communion table with the rest of the gathered Church.
We can explore the experiences of baptism and the eucharistic feast with our children in many ways that require, not a degree in theology, but rather a listening heart. Wonder about water, washing, candles, fire, and light; eating together, celebrations, special meals, and sharing. Make paintings or drawings; play with water and with light.
Prepare a special dish together for a family meal. Pay special attention to Sunday dinner; perhaps invite family or friends. Enjoy lighting candles together, especially at mealtime or prayer time. Tell stories of your baptism and your children's baptisms. Visit and explore the church altar and baptismal areas. Of course, bring your children to baptisms and to the eucharist.
Let the signs and symbols teach us along with our children. Let the actions and experiences prepare the way for words and deep wonderings throughout our lives as to the working of God within us.
Barbara Laufersweiler is an at-home mom, an Episcopalian, and the creator of Faith at Home, http://www.faith-at-home.com/ , a Web site offering help to parents as they explore and enjoy faith with their children. Copyright © 2003 Barbara K. Laufersweiler. All rights reserved.
ResourcesBaptism. A wonderful commemorative booklet for newly baptized children is published by Candle Press. When I first saw this booklet, I knew I needed to get one for each of my children as a special way to remember their baptisms, even though they've both been baptized.
The illustrations are both beautiful and charming, and they are lush with baptismal symbols. The text is perfect for young children. The crowning touch is the center spread, wonderfully designed to present the date, people, and location of your child's baptism.
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