One of the best parts of teaching your homeschooler is the opportunity to incorporate spiritual holidays, holy days and other special occasions into your lesson plans. From Biblical ABC’s to counting with saints, it’s never too early to share your faith and draw connections in your little one’s education.
Because it’s so important to foster a personal understanding and connection with Christ and the Church, we love the idea of adding fun crafts to the curriculum to encourage a stronger understanding of Catholic traditions.
Baptism is the cornerstone of the seven Sacraments, so it’s key for little ones to fully comprehend it before moving on to First Communion. No matter what your child’s age, it is never too early (or too late) to encourage a deeper comprehension of the holy principle of the remission of Original Sin through Baptism.
Using interactive crafts is a great way to add a meaningful lesson into the school day, provide a family-friendly weekend activity, or just get your child excited about drawing closer to Jesus Christ.
1. A Baptism Portrait
Because most children are baptized as infants, it’s important to ensure that they learn the significance of the sacrament and are involved as they grow. Displaying a Baptism portrait is a great way to commemorate the event and allow your little Catholic to see a visual reminder of her connection to God.
Fortunately, we don’t have to look too far for a reason to bring up Baptism. There are numerous connections throughout the year that can be made to the holy experience. Traditions such as Easter, baptismal anniversaries, and even the arrival and Baptism of a younger sibling are all perfect opportunities to discuss Baptism and incorporate a fun craft.
2. The Paschal Candle
The lighting of each year’s Paschal candle at Easter is a great way to teach little ones about the light of Christ that they carry within as a result of Baptism. Because the candle is used throughout the year at Baptisms, it can give children something exciting to look forward to and to keep an eye out for at Mass.
Traditionally, creating a Paschal candle is a labor of love and time. Candle makers mix and pour intricate wax combinations to form crosses and other decorative designs. The beauty and artistry of the candle is something we can all admire.
Whether you have a keepsake candle at home or like to admire the one on display at your local parish, creating a crafty version is a safe way to let little learners be a part of upcoming Baptisms or even celebrate the anniversary of their own.
3. Crafting a Children’s Christ Candle
To create a flameless Christ candle you will need:
- A paper towel roll
- A sheet of white paper
- Yellow construction paper
Start by cutting your white sheet of paper to match the width and height of the paper towel roll. Don’t attach it just yet, though. You’ll also want to cut out a flame shape from your yellow construction paper. If you have a pair of safety scissors, this is a great opportunity to let your little Catholic try his hand at cutting.
Let the candle maker color in the flame for a more realistic look, before handing over creative license for the candle itself. Showing your child an example of a design can give him an idea of what kind of details to include. It’s common to see a cross, a lamb, the year, and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega added to the candle.
Let your child choose from a selection of markers to add a colorful design to the white paper that you cut out. Once your child has finished coloring, help him wrap the paper around the roll and secure it snugly with a few strips of tape. Add the flame on top by taping your yellow piece of paper to the inside of the paper towel roll and you’ve got a tangible example of the light of Christ for your child to carry around.
4. Beyond Baptism
The use of the Paschal candle extends past Easter and Baptism, as it is also used at funerals. While this additional service may seem like a forlorn topic to introduce, it is, for children old enough to understand, a significant reminder of the fact that we carry the light of Christ even beyond death.
Because of its purifying significance, the Paschal candle is a symbol of the relationship we form with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments. Teach it as a reminder of Baptism and the eternal promises that we make for God.
Cutting Paper craft © Africa Studio / Dollar Photo Club
Candle photo CC Smaps Sputzer | Flickr