Part of raising your children in the church is teaching them and helping them to have ownership of their faith. It is not just the faith of the family or the faith of the church but their own personal relationships with Christ. Without individual faith, there would be no community of believers.
It sometimes seems silly doing these little crafts with our children. However, these things are important in that they help make faith tangible for our children. It is the living of our faith that makes it real and engaging our children in such things helps them to see this: The liturgy in the every day.
This upcoming month of September not only marks the beginning of the secular school year but the beginning of the church year. It is all kicked off with the feast of The Elevation of the Cross on September 14th. With all the busyness of the beginning of the school year, do not forget to celebrate this feast in your home and at church. Along with these various activities you can do on the feast day itself, don't forget to talk with your children about what calendar our lives revolve around as Orthodox Christians, and it is NOT the school calendar!!!! (o:
One activity you can do to help facilitate this is to make a festal timeline. Get a long strip of butcher paper (or tape together several regular sheets of paper). Draw a line along the middle and mark the various major feasts and fasts, beginning with the Elevation of the Cross on September 14th. Then, have your children color pictures to represent these events. Glue them onto the strip of butcher paper and you have a Church Year Timeline!!!
To mark the progression of the year, you can cut out a cross out of colored construction paper. Simply pin it on the appropriate time of year with a push pin or use putty.