As families find themselves spending more time together at home during the ongoing pandemic, parents and children alike are stretching their imaginative muscles to fill extra time on their hands due to canceled activities. Many parents are rediscovering the value of doing crafts, especially as a way to teach faith to their children.
Too often dismissed as “fluff,” craft activities in religious education can serve as effective concrete expressions of the concepts being taught. They can serve the same purpose as sacramentals: reminding us of the presence of God in our everyday lives. Recall that one of the first truths revealed about God in Scripture is that God is very creative!
The Creation story in the first chapter of Genesis portrays God as an artist, adding light, darkness, colors, shapes, textures, and ultimately beings to the cosmic canvas. For those who enjoy doing craft activities, it’s nice to know that God’s first act was just that: a craft activity! Creativity is nothing less than a divine attribute. As people made in the image and likeness of God, we resemble God when we engage in creativity, bringing something into existence through imaginative skill.
For a number of years, I have been recommending an excellent resource—Crafting Faith: 101 Crafts to Help Kids Grow in Their Faith—to catechists to assist them in doing creative and substantive crafts with their students. Now that parents are participating more in the faith formation of their own children, I highly recommend this resource for use in the home. Every activity is catechetically sound and grounded in Scripture and Tradition. And the ideas speak to all ages; you’re never too old to do crafts!
This is another reason that I am so excited about our Finding God 2021 edition: it takes craft ideas seriously! In fact, each unit has a relevant and engaging craft project with samples of completed projects shown on the unit tab dividers.
As children of God, we have inherited many of God’s traits and characteristics. God’s creativity is “in our DNA.” We can either squander this inheritance or put it to good use so that when we exercise our creativity, we will move one step closer to resembling the Creator of the Universe, in whose image and likeness we are made.