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What are some good ways to integrate spirituality into a child’s summer day?
Start by helping children see God in all things.
This can be as simple as sending children outside to find one item that God made. They may bring back things like leaves or rocks. This gives children the opportunity to acknowledge bits and pieces of God’s creation, and gives you and your child a chance to talk about why they selected what they did and what uses it has in the world around them.
The second everyday practice for children is imaginative prayer.
This can begin by reading a bible story and placing themselves in the scene, choosing how they will interact with the characters, and talking about what they sense or feel. Think about the gospel story of the storm at sea, and being in the boat. Have them make the sounds of the wind and the sea. And then the calm. Silence. By pretending they are really there they can talk about their feelings sitting in the boat, whether scared or sad, and how after Jesus calms the storm they may feel glad or safe. This can lead to longer discussions about these feelings and times they have had them.
The third practice is to share an Examen prayer with children.
Examen takes a look at the day and where God may have been and just how they feel. The prayer can be simplified by asking children to tell you about something that happened to them today, asking them how it made them feel, and what they might want to say to God about it. What do they want to thank God for? What made them want to ask God for help?
The language of spirituality is also the language of children: imagine, feel, ask. Children know how to talk about things that feel right or wrong and when they are happy or sad. Take time each day to help children think about God active in their own lives!
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