Two Simple Steps to Introduce Young Children to the Path
The First Step
basic core belief that is shared by both the Wiccan, Pagan and Native
American Paths is the love and worship of nature. This is a wonderful
first step to introducing even your youngest toddler to the Wiccan way
of life. It also allows you time outdoors with your child or children
and gives you a chance to enjoy the beauty and glory of nature as well.
Small bug-catching kits are available at many stores nationwide. This
gives your child a chance to study these small miracles up close and
then release them back to their natural habitat. Explain to your child
that all life is sacred, and while we may observe, we must also return
with a thank-you. Catching lightening bugs and putting them in a jar is
wonderful fun for both of you. Again, let them go before you go inside.
up a picnic for you and your children, decide where you are going, and
have your children help you pack what the nature around you would like
for picnic as well. Bread or seeds for the birds, water for the trees,
if there are squirrels, peanuts or walnuts. Enjoy your lunch while
teaching your children to care for the world around them. Even to
shaking out your picnic blanket and leaving food for the ants.
peanut butter and birdseed bird feeders are an excellent way to teach
your child to care for the God/Goddess’ small creatures. On a walk have
your child pick up a few large line cones. On the next rainy day, sit
down with your child, cover the table with newspaper or wax paper. You
will need your pinecones, a jar of peanut butter, crunchy or smooth,
birdseed, a plate, string or yarn and a spoon. Tie a loop of string or
yarn to the end of the pinecone for hanging. Help you child spoon
peanut butter all over and into the niches of the pinecone. Pour
birdseed on a plate then roll the pinecone in the seed. Make sure you
get all the peanut butter covered well with a layer of seed. Set them
aside and let them set. Take them with you on your next walk and let
your child choose where to hang them. Do this with an explanation that
the birds are beloved creatures of the God/Goddess, that by taking care
of them and feeding them you are giving praise for their creation.
you have the outdoor space, allow your child to make their own little
garden, planting the seeds of their choice. Let them tend their gardens
and see how their plants grow. Be prepared to eat any vegetables they
may choose to grow. You may use this to incorporate an understanding of
Imbolc and the rituals for growth and planting. It carries through to
the Ostara, as their plants peak through the earth, on to Beltaine, as
their plants have grown and matured. If they have chosen flowers, allow
them to pick them and place them on the family altar.
in a book that gives picture references of your local flora and fauna.
See how many from the book you and your child can find. Use this as a
tool to explain the many varieties of life which are all beloved by the
a warm evening listening to the sounds of the night. Have your child
try to name which creatures he/she hears that you have seen during your
daytime adventures. Enjoy with them the peace and tranquility of a
beautiful evening. Even children of a young age can sit and be quiet
for a few minutes to just listen and feel. It can be a good opportunity
to explain the Summer Solstice and the time of the year to watch things
grow and mature.
the season moves towards autumn, take some time with your child to
appreciate the fruits of the field. Find a project you can make
together, possibly making an apple pie. If you garden, let your child
help you with the harvest and watch as you can or freeze the bounty
from your garden for the winter months. This is an excellent time to
incorporate Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain lessons.
with Native American animal stories are a wonderful resource for
teaching young children. In this day and age of children’s television,
going back to a simpler time with well written and humorous stories, is
a beautiful way to spend time with your child. So many of these stories
have a subtle lesson behind them to teach. They will often inspire your
children to ask a lot of questions on the whys and wherefores. Be
prepared to incorporate the little lessons they learn from these
stories into your everyday life.
these simple ideas and others you come up with like them, builds in
your child a strong sense of balance and respect for and with nature
and the world around them. They are a stepping stone to understand and
acceptance as they mature and the nature of your lessons on Wicca grow
into worship, ritual and the Craft.
The Second Step
love to do what Mommy or Daddy do. If you have kept your altar hidden,
or behind locked doors, then now is the time to start an altar for the
entire family. It does not need to be glamorous or perfect, it is just
a place for your children to see as a sacred space in their home.
Choose a shelf, counter, bookcase top, wherever you feel comfortable
and set up an altar for family worship and community.
your child or children help. If their astral color is not one they
like, let them pick their favorite color candle, let them place leaves
or flowers they have found on the altar. Stones, shells and nut husks
are acceptable as well. Altar figures of the God/Goddess may not be
something for this altar. Let your child help you choose something they
feel is correct. An animal or bird, a dragon. Or keep fresh flowers and
some time each evening, when homework and dinner is done and sit
together. Light the white candles for the God/Goddess, then help your
child or children light their candle. Sit and give thanks for the good
things of the day. Discuss anything bad or upsetting that may have
happened and have your child write it down or draw a picture of it on a
small piece of paper. Fold or crumple the paper and place it in your
censer or a glass dish and light it. Explain to your child or children
that in doing this they are giving their troubles up to the God/Goddess
and they are free from them now.
the seasons change and the Sabbats and Esbats occur, decorate the
family altar accordingly, have you child help with this, explaining the
meaning behind what you are doing.
As your child or children grow, these two steps will be the cornerstones upon which you may base a lifetime of education.