Do We Need “Stuff” for Faith?

This post may contain affiliate links, including those from Your price won't change but it supports our family business here and keeps free content flowing. Thanks!

I’ve really enjoyed pondering the ways in which I share my faith with my children and how being a parent enriches my faith so far in the Faith of Our Children series, but this final topic threw me for a loop.

We’re supposed to write about the tools we use to build our children’s faith, things like prayer journals, children’s Bibles, and the like.



And there I sit.


First, my kids are only six and three, so they aren’t writing much yet.

Second, we don’t homeschool, so formal faith formation isn’t all that formal, at least not at home.

Third, 95% of all our “stuff” of any kind is in a 10×20′ storage unit right now, so we definitely aren’t currently using anything to enhance our kids’ faith, not even their big wooden Rosary beads that they both received at their Baptisms.

My question, then, is do we need things to teach the faith?

As an teacher and a Catholic, certainly I understand the value of hands-on learning.

In education we use “manipulatives” to help kids understand concepts and learn by doing, and in the Church we have our “sacramentals,” quite literally tangible holy items.

They have their place in the passing on of the faith, and you know I appreciate the traditions of the Church as I teach my kids about God. But I guess my new favorite tool for raising up little Christians is not a thing at all, just a habit:

A Conversation to Teach the Faith

I’ve started asking my son a new question at the end of the school day, and it’s changed the way I go about my day too. Instead of, “How was your day?” or “What did you do today?” I ask, “What did God say to you today?”

As the mom, I have to have an answer too, to help my 6-year-old have an example of how to listen to the voice of God in the course of daily living. It’s not always easy, and it makes me have a new awareness of the presence of God throughout the day in my own life.

Now my prayer is that I can remember to keep the habit up so that listening to God becomes second nature for my kids.

Maybe I need some”thing” to remind me…  ;)

Special Holidays

When the Church year provides us with special seasons to celebrate, we do have a couple “things” that have been really cool to integrate into our nighttime prayer routine with the kids:

You can find all the Faith of our Children posts here.

Read More from the Team

The other ladies on the Faith of our Children team have spectacular ideas for your holy library too:


I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

See my full disclosure statement here.

Powered by
Click here for my disclaimer and advertising disclosure - affiliate links in this post will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price.

16 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    I agree – conversation is the best teaching tool. My daughter is going to be six next week (!!) and she has a lot of great questions about God and faith. I pretty much let her take the lead on what she wants to learn, and that has worked well for us so far. My favorite question was if God talks to the dogs like he talks to us. LOL :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. says

    I don’t think we totally “need” more stuff for faith…but…if we have all sorts of stuff (games, hobby items, decoration, toys, etc.) in our homes, but NOT stuff for faith, I think it does send a message to our children about where our priorities lie. I’m not saying this should be taken to the point of a mathematical equation…but…if you can’t immediately tell what your faith is when you walk into your living space, but you can tell that you are very interested in (fill in the blank interest here), then maybe some thought needs to given to whether that aught to be corrected.

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. says

    I love your question “what did God say to you today…and that you ask yourself and your son that everyday.

    I just couldn’t resist…
    Not that we really need alot of stuff to teach our Catholic Traditions and Faith, but my little Catholic family apostolate (Arma Dei) just happens to make some of those things. Please check out our site…particularly our books: A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families and Hand in hand with Jesus. I think you might like them!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Thanks, Monica!

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Kathryn via Facebook says

    Faith is not built on “stuff” – faith is built upon seeing and hearing Mom and Dad talk about it and live it daily. It is praising God and thanking Him when he answers prayers – even those little ones.

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. says

    Church seasons can be helpful formation tools. For Advent, we put up a creche that is big enough to take the place of the Christmas tree. On Christmas morning, baby Jesus appears in the manger. Near Epiphany, the shepherds are replaced with the Wise Men. The Advent creche goes up just before Advent begins and stays until after Epiphany. We are considering something similar for Lent and Easter, but that is still in the works. I am leaning toward using the Pieta during Holy Week.

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. says

    I think it depends much less on the “stuff” we have around, and more on the time and attitude we have regarding Religion. We decided when we had kids that a nightly rosary and daily Mass would be part of our family routine, so that our kids would see our own devotion daily and hopefully learn by the example. As for books, stuff, etc… they all get a big rosary on their first birthday, and I’m going through the Baltimore Catechism with them as part of school. We also make a point to use and teach about devotionals like scapulars, miraculous medals, the saints etc. There is a great series of books (St. Joseph Series) that has childrens books on everything from Mass to the Saints, to Gospel writers, etc.

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. Sandy says

    I’m a childless Protestant, but for what it’s worth . . . my grandmother or someone gave me a large-print “Bible Story Book,” which was probably a big encouragement to reading the actual Bible. (I was reading in the sixth-grade section of the school library by the time I was in 1st or 2nd grade, so I probably outgrew it pretty quickly – start a kid with something like that EARLY!)
    Your Easter calendar sounds like a good idea. Honestly, I’m horrified by a lot of the kitsch sold in “Christian” bookstores (not to mention some of the BOOKS. I mean, Deepak Chopra? as an aid to Christian education? But I digress . . . I do that a lot . . . ). If you don’t have a good background of learning from which to teach your children, there are probably “learning aids” which would be helpful, but check them out very carefully yourself, first.

    [Reply to this comment]

Did you know I answer all questions, even on old posts? The KS community loves comments, so share your thoughts, questions, and related stories from your house – just remember to be respectful as if you were looking me in the eye sitting at my kitchen table.

If you have something to share with another commenter or can answer their question, just click [reply to comment] and they'll actually get an email with your response so you can have a genuine conversation. Thanks for making the site an even better resource!

Take a Bite (of conversation)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *