A stumbling block that is often encountered for Druid parents is the lack of “programs” for teaching their kids Druidism. A number of Wiccan children’s books/activity books have become available in the last couple of decades, but only a limited amount of that material will really “cross-over” to ADF Druidism.
So I’ve come up with this guide, which is mainly made up of links to previous blog articles I’ve written on the various subjects of Indo-European Druidism for children, and links to some other websites, books, etc. You could arrange these suggestions into a schedule, a curriculum, or make flexible plans and follow your child’s lead. Many of the suggested books can be found at a library, or scored for cheap, used. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to do this. It is, however, an excellent use of your time and effort.
Most kids love being outside. Developing a love and respect for Nature is at the heart of what Druids want to give their kids. My article Nature Study for Pagan Kids contains several suggestions for nature study as well as links to camps and scouting programs, and ideas for blending hearth culture lore into your child’s nature education.
Hearth Culture Stories: Fairy Tales & Mythology
Fairy Tales convey the underlying philosophy and values of the culture. Fairy tales also fulfill a psychological need in a developing child, and clues to the deeper mysteries and themes of a culture’s mythology are hidden within. In my article Fairy Tales, I go a little more into the subject and review some of our family’s favorite illustrated fairy tale books.
Mythology is the next step, and through myths your child will learn the lore of the family’s hearth culture, and about the deities and spirits. Norse Mythology for Kids and Celtic Mythology for Kids are simple guides to teaching children mythology, mainly through densely illustrated books, and a few other ideas. For other hearth cultures, simply follow the suggestions I laid out in Norse Mythology for Kids, but with well written and well illustrated mythology books for your particular hearth culture. Greek and Roman illustrated mythology books are easy to find. I especially recommend D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. For some of the other cultures, you may have to dig a little deeper, or come up with your own illustrations to supplement unillustrated books.
The Three Realms: An Introduction for Children is mainly a Celtic perspective but may be adapted for other cultures that have a tripartite cosmology.
The Triple Hallows- an explanation for children offers a narrative for explaining the ADF concept of the Three Sacred Hallows of Fire, Well, and Tree.
The Cat Analogy is a humorous and useful tool in explaining the logic of polytheism -from John Micheal Greer’s A World Full of Gods.
A Child’s Introduction to the (ADF) Three Kindreds offers a simple narrative to explain one of the basic concepts of ADF Druidism.
A child may learn the ways of her/his family hearth culture that older family members model through their actions; such as daily customs (prayers, devotionals), sayings, and such. Celtic Paganism in daily practice and Celtic Pagan Daily Spirituality – when there’s no time for ritual describes what some of these customs might look like for Celtic Neopagan hearth culture. My article Cultural Practice (ADF Dedicant) describes a more Anglo-Saxon -based daily spirituality (with a bit of Celtic in the mix). Regardless of hearth culture, you may find these articles helpful toward developing in your child a daily spirituality routine:
A Druid Child’s Altar illustrates some ideas for children’s altars.
A Druid Devotional for Kids in a small collection of children’s prayers.
ADF Ritual/Prayer Beads is a good project to make with your child when you feel she/he is old enough to start learning the sequence of ritual.
A Druid Child’s Ritual was written for the child who is a little bit older and has taken an interest in doing their own rituals.
Just as hearth culture is modeled through actions, the same can be said for Druidic spiritual values, and indeed hearth culture practices will most likely be interwoven with the values and virtues of said culture. Values may also be reinforced through memorization of the Nine Virtues of ADF Druidism, The The Nine Noble Virtues For Kids (Norse), or Triads for Celtic Values, and made into bookmarks or written out in calligraphy and framed as further aid to memorization.
Magic & Divination
A Child’s Introduction to Magic will give you ideas and resources, as well as a printable for a magic-one-page book.
Divination for Kids will give you some ideas for what kinds of divination methods to start with and what to progress toward. In addition to this, you’ll want to teach your kids the omens and portents imbedded in our culture’s nursery rhymes…
One crow is sorrow, two crows mirth, three crows a wedding, four crows a birth.
Your child will learn a great deal through being a part of family or community rituals. In the beginning, when your children are quite young, you may consider keeping the High Days simple with an unscripted family ritual (see High Days – unscripted) or a celebration that is more about the customs than ritual (see The “No-Ritual” Plan for Celebrating the High Days). Here are some specific ideas for getting kids involved with celebrating the High Days:
Kids’ Activities for Yule
Crafts and Traditions of Imbolc
Celebrating the Spring Equinox with Kids
Bealtaine for Kids
Kids Activities for Midsummer / Summer Solstice
Kids’ Activities for Lughnasadh / Lammas / Freyfaxi
Autumn Equinox Crafts for Kids and More Autumn Equinox Activities for Kids
Kids’ Activities for Samhain / Winternights
and Introducing Samhain to Children