Teaching children about the Holy Spirit can be challenging, as some kids may see the concept as abstract or unfamiliar. However, incorporating crafts or artwork into the lesson can help children apply the concept of the Holy Spirit to their own lives, and can also help those students who might learn more easily through drawing, colouring or making artwork.
One idea for crafts to use in a lesson about the Holy Spirit is to allow children to make birds. The lesson can begin with a discussion of why the Holy Spirit is usually represented as a dove. You can then ask children to draw doves or create birds through some other media, such as painting pictures or wooden models from a craft store. For more involved craft activities, you can also use papier-mache, modelling clay or another medium that can produce a three-dimensional bird. Adventures in Mommyland suggests cutting apart a paper plate to create a dove model (see Reference section).
Fire and Flames
An additional craft idea can focus on the theme of fire. As artists often depict the Holy Spirit as being associated with flames, supported by references from the Bible, students can create their own artistic representations and can discuss how the Holy Spirit might inspire them or metaphorically set them on fire. Very young students can make construction-paper flames and glue them onto paper. Older students can use smaller construction-paper pieces or even beads to create mosaics depicting flames.
The Bible also refers to the Holy Spirit as being associated with wind. You might begin a lesson on this topic by asking students to describe what wind does or why it is important. (Answers might include that it brings fresh air, makes the old new or brings change.) Students can then elaborate on how these functions are similar to the ways in which the Holy Spirit can act in our lives. A related craft might include having students make a wind catcher or wind chimes; you can purchase materials at a craft store for either of these items, though both are slightly more expensive than paper-based crafts.
Whatever craft you choose, you should try to select activities that help students to think about the importance of the Holy Spirit, and make connections to their own lives, while also completing the craft. Consider also incorporating themes related to the Holy Spirit, such as wisdom, courage and grace, into drawing, painting or other activities; depending on their age, students may even want to create an abstract representation of some of these concepts. Loyola Press also suggests making bookmarks with Holy Spirit themes (see Reference section). Most important, select a craft that is appropriate for your audience's age and skill level, and balance craft time with discussion of what you hope the students will learn from the activity.