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Early Childhood Formation

The Childhood Spiritual Formation Toolbox is a production of Central United Methodist Church Traverse City, in conjunction with the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church and the Northern Waters District.

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Early Childhood Formation Toolbox

Starting faith formation in early childhood is a wonderful opportunity to model and share God’s love with the littlest ones. Young children can know they are loved by God, the church is a safe place, and learn simple rituals to grow in their faith.

This toolbox contains videos, articles, ideas and more to encourage parents and caregivers who help young children to foster faith.

For Grown-ups

Celebrate Milestones

Honor special days in the life of your child or family such as:


First Steps/Word/Smile

Starting daycare/preschool

Starting Kindergarten

Keep a journal with these special days and write a prayer or blessing for each. It could be as simple as “Thank you God for new things!”

Faith at Home

Faith at Home Toolbox

With Kids


Nature Walk – talk about creation and thank God for the nature you see

Use toys to re-tell a Bible story


Prayers for Faithful Families by Traci Smith is an excellent resource with many prayers relevant to families

Try praying together at these times:

  • When changing a diaper
  • Bedtime
  • Brushing Teeth 
  • First Steps
  • Mealtimes

Recommended Resources

Board Books from Frolic & Spark House

Board Books from Beaming Books

Check out the Conversations from Sesame Street guides on this page

Congregation Resources


Ideas for including young children and families in worship

Supporting Parents & Caregivers

Ways to support parents and caregivers of young children

  • Parent groups
  • Parents Night Out
  • Co-op for stay at home parents
  • Connect with experienced parents
  • Trustworthy parenting resources

Faith Formation

Faith formation ideas for young children at church, including the nursery.