Navigating Conversations about Faith and Spirituality with Your Kids

Talking about faith, spirituality and religion with young children can be a challenging task. Moreover, it can be difficult to determine the age at which your child starts comprehending religious concepts. 

“Young children are just beginning to make sense of their world, and it’s critical to highlight differences and diversities in our communities to help young children develop a respectful and inclusive view on people and places around the world,” says Elyse Handel, early childhood educator, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “During their early years, children notice similarities and differences with people around them. There are ways to support their natural curiosity in developmentally appropriate ways.” 

Consider these tips to help encourage their curiosity: 

Involve them in celebrations. Observe and participate in religious celebrations together as a family or community. This can give kids a firsthand experience of the traditions. Many religious communities have gatherings, events or social service activities, such as the Festival of Faiths ( happening on September 10  at University Park in Indianapolis.

Be open to their questions. Even if your adult beliefs and practices are well formed and seated in a particular tradition, try to see their questions through fresh eyes.

Learn together. If you are not well-versed in a particular religion, take the opportunity to learn alongside your child. This can be a bonding experience and promotes an open learning environment.

Use multimedia resources. Utilize age-appropriate books, videos and documentaries to present various religious beliefs and practices in an engaging manner.

Explore historical context. Discuss the historical events or stories associated with religions. This can provide a broader understanding of their significance. 

Explain the concept of sacredness. Introduce the idea that some places hold special significance for people because of their religious, historical or cultural importance. Discuss why certain locations are considered sacred. This exposure promotes cultural awareness and helps them appreciate the diversity in the world.

Sacred Places Exhibit Opens September 7, 2023 

The new exhibit coming to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Sacred Places, aids families in explaining religious and spiritual concepts and ideas through real people who share personal stories. This exhibit provides a welcoming and respectful atmosphere where families can delve into these subjects together, gaining insights into others’ beliefs while discussing their own. 

The exhibit’s staff, acting as photojournalists, will utilize captivating imagery and objects to facilitate conversations that connect families to the sacred places in the exhibit. Daily programs will also be available as an additional means for families to gain a deeper understanding of how people use these sites and forge personal and tangible connections.

More than 25 sacred places are featured, including Patan Durbar Square in Nepal (Hinduism); Wat Arun in Thailand (Buddhism); Rapa Nui, also known by some as Easter Island (traditional spiritual practices); St. John’s Church in Madaba, Jordan (Christianity); The Great Mosque in Djenné, The Republic of Mali (Islam); and Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue in Curaçao (Judaism).

As you prepare to visit this immersive experience, it’s important to think about your child’s prior knowledge or experiences. “It will be important for them to make personal connections between the exhibit’s stories, artifacts, and featured people and places,” Handel says. “Talk about your own family’s sacred place or what a sacred item in your household is. What is a sacred ritual or tradition in your family?”

The exhibit’s grand opening will be held on September 7, 2023, from 4-8 p.m. during $6 admission First Thursday.  The exhibit will close on April 7, 2024. 

To purchase tickets and for more information regarding Sacred Places, visit

Indy's Child
Indy's Child
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