Legends of St. Francis describe him as a gentle and generous man who loved and protected animals. He was said to be able to connect religion with nature and find the Divine in all living things. What a beautiful concept to teach our children (and ourselves): "To find the Divine in all living things".
Learning about Saints is a part of the second grade curriculum in Waldorf Education. Telling the stories of Saints and Heroes is a way to introduce the idea of a regular, imperfect human being transforming into something great. Many Christian faiths also celebrate the Saints, however; you do not have to come from a particular religious background to appreciate the sentiment and importance of helping children foster a love for animals and the natural world.
Some ideas for you to celebrate this special time with the children this week:
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter
- Bake special treats for the animals you love
- Make pinecone bird feeders
- Create a wildlife journal and sketch and record all the animals you see
- Go for a walk with a special pet
- Offer to help care for animals in your neighborhood
- Collect food and supplies for pets in need
- Attend an Animal Blessing held by a local place of worship
- Go birdwatching
- Put out a birdbath
- Start a pet sitting business
- Donate to an animal rescue foundation
- Consider becoming an animal foster family
What are ways that you help teach your children to respect and appreciate animal life? One of our followers indicated that they do so by being a vegetarian family. We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.