Hinduism For Kids: How to Introduce and Expose Children to Religion

Hinduism for kids: How to introduce and expose children to religion
A question that I get asked often is how we got our little one so interested in Hinduism, the epics, stories, and the gods and goddesses. While we always planned to raise our child with our faith we never knew she would take such an interest in all the why’s and how’s from such a young age. From the very beginning we have tried to weave in religion and culture on the day to day. When she was an infant we would play a particular Ram Ji ka Bhajan that she grew quite fond of, likewise she has grown to love Krishna cartoons we’ve exposed her to and other stories about our faith. It’s been a gradual process, with her increasingly showing interest day by day. I think this is due to the fact that we have tried to incorporate religious and cultural stories within our daily routine vs making it a learning lesson only. It’s become so much a part of our everyday that it’s never felt like an extra task. Read along to see some of the ways we have incorporated religion at home with daily practices and ways you can encourage your little ones curiosity when it comes to your faith.

Daily Practice

Whether it’s lighting a diya in the morning, saying a nighttime prayer together, or doing family meditation, find something you can do everyday, together. Daily rituals help us all feel like our efforts are a part of our everyday vs feeling guilty for forgetting or not doing “enough”. Our daily practice at home is to do “jai jai”, say good morning and a prayer every morning before we start our day.

Refresh Yourself

It’s never too late to learn: I wrote a post where I shared a few of my favorite books on Hinduism that I found beneficial as a parent. With SO many questions from my little one I want to be well versed and confident when answering her. It’s also okay (and normal) not to know all the answers. There are times when I tell her, “I don’t know but we can find out”… to which her response is usually “let’s ask Nani” 😉

Hinduism for kids: How to introduce and expose children to religion

Weave in lessons and stories within day to day talk.

Children love stories, (I love stories) and as they grow older and more curious, the more details the better! Our little one always reminds me how she won’t waste dahi or dhoodh because of how much Lord Krishna loved it. It’s nostalgic of how my Dad would tell us not to waste food and how Lord Krishna helped the Pandava’s fill a very hungry Sage’s appetite with just two grains of rice. When she’s scared at night or has had a bad dream we remind her of how Lord Hanuman helps give you strength or how Lord Shiva controls all the “bad guys” and will always protect her. When she comes home with stories from her classmates and someone saying “girls can’t do this/that” we remind her of Durga Maa’s strength and how no one (not even a boy) could do what she did. Including these stories and lessons in everyday moments encourages everyone at home to learn and dig deeper

Fact vs Fiction and  myth busting

As you start telling more and more stories you’ll most likely get asked “Did they really happen Mumma?” or “Are they real?”. This is a heavy loaded question and all depends on your personal belief. I personally do not use the word “myth or mythology” when talking about our religion and it’s teachings as I find those terms question the validity. We believe that many of these events have occurred over time and like with anything told or passed over time, stories may have changed slightly or been exaggerated. We explain that there can be different versions she might hear as she grows up. So yes, we answer that they’re real, how they happened long ago so we could learn from the lessons along the way.

Hinduism for kids: How to introduce and expose children to religion

Make it a family effort

Enlist the knowledge of grandparents, aunts & uncles. The relationship between grandchildren and grandparents is simply magical, take advantage of this and have your parents tell them religious stories and lessons. According to my daughter “Nani’s know it all!”

Leverage your tools

We are so lucky to have a variety of cultural resources at our fingertips. Use them to your benefit and incorporate them into your playrooms. The more kids see toys and books they relate to the more interested they get! Get crafty with products from Toka Box and Kulture Khazana. Read them cultural stories with books from Mango and Marigold Press, T4Tales, and Desi Babies. Show them the power of religion with interactive toys from Modi Toys and Jai Jai Hooray. Listen to your favorite bhajans on JioSaavn.

[See our partners page for discounts on products from these and other amazing brands.]

Hinduism for kids: How to introduce and expose children to religion

Get children involved in festivals and celebrations

Go beyond just “clean the house for Lakshmi Maa or she won’t come” during Diwali. Have fun in making a checklist, decorate the house, play your favorite bhajans. My little one gets excited to “light the way home” for Lakshmi Maa and Lord Rama. Watch their eyes light up as you tell them stories on the eve of holidays. There is an absolute joy when your children count down to your festivals.

Visit the Mandir

Paying a visit to the Mandir not only helps strengthen the stories and lessons you’ve shared at home but it also sparks more curiosity. My daughter will analyze the murtis and ask when this happened or when that happened. There is also a wonderful feeling to be part of group prayer, a sense of community and belonging. One of our favorites is going to Mata ki Chowkis, the energy is infectious.

[Here’s a collection of over 30 children’s books on Hinduism and Indian Festivals.]

Hinduism for kids: How to introduce and expose children to religion

Participate in community events

It’s so much fun to celebrate together. As festive season approaches, look beyond the home to celebrate so your little ones can see their peers doing the same. Make your own traditions, host a diya making afternoon, have a friends Diwali party, enjoy a weekend Holi family get together, whatever you can do to make it more enjoyable.

Classes & Group Study

I went to Balvihar as an older kid to get a better understanding of the Gita with group sessions and discussions. Later I taught little ones at the same Balvihar. It was magic seeing them learn and grow together. If you’re a parent and want to discuss how you’re raising faithful children, make a small group between friends to discuss ideas, crafts, celebrate festivals + more.

I hope this post was helpful. Please let me know in the comments what else you’d like to see from us when it comes to Hinduism for kids. 

5 thoughts on “Hinduism For Kids: How to Introduce and Expose Children to Religion

  1. This is an amazing post Nisha. As a mother and a believer (like you), I hope I can raise a kid who knows best of my religion and its greatness. Thanks for your views.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I am not Hindu but my kids are. This will help me a lot to expose them to their religion. Krishna cartoons are my son’s favorite. Will surely look for more.

  3. I started doing research on the internet to explore the content around Hindu Culture as I am building a business that would build experiences around Hindu Scriptures. I kind of felt euphoric to see your content. Beautifully written and well expressed especially adding words like Ramji ka bhajan and ‘we do not call it mythology’ I just loved it, kudos to your work

  4. I m not a mum but love Hinduism or sanatan dharma and so teach it to all in a fun way . Both adults and children have enjoyed it so much that they have sat the Cambridge board exams of o levels and a levels . About 600 pupils have gone through these learnings and both my sisters and I have enjoyed every class

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