Parenting -Ideas and Insights - Baby Blankets

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Baby Activity Blankets for Worship
Ideas for Parents, Insights for others
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November 1997
    Babies are brought regularly to worship because they belong within the loving Christian community. Here, we surround them with the symbols of our faith. Those symbols will be resources to them throughout their lives; they will find those symbols all the stronger because they incorporate them with their earliest experiences. One concrete contribution we can make to "support them in their new life in Christ" is to provide baby activity blankets for use during worship.   

    The blankets should be small quilts, about 36 by 48 inches, appliqued on one side with a baby-appealing variety of shapes and textures safely stitched in place, and showing themes from the Word of God. Some appropriate themes (there are lots of others) include:  

    • The Tree of Life (or the Garden of Eden): A central tree bearing different kinds of fruit, one man and one woman, animals and plants in harmony, possibly a fence or hedge surrounding the whole.
    • Noah's Ark: A boat, a rainbow, pairs of animals male and female, the dove with an olive branch.
    • The Creche: The Manger, Mary, Joseph and the Baby, possibly the donkey and lamb. · The Good Shepherd: A biblical shepherd, a flock of sheep. ·
    • Fishers of Men: A boat, fish net, anchor, fish, fishermen. · The Heavenly City: Palaces, gardens, light, angels.
    • The Exodus: Water, people with flocks, tambourines and dancers, chariots in pursuit or being washed away.
    • The Burning Bush: The bush, a shepherd holding a staff or a snake, sheep.
    • Jonah in the Whale: The Whale, Jonah, a boat, stormy sea, the fig tree, the city of Nineveh.
    • Jesus blessing the children ·
    • The triumphal entry: Palm branches, Jesus and the Donkey, children.
    • The Baptism of Christ: Water, John and Jesus, the Dove descending.
    • The Resurrection: The empty tomb, the bare cross, flowers (especially lilies), butterflies.
    Re-read the parables of Jesus, or your favourite old-testament stories, to see if they incorporate important images you can use. Or look through an illustrated bible or bible-storybook. The symbols can be connected in a picture, or scattered about the blanket.   

    Use velveteen, satin, fake-fur, plastic, leatherette, sequins or beads (well stitched!) to provide tactile variety, on cotton or cotton-polyester. Large buttons and zippers entertain little fingers well; even small safe toys tethered by bias tape to a pocket may be incorporated.  

    Baby blankets MUST be machine-washable.
    Double-check and Triple-check stitching for security:
    make sure there are no choke-hazards on any blanket you make
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