1. Prepare them for baptism.
This should start months before the baptism will take place. Make opportunities to discuss the meaning of baptism and what covenants your child will make, take them to the baptisms of friends and ward members, ask the missionaries to come over, have a special family home evening, etc.
Here are three great ways to do this:
Read a book about baptism, like this one by Michelle Leigh Carnesseca.
Play baptism jeopardy using this great template from SugarDoodle.
Use other treats and handouts, like this clever (and delicious!) Kit Kat mnemonic device. Get the PDFs for it here.
2. Take special photos.This is one of the most important events in your child’s life. The same way people take senior pictures or engagement photos, take time to take some photos. This will allow your child a chance to shine and feel special, and it will also impress upon him or her the importance of this event. Here are some of our favorites:
|Photo from Jamison Photography.||Photo from Cornerhouse Blog.|
Photo from C.Love.
|Photo from Pinterest.||Photo from Great Ideas.|
3. Help kids feel individual at the baptism service.
When I got baptized, we had a special Saturday service just for me alone. But when some of my younger siblings got baptized, they did so in a much larger event with all the other kids in their stake who had turned eight that same month. I remember feeling sorry for them that some of that specialness had been taken away. But there are still ways to highlight the uniqueness and spiritual experiences of each child there. This spotlight from Over the Big Moon is a great start, and they also have some great baptism printables if you follow the link.
4. Give kids something to commemorate the experience.
Young Women receive their medallion when they complete the program to show a rite of passage and their spiritual progression. I wear a ring on my left hand that reminds me each day of the love I have for my husband and the commitments we have made to each other. This isn’t a birthday celebration and we shouldn’t give gifts just for fun, but a couple meaningful items could help your child remember the covenants he or she has made and hold close to them. Here are some great suggestions.
Let your child pick out a special CTR ring. (Here are a few of our favorites.)
I received this exact framed poem and image of "My Three White Dresses" as a present from my primary teacher, and I still have it. You can read the poem here. You can also get a book version of this poem and one for boys, "White Shirts."
A lot of children get their first set of scriptures at age 8.
And this baptism pillowcase will remind them every morning and night.
My bishop gave me a framed poem with a pretty embroidered white handkerchief, and I still have those, too. The one pictured above is great because it's unisex and comes put together, or you can make your own. You can read several other handkerchief poems here (the one I received is #5).
5. After your child is baptized, don’t suddenly stop talking.
Remember that the #1 item on this list was to help them prepare for baptism, but just because they’ve now made that commitment doesn’t mean it’s okay to suddenly stop and move on with life as usual. The reason for a gift to commemorate their baptism is to help remind your child of the experience, and continued conversations are also crucial to helping your child consistently remember the importance and value of their baptism. Here’s a book that might help with this:
Available from Deseret Book.
If your child is nearing the right age for baptism, check out this great baptism preparation checklist from LDSBaptisms.com that starts a few months out and thinks of everything you should be thinking of for you.