Author Topic: Icon accessibility and kids  (Read 980 times)

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Offline Veronika

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Icon accessibility and kids
« on: April 28, 2011, 02:58:50 AM »
How have you all handled making icons accessible for children to venerate but at the same time keeping the icons safe? My 3 year old insists he 'need to kiss Jesus' several times a day. His acrobatics to try and do so are frightening and sooner or later something will get broken -- either the icons or his head. Still I am afraid of making them too accessible and having them get used as play things when I'm not looking. Any one else have this problem?

I apologize for any typos - posting from my phone.

Offline 88Devin12

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 03:28:49 AM »
How have you all handled making icons accessible for children to venerate but at the same time keeping the icons safe? My 3 year old insists he 'need to kiss Jesus' several times a day. His acrobatics to try and do so are frightening and sooner or later something will get broken -- either the icons or his head. Still I am afraid of making them too accessible and having them get used as play things when I'm not looking. Any one else have this problem?

I apologize for any typos - posting from my phone.

Not sure, but here in the Churches in Greece, they have the main icon on the wall or whatever it's mounted on, and then they have a smaller similar icon on a rail just below it. Usually most people kiss the smaller icon, as it's easier to reach. This also allows kids to venerate without adult assistance.
Not sure if that is why they do it but it is interesting nonetheless.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 04:18:35 AM »
I laminate icons and put them on the wall lower for the kids (I have 4).

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 08:59:27 AM »
At my church they have a prayer corner set up for the children.  All the icons are decoupage icons (made by the children? I'm not sure - I know they often make icons by decoupage in their classes).  The center piece is Christ Jesus with the little children, then smaller icons of the Holy Theotokos and St. John the Forerunner.  There is a box of sand in front of them so that they can light a candle for prayer.  The highest point is maybe four feet.  The children in the church cherish their prayer corner. 

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Offline biro

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 09:39:15 AM »
In my church, we have an icon on a stand, and there is a small block you can stand on if you need to. We also have some icons near the door, which are in cases, and these are tilted toward you. That helps.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 01:44:13 PM »
I think the OP is talking about accessibility at home, not at church.

Offline jah777

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 02:16:10 PM »
We have a few icons in the house that we have mounted on the wall low enough for the children to venerate.  They are reachable to the 7 and 4 yr olds, but my 2 yr old can only reach them with his hand.  Our 2 yr old has tried to "swing" one icon back and forth on the nail, but he only did this a couple of times.  We have some icons on the wall also above the beds, and my 2 yr old can reach the ones above his crib with his hand but he knows how to venerate them has not attempted to handle them inappropriately.  Otherwise, in our main prayer corner, we have a couple icons on stands that can easily be taken down and held for each child to venerate when we say our regular prayers as a family. 

Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 02:44:07 PM »
My priest actually sawed the legs of an icon stand, making it short enough for little ones to reach.
Note : Many of my posts (especially the ones antedating late 2012) do not reflect charity, tact, or even views I presently hold. Please forgive me for any antagonism I have caused.

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 12:26:23 AM »
I think the OP is talking about accessibility at home, not at church.


True, but there are examples at church that can be utilized at home. 
In His Mercy,
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 02:03:40 AM »
gee, all of your Churches sound so wonderful and child-friendly.  we will have to think about that at my parish. we've had quite the baby boom.  at my Church, we just lift the kids up to venerate.  they also are fond of climbing allover the pews and kissin the icons on the walls   ;D

Orthodox kiddies crack me up, yet inspire me by theyr innocent devotion.  we went to visit the Greek Church down the Church as a parish, and one little boy went around the whole Church, kissing all of the crosses engraved on the pews  :D

perhapse you could sturdily affix an icon to the wall low enough so the kids can venerate it, but stuck-on enough that they con't remove it?  would you consider making a kid's prayer corner at home?

Offline Robert W

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2011, 05:25:50 AM »
Our youngest girl, Alexandra, is two years old and she is constantly stealing icons from our icon corner. She runs around the house with them and has all her teddy bears kissing them.

Our solution to this "problem" is to only have inexpensive printed icons within reach. So far we have not had any icon seriously damaged, and I think our daughter will learn to not remove the icons before any such incident will happen. Should an icon be damaged to the point that it is no longer usable we will dispose of it in an approved manner.

It have never occurred to me that it would be a problem that our daughter loves icons. Wood and paint (or printed paper) can be replaced  but our daughters love for Christ and the saints is infinitely more precious.

Offline casisthename

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Re: Icon accessibility and kids
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 11:11:50 AM »
at the church I attend I often seen small children cross themselves, bow, kiss their palm and then lightly touch the icons. Maybe you could teach your children to do this assuming that so they could venerate but not damage it.