My husband Steve works in the information technology business. (You think I created this website by myself!)
Taking a page from his industry, we thought it would be a good idea to make the faith formation resources that I originally designed 10-plus years ago available via “shareware.”
Among other things, the genius behind the shareware approach is its recognition that the global “we” is smarter than any individual “me.”
In other words, I may have a good idea, but when I make it available to other people by sharing it at no charge – and with the internet, that means everyone in the world who can get access to a browser connected to the web – then my good idea has the potential to bloom into one or many more really great ideas – pretty exciting!
So, with that in mind, we henceforth make available to anyone that would like to use them, the following Pocketcard designs. Just click on each of the pictures below and you should get prompted for a zip file to “Open” or “Save” that contains the printable pages for each year.
A few caveats before you begin downloading:
First, it’s been a number of years since we produced our first designs, so we had a hard time finding some of the files, especially for the baptism day card through 3 year olds. And, even for the complete 4-8 year old cards, the original designs were for an 5 3/8″ x 8 3/8″, or 16 1/8″ x 8 3/8″ when all three panels are unfolded.
It’s okay to print smaller sizes on your home computer on regular or legal-size paper, but to print the original size you’ll need to go to FedEx Kinko’s or some other professional copier/printer shop.
Second, when you click on the photos to begin the download, you may want to look at the “Downloading Instructions” that I asked Steve to post. It’s a pretty straightforward process, but if you have any questions or are unsure, then hopefully they will provide some reassurance.
Third, once you have downloaded the files, you can use any number of publishing or photoviewing software products to look at them and print them. There are a mix of files, so you will need to use something that reads Postscript (both PSD and PDF) files. Steve favors Google’s Picasa, because it is free to download and has lots of features, but other software works just as well.
And fourth, by downloading and printing these files, you agree to use them under the Creative Commons license (…yep, my husband Steve’s idea again). What this license mainly means is that you agree to share credit for the Pocketcards with Faithkeepers, even if you alter the images, add your own to them, excerpt parts of them, etc.
This is true whether you use them for private use, as well as if you use them, for example, as part of a Sunday school class or church fundraiser. Here are the license details. (Don’t worry, you’re not signing over your firstborn puppies!)
Pocketcards by Faithkeepers are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Based on work at the Faithkeepers blog on WordPress.com.
Okay, enough with the caveats! Here are the Pocketcards, along with descriptions for each. Have fun and blessings to you and your godchildren!
“Go then to all people everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…”
The Baptism Day gift card (we call them Pocketcards at Faithkeepers) is ideal for the newly born child, providing ample space for written thoughts to be recorded from parents, sponsors, and others about the special occasion.
A “to do” list is included of activities for faith development of the newborn child during its first year. And a water drop charm (we call the charms “Keepers”) – symbolizing the “swirling of water and God’s Word at baptism” – is recommended to go with the Pocketcard.
We recommend sterling silver for the Keepers, because they look good and last.
“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God…”
The First Year Baptism Anniversary Gift Packet is intended for children ages 1 to 2 years old. Parents and sponsors have ample space to record memories of the child’s baptism, special prayers, and a story about their own baptism or faith experience to be read by the child in years ahead.
A list of suggested activities for faith development is included, along with a simple cut-out game for the parent/sponsor and child to share.
A sea shell Keeper – an oft-used Christian symbol for baptism – is recommended to be included with the Pocketcard.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life…”
The Second Year Baptism Anniversary Gift Packet is intended for children ages 2 to 3 years old. Space is provided on the cards for parents and sponsors to pass on favorite songs, poems, verses, in memory of the child’s baptism anniversary, and special stories they want to share about Jesus’ love for the child to read in years ahead.
A list of suggested activities for faith development is included, along with a fun, cut-out game and photo spot for the parent/sponsor and child to share.
A heart Keeper – the spiritual “center” of our bodies and symbol of love – is recommended for the gift packet.
“Holy God, Mighty Lord, Gracious Father, we give you thanks, for in the beginning your spirit moved over the waters…”
The Third Year Baptism Anniversary Gift Packet is intended for children ages 3 to 4 years old.
Also included are faith development exercises and several activities, such as:
- do-it-yourself play dough recipe
- stickers to create different people
- flower seeds to plant and marvel at God’s creation, in the garden or kitchen flowerpot
- “puttin’ leaves on the tree” – a cut-out game for the child and parent/sponsor to play
Space is provided on the cards for parents and sponsors to write about favorite things God has created and reflect on special gifts God has given them that they want to share with the child.
A mirror Keeper is recommended for the Pocketcard, symbolizing the reflection of God that we can see inside each of us.
“When the bow is in the clouds, I will remember the promise between God and every living creature…”
The Fourth Year Baptism Anniversary Gift Packet is intended for children ages 4 to 5 years old.
Included are faith development exercises and several activities, including:
- a colorful rainbow chain to construct and use for games and wearing
- mini, paper cut-out figurines of Noah and his family
- a paper animation of the story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood
Space is provided on the cards for parents and sponsors to write about times they felt God’s love, as well as their special prayers for the child and words for future encouragement…captured forever.
A rainbow Keeper is recommended, symbolizing the truth that God’s promises are forever.
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out!”
The Fifth Year Baptism Anniversary Gift Packet is intended for children ages 5 to 6 years old.
This is also the first year in the Faithkeepers series that the child is invited to write his or her own memories, answering questions such as: “when are times you have been scared?” “did you know that God is always with you?”
Additional exercises for faith development and interactive features include:
- “trading cards” – numbered 1-12 – telling the story of Joseph with original art, reinforcing the message: Trust in God
- a carbon paper drawing pad for children to trace the cross and draw pictures
- a baptism certificate, suitable for framing, that the child can personalize and seal with a gold label
Space is provided on the cards for parents and sponsors to write about times that God took care of them when they felt scared and share their memories of special people that helped their faith grow when they were young.
A candle Keeper is recommended, symbolizing the call to “trust in Jesus.”
“The sheep hear his voice as he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out…”
The Sixth Year Baptism Anniversary Gift Packet is intended for children ages 6 to 7 years old.
Ideas for faith development and several activities are included:
- a mini-booklet for the child to cut-out and make, telling an original story about a lost sheep and its youthful rescuer
- a “talking lamb” puppet, made of paper, that children can make and play with to tell stories
- a maze, that children can work to help the lost sheep find its master
Space is provided on the cards for parents and sponsors to share with the child ways they think God speaks to them and a favorite image about Jesus being the Good Shepherd.
There is also a place for the child to write down their impressions about Jesus: “what does his voice sound like?” “when was a time Jesus took care of you?”
A lamb Keeper – symbolizing that Jesus is our Good Shepherd – is recommended to go with the Pocketcard.
“For us a child is born; to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Might God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The Seventh Year Baptism Anniversary Gift Packet is intended for children ages 7 to 8 years old.
Ideas for faith development and several activities with the Pocketcard include:
- a unique drawing of Jesus’ face with hidden symbols, and a “mad lib” story of the creation, for children to exercise their imagination
- a “cause & effect” activity that shows how the actions we take have an impact on others every day
- instructions for hand-made paper boxes, that symbolize new birth because of the unique way that they fit inside of each other
Space is provided on the cards for parents and sponsors to share with the child their favorite stories, especially emphasizing Christmas memories and hymns.
There is also a place for the child to write down their thoughts, including: “favorite parts of the story of Jesus’ birth” and “favorite Christmas traditions.”
A manger Keeper – symbolizing the humble, human birth of Jesus the world’s savior – is recommended for the gift packet.
“You must put on a new self, which is created in God’s likeness, and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. Be kind and tender hearted to on another and forgive one another.”
The Eighth Year Baptism Anniversary Gift Packet is intended for children ages 8 to 9 years old.
Ideas for faith development and several activities include:
- a fun drawing activity that let’s your child re-imagine the last supper, using a fun window flap technique in several spots
- a fascinating, shutter image activity that combines a picture of your child and Jesus in a one-of-a-kind, interactive piece
- recipes for healthy living to go with a recipe for a healthy bread rolls that you can bake with your child
Space is provided on the cards for parents and sponsors to share with the child their favorite stories about friendship and forgiveness.
There is also a place for the child to write down their thoughts on subjects such as “what they think about people who are different from them” and “what they can do to encourage others.”
A bread-and-wine Keeper – symbolizing the last supper – is recommended to go with the Pocketcard.
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So, that’s it. That’s as far as we got. We have doodles for what to design for those “tween” years, beginning with 9 years old through middle school, and beyond. But, let’s do it together. Post your ideas or send us your thoughts. We look forward to hearing from you.