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Christian Face Painting Ideas for Children

By Wanda Thibodeaux ; Updated April 18, 2017

Face painting for children is a common activity parents do with their children, but if you're a Christian parent you want to make sure that the design you choose for your child is inspiring, uplifting, and communicates what you believe about Christ. With a little planning, your child will have a face painting they love and which you know is appropriate.

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In most Christian denominations, doves symbolize peace, rebirth and submission. This has to do with the story of a dove returning with an olive branch after being released from Noah's ark, and the fact that doves are associated with the Holy Spirit. One dove idea you can paint is a dove in cupped hands. Another is a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. If you want a very complex painting, you might paint clouds and portray a dove flying upward to the heavens.


Animals frequently are referenced in scripture to describe characteristics of God. For example, Revelation 5:5 describes Christ as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Animals also play large roles in the story of the Garden of Eden and Noah's Ark. Thus, virtually any animal may be painted on your child's face, with the exception of snakes, which are associated with Lucifer (the Devil), sickness and evil. Good choices are "strong" animals such as tigers, or animals frequently associated with stories of the Bible such as sheep and donkeys. Keep in mind you do not need to paint the whole animal. You can turn your child into the animal by painting just the animal's face on the child's face. Kids often like this because they can pretend they really are the animal, and because it is more dramatic than just painting around the eyes or on the cheeks.

Verses and Words

An alternative to animals and other traditional symbols such as crosses is to paint verses and words in a decorative, elaborate style. You may do a single verse or word on each cheek (e.g., "peace," "John 3:16"), or you may create more elaborate designs like hearts or stars with the words or verses. This is a good option if you want to engage your child to talk about their beliefs, because others who are unfamiliar with the verse or who may not understand why you selected one word over another must ask for the background of the verse or word.

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About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.

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