When my children were very little, my husband and I brainstormed, "How can we make God/Jesus real in our home?" How does a toddler come to know that God and Jesus are real -- when they can't be seen?
We first decided to let them be seen. We read Bible stories (The Beginner's Bible) with colorful pictures. Then, I found a greeting card that had a picture of Jesus and a little lamb. I cut it out. Every night before bed, as we said our goodnights, we hugged and kissed the kids and then we all told Jesus "Goodnight." Holly would kiss His picture and say, "Night, night Jesus! I love you!" She knew about Jesus from the Bible stories that we read, but the picture solidified things. As she got older, and she could understand the abstract concept of God being a spirit (as much as we humans can understand the concept), the picture was put away.
When both our kids were a little older, but still preschoolers, we read about the last trumpet sounding and Jesus' return. We wanted to make that memorable and real as well. We pulled out the mattress from the sleeper sofa and laid it on the floor in the family room. We handed out noise-makers (party horns). As Daddy read the story and reached the part about the trumpet, we all blew our horns! Then, as we heard that Jesus was in the air and we were going to rise up to meet Him, we all jumped up and down on the mattress, trying to jump as high as we could to meet Him. We did this several times over a few years and my kids still remember it -- almost 10 years later!
I had a friend long ago, who was very interested in making Santa real for her kids. When her son reached the age of 12 and began to question that fact, she and her husband worked extra hard to keep him believing the fantasy. They created a video of Santa coming on Christmas eve that probably bought them another 2 years of belief. I thought she was going a long way to lie to her kids. I would much rather go the extra mile to teach them the truth and have them believe that. If you've done something special to "make it real" for your kids, please post a comment. THANKS!