Let’s be honest. Praying with little kids isn’t always fun. My five-year-old and three-year-old are famous for swinging rosaries at each other’s heads like lassos or urgently discussing who has the better water cup color, that is if they aren’t running around in circles while I try to engage them in prayer.
But just because it’s hard or doesn’t always work out like we think it should does not mean we stop trying! Even if it doesn’t seem like it, they are learning to pray from us, and we need to continue to model this for them!
There is a time to teach them to be respectful and quiet, such as at Mass, but I would encourage you to try some fun ways to pray too so that they can use their excitement and energy in a way that also praises God!
Here are some of my favorite fun ways to pray with little kids:
1. Make Prayer Time Active
A few years ago, I discovered Soulcore which is a really cool exercise program that combines stretch and strengthening exercises with praying the rosary. I went on to become an instructor, and realized that this is also a good way to pray with my kids! They have so much energy that it helps to remove the expectation of sitting still and quietly for prayer. It’s so much fun for them, and I get some exercise in too! You can also combine prayer with other physical activity like jumping jacks, stretching, or even on walks.
2. Make Prayer Time Creative
Another beautiful way to pray with your kids that they will also find fun is through art. I like to find printables from Catholic Icing or other websites and print them off. We talk about the Saints or scenes in the coloring pages and use it as a fun way to learn more about our faith together. Another fun idea is to ask your kids to draw out what they are thankful for, as you would write in a gratitude journal. It’s a great way to talk about gratitude and also to cultivate their love of art!
Make Prayer Time Visual
Keeping visual reminders for prayer around the house is another fun way to keep it top of mind. This can be through images and icons, crucifixes, rosaries, Baptismal candles, or anything else that has a special and prayerful origin. I like to point out the different icons throughout the day and we talk a lot about how we pray for intercession through Mary and the Saints.
Make Prayer Time A Game
We watched a random Christian Bible show on Youtube a few weeks ago and they had a fun segment on memorizing a scripture verse. As someone who grew up Catholic, this isn’t something I felt ever had much emphasis, but I’d like to teach my kids! In the show, they combined the phrases of the verse with hand movements to help the kids remember it. I have started doing this now with our Catholic Bible version, and it’s been so much fun!
Make Prayer Time Musical
One of my personal favorite ways to praise and connect with God is through song, and my kids love it too! Right now, we usually ask our Echo to “shuffle songs by Matt Maher” and have a dance party. There are so many other amazing Christian musicians you can try this with too! If you don’t have an Amazon Echo, try searching on Spotify or Youtube. The possibilities are endless!
And as a bonus, here are some fill-in-the-blank style questions you can use with your little ones as prompts for prayer time, whether it's with your normal prayer routine or with any of the ideas listed above!
I hope this post inspired you with fresh, fun ideas to mix up your prayer time routines with your little ones! It’s so important to teach them the importance of prayer, and these ideas can help bring it to them in a fun and creative way, in addition to what you’re already doing now. And don’t forget, even if it doesn’t seem like it, they are always observing you and learning from wha you’re doing, so make sure to continue your own prayer routines so they can model that aas they get older!