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Want to help your kids pray the rosary? Try these 4 aids

Parent handing child rosary

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Cecilia Pigg - published on 01/16/24

It can be challenging for children (or adults) to focus while praying the rosary. Here are some practical tips and aids that can benefit the whole family.
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I grew up praying the rosary every evening with my parents and siblings. It was a beautiful habit to have, and a good way to end the day together. But often, instead of actually praying the prayers, my lips moved while my mind wandered over the day. I wasn’t praying; I was just sitting and thinking. Some days I fought distractions harder than others. But spending time in prayer became sit and zone-out time more than not.

My dad came up with creative ways to help us kids (and I am guessing himself as well) engage in prayer rather than daydreaming. I’m excited to implement his ideas in my own little family. Right now, though, we just pray one decade of the Rosary together before bed. I have hopes to institute the full Rosary one day — and for now have collected some materials of my own to help our kids (and my husband and I!) engage more fully in our nightly decade. Here is a list of my favorite resources alongside my favorite of my dad’s rosary aids from growing up.

Look at expressive imagery

Looking at an illustration of what is happening to Jesus in the decade we are praying is an instant way to engage your heart and mind in prayer. We have this set of Rosary posters, and let the boys take turns choosing which mystery we will pray. They can then find and display the appropriate poster for us all to look at during prayer.

This Rosary ring has hand-drawn images of the mysteries so that you or your child can study the image while holding it.

Pray with a book

Another of our family’s favorites is this Life of Jesus book. It features one line of scripture for each Hail Mary in the mysteries of Christ’s life. The picture accompanying each mystery shows wooden figurines in collages with everyday objects. It is a unique way to present the mysteries that, paired with the Scripture verses, has engaged our kids’ hearts and our own. The book is large and hardcover, which makes it more beautiful for prayer and helps it stand up to the wear and tear of time.

Taking the idea of meditating on an image of the mystery to a whole new level, these bead-by-bead books for kids, give an easy-to-read line of meditation along with an illustration for each bead in each decade of each mystery of the Rosary. Our oldest, a new reader, loves leading the decade by reading the reflection for each Hail Mary, and turning the page for the next bead.

Child praying rosary with image of child's rosary

Draw the mystery

Growing up, my dad would occasionally give us each a piece of paper and a pen and tell us to draw an image of each mystery as we prayed. After prayer, we would look at each other’s pictures and explain what our imagery meant. It added a whole second layer of reflection post-Rosary, as we talked about our own pictures and listened to others share what they had drawn. Mom and Dad would draw as well, and we loved getting to see what their drawings were like.

Add a few words

In between each Hail Mary, as you pray, add a few words to help you stay focused on what is happening in Christ’s life. My dad did this growing up, and I’ve seen that the short meditation helps the person coming up with it and the people hearing it. For example, if you are praying the fourth sorrowful mystery, the Carrying of the Cross, you might pray “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus falling for the first time” or “meeting His mother.”

For more background information and fruit for meditating, this book provides some good reflections to go deeper with this prayer. Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

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