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You may wonder how to pray the rosary. You may be even more curious how to pray the rosary with kids! Will they sit still? Will it be distracting? The short answers are, “No, they probably won’t sit still,” and “Yes, small children will be distracting at times!” Even though it will be difficult, God always give us the grace to do exactly what we need to do. If you are truly faithful and diligent about teaching your kids how to pray the rosary, He will provide! I will also give you some helpful tips to get started praying this powerful and beautiful devotion. 

I am going to give you 7 steps/resources to help you pray the rosary with kids so that:

  • You can teach your kids all of the basic and necessary Catholic Prayers
  • You can experience a fruitful and peaceful prayer time as a family
  • You can teach your children the power of stillness and prayer

Now is a good a time as any to commit to praying the rosary with your family. You can do it with prayer and perseverance! Read on to learn how. 

Why should we pray the Rosary?

When Our Lady of Fatima appeared to the shepherd children, she told them to “Pray the rosary everyday in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.” Our Lady also revealed 15 promises to those who pray the rosary. Many saints have spoken about the importance of praying the rosary. It is a powerful spiritual weapon that all Catholics should have in their prayer arsenal. 

pray the rosary

How to pray the rosary with children in 7 steps

  1. Get into the habit of praying the rosary yourself
  2. Start small with the children
  3. Have realistic expectations
  4. Use rosary, aids, books and songs
  5. Make a rosary craft
  6. Pray in a group
  7. Adapt when necessary

Step #1: Get into the habit of praying the rosary yourself

The best way to teach our children is to lead by example. First, make a commitment to learn and pray the rosary yourself. Make your rosary beads accessible by wearing a rosary bracelet or hanging them in a prominent spot . Dedicate a time when you will pray. Maybe you can commit to praying a rosary every Sunday at first, and gradually increase to every other day and then everyday.

What if I don’t know how to pray the rosary?

It’s truly a great time to be a Catholic! There are TONS of free resources to help you learn to pray the rosary. Youtube has plenty of options. You can put one on and pray with it to guide you. Here is a simple one with with a visual to help you follow along:

I recommend that you do not multitask when you pray the rosary. Set aside 15-20 minutes to spend time with Our Lady and she will guide you to Our Lord. Think of how much time we waste scrolling social media. Another idea is whenever you get the urge to scroll, open youtube and grab your rosary! You will be happy that you spent those 15 minutes contemplating the mysteries of Our Lord’s life!

Step #2: Start small with the children

Now that you are familiar with the rosary, it’s time to introduce it to your kids! It takes time to establish a new habit or devotion. As I suggested for increasing your own devotion to the rosary, introduce it little by little to your kids. If you are already in the habit of praying night time prayers with them, start saying the rosary at night. Start with 1 decade each day. Pray the 1st Joyful Mystery on Monday, the 2nd Joyful Mystery on Tuesday, etc. Switch to Sorrowful the next week, followed by Luminous and Glorious. 

Step #3: Have realistic expectations

Make sure to set realistic and reasonable expectations when you first start praying the rosary with your children. Small children will have a hard time staying peaceful and still, and older children may protest or complain if they are not used to it. Stay strong in working to establish this devotion in your family, but also be patient and loving. Your expectations of a baby will be different from your expectations of a teenager.

Over time, your children will get used to the routine and the wiggling and complaining will decrease over time. It is acceptable to allow small children to play with a quiet toy or book. They are still listening and absorbing everything. A child who has reached the age of reason can be expected to kneel or sit reverently and follow along with their own rosary beads, book, or other aid (more on these below). It is important for the older children to be a good example to the younger children.

It can take time for a child to become comfortable using a set of rosary beads to keep track, so be flexible with this as well. Maybe they prefer their fingers. It’s also great to involve children who want to lead a decade. 

A rosary with children will not always (ever) be a quick 15 minutes. It may take longer, so allot time for that so that your aren’t rushing and becoming impatient. Your mood and attitude will rub off on the children – whether you are peaceful and prayerful or whether you are irritated and annoyed. Teach your children to love and look forward to this time with Our Lady.

Step #4: Use rosary aids, books, and songs

It is a great time to be a Catholic kid! There are tons of rosary resources at our fingertips. Holy Heroes has fantastic rosary resources for kids, especially these illustrated books on each mystery. They are pricey, but would be a great addition to your Christmas and birthday lists! They are well worth it.

Every Catholic baby should have one of these rosaries so they can participate!

Some children may like a more detailed rosary book with scripture like this to follow along with:

425320: Scriptural Rosary for Children

Scriptural Rosary for Children
By Jude Winkler / Catholic Book Publishing

Scriptural Rosary for Children uses Scripture to help children to reflect on the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary. Beautiful illustrations complement the Scripture passages. Ages 3 to 8; 32 pages; 5½ X 7?.

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Everyone learns better with songs, so try singing a decade with your children. Or, you can sing each Our Father and the 10th Hail Mary of each decade so that your children know when the decades are starting and ending. Try singing the Hail Holy Queen in Latin for a fun and beautiful challenge!

Step #5: Make a rosary craft

Everyone loves a new rosary to pray on, and children love to pray with ones they made. We love these easy pipe cleaner rosaries from Catholic Icing.  Easy enough for little hands!

For slightly older children these books are a huge hit, also from Catholic Icing. I created a free printable of the mysteries and prayers (in English and Latin) for you below to include in these books or just to print for your reference. The *’s denote how to break up the prayer when praying in a group. The leader says the prayer up until the * and then the group responds with the part after the *. We glued them at these spots inside the book. Note: We couldn’t fit the Apostle’s Creed or Fatima Prayer when we included the Latin, so just keep that in mind!

Step #6: Pray in a group

Many parishes have groups that meet before or after Mass to pray the rosary. This is a great example for your kids to see others praying the rosary too! If your parish doesn’t have a group then start one! 

It’s also great to pray with other families with small children. Maybe you can form a monthly group of families that gets together to pray. A parish nearby us has First Saturday rosary and treats for kids. Each child gets a (real) rose and brings it to a statue of Our Lady one by one on each Hail Mary.

We have even used candles when praying in a group at our parish. We asked families to volunteer to come up and light the candle for each Hail Mary or each decade. The kids and parents loved it!

Step #7: Adapt when necessary

Raising children is hard and praying with children can be too! If meltdowns or fights are starting to occur, stay calm and troubleshoot with your spouse how to handle it in  the future. Don’t give up! Make sure you have set up clear expectations for the children during prayer time. If children are cranky during the rosary, maybe choose a different time of the day. 

It can also be peaceful to pray a rosary in the car on longer drives. Use a rosary audio track to guide you and have rosary beads ready in the glove compartment for everyone!

Now you know how to pray the rosary with children

You CAN pray the rosary with children of any age! With some dedication on your part, little planning, and trust in Our Lady anything is possible! 

Please leave any questions or suggestions about praying the rosary in the comments!

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