Get younger children excited about daily prayer by making a paper chain out of each day’s prayers. Here’s how.
by Jerry Windley-Daoust
Want a simple way to get younger children invested in daily prayer? Try making a decorative, colorful paper chain in which each link represents one of your child’s prayers.
This is an especially great practice for special times, purposes, and seasons:
- a novena for a special cause
- preparation for a sacrament
- the seasons of Advent and Lent (and the Christmas and Easter seasons, too!)
- the seven days leading up to Christmas (an O Antiphons paper chain)
- learning new prayers
- praying to the saints
- tracking different kinds of prayer
You can have your child write the text of the prayer on each link, or draw a picture if she doesn’t know how to write yet.
If you use this idea to encourage your child to memorize prayers, you can either put up one link for each prayer he learns; alternatively, for longer prayers (like the Nicene Creed), put up one link for each line learned.
If you use your paper chain to track different kinds of prayers (e.g., praise, petition, thanksgiving, intercession, blessing), consider using a different color for each type.
If you’re like our family, you’ll want to keep it simple: colored construction paper and glue or, better yet, tape. However, in the age of Pinterest, there’s no end to the cool crafty ideas you can use to spice up your prayer chain. For instance:
- cut strips from colorful wrapping paper scraps
- use printable strips, or Martha Stewart craft punches
- use special scissors to make wavy edges
- fold and cut the strips to make lacy designs
- intertwine the strips with bits of ribbon
- glue decorations on the strips: paper hearts, stars, or Christian symbols
- glam it up with glitter
Be sure to display the growing chain prominently, perhaps near your home oratory.
If you use this idea, be sure to drop us a photo and a comment at our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents.