Helping Children to Learn and Memorize Catholic Prayers

There are so many different ways to pray and we are blessed in the Catholic church to have many memorized prayers that we recite. While this is only one way to pray, it is so important to have those prayers memorized as oftentimes in a crisis when we are at a loss for words, we fall back on those prayers that we have memorized. Helping children to learn and memorize Catholic prayers will help give them an arsenal of prayers to use in times of struggle.
Ideas for helping kids memorize Catholic prayers such as books, puzzles, lapbooks and more.
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Tools for Successfully Memorizing Prayers

One of the best ways to have children prepare to learn and memorize Catholic prayers is to make sure they have the correct words easily accessible to them. This applies mostly to children who can read independently. Non readers aren't going to be able to follow along with the words, so this would be ineffective for them, but could be helpful to parents, caregivers, or catechists to make sure they have the correct words to teach their child/student.
Using Catholic Prayers Lapbooks to help students learn to pray

I start our year off in religious formation by creating a Catholic prayers lapbook. I include only the prayers that my first graders are expected to know by the end of the year so as not to overwhelm them. During one of the first classes, we assemble these lapbooks. To save time, I often have the prayers cut out so that they just need to glue the prayer to the file folder, glue the title on like a flap and then glue the cover to the front of the file folder. If there is extra time they are allowed to color in the cover or the pictures on the prayer titles.

I like that this Catholic prayers lapbook has a flap over each prayer. This is intentional so that students can try to cover up the prayer if they think they can say it without help, but they can easily lift the flap to double-check if they need help remembering a word. There is also a checkbox system where they can decide if they have mastered the prayer, are still practicing, or if the prayer is completely new to them.

Some of our students already know these prayers or quickly master them. At that point, I will print off new prayers to add to their lapbook and we call them "challenge prayers" to keep them motivated to learn and memorize more prayers of the Catholic church. 

I like sending this home for students to practice at home because then I know they have the correct words and parents don't have to look them up if they are unsure of the words themselves. It is a resource for all ages! 

As my daughter was using this and working to memorize prayers in first grade, we realized how often our family says prayers quickly so the girls never really memorized the correct words, just what they thought they heard. So we are using her lapbook, looking up the exact words, and slowing down as we recite them together.
Catholic prayer lapbook in spanish

I also have this version translated into Spanish to help the students and families who speak Spanish as their primary language. Send home both English & Spanish or just one of the two for your families.

Repetition of Catholic Prayers

The best way for children, especially young children and non readers, to memorize prayers is to hear them over and over again. The more they are exposed to the prayers of the Catholic faith, the more likely they are to remember those words. Here are some simple times and places where practicing these prayers would be beneficial:
  • At Mass - attending Mass regularly will help little ones learn the prayers that are said during Mass. This won't teach them all the memorized prayers of our faith, but it is a great start for prayers like the Our Father and the Creed
  • At home - say these prayers regularly together at home. During a specific prayer time is great but also practice them at meals, during play time, while you are cleaning up, etc.
  • In the car - in the car is a great chance to turn off the radio and practice those prayers over and over again. Pray them together or have your children repeat them back to you
Some ways to help that repetition to stick but not become boring:
  • You say the prayers over and over and let them join in when they can
  • Start the prayer and have them fill in missing words
  • Have them echo you - say a line and have them repeat it back
  • Sing it as a song

Make Memorizing Prayers a Game

Memorizing prayers with Catholic Prayer Puzzles

Another great, no pressure way to help kids memorize Catholic prayers is to make it into a game. Prayer puzzles are a fun way to practice putting prayers in order. With this type of puzzle, children will put the prayers in order vertically.
Memorizing prayers with Catholic Prayer Puzzles

Another option for prayer puzzles is to take an old cheap puzzle, flip it over and write the prayer on the back. Then break the pieces apart and practice putting it back in order using the words of the prayer to help. 

Writing Catholic Prayers Out

For some learners, writing prayers over and over helps them to memorize the prayers. This should not be used as punishment as in, copy this prayer 50 times. Rather it should be done as practice only if the student can handle it, and it actually helps to memorize the prayer and get those words stuck in their head.
Catholic handwriting practice to help with vocabulary and prayers

I created these Catholic handwriting pages, not only so that my girls could work on letter formation and be exposed to Catholic vocabulary, but so that they could also start writing out prayers they already know and start adding new prayers to their collection. We focus on a page a day, starting with the letters and working their way to the prayers once they've mastered writing all the letters, upper and lowercase. 
Catholic handwriting practice to help with vocabulary and prayers

If your child/student already has good handwriting and knows how to correctly form letters, skip and just start working on the prayers.

Free Catholic Prayer Challenge

Free Catholic prayer bingo to help kids learn about and try all different kinds of prayer

Some kids are motivated by a challenge. Try out this Catholic Prayer Bingo. Encourage children & families to try out different ways to pray to get a BINGO - or they can attempt to cover all the pieces of their bingo board. There are memorized prayers included along with other forms of prayer. There is even a blank version that you can type on in Adobe if you want to add other forms of prayer not included.

To download Catholic prayer bingo, enter your name and email in the form below, then check your inbox. The file should be automatically emailed to you. If you have any problems getting your freebie, try our FAQs for help.

Free Catholic prayer challenge to help kids learn about and try all different kinds of prayer