4 Tips To Teach Kids How To Make the Sign of the Cross

When I was volunteering at Vacation Bible School over the Summer, my station met in the church, so we taught each group that came through how to genuflect and make the sign of the cross before entering. I was SHOCKED at how many kids (up through 5th grade!) could not do these basic things correctly! We had to re-cap with each group every day that week before entering. It seriously blew my mind!

Now, I wouldn’t expect that the children of a Catholic Icing reader couldn’t make the sign of the cross correctly ;-)… but maybe some of you are teaching CCD this year or have a preschooler and would like to start with the basics.

1. Use a mirror! They had this mirror in Lydia’s preschool class last year. Tape pictures of the sign of the cross around the edge and let the kids see themselves as they practice.

You can use this sign of the cross coloring page
for the pictures- it’s free to print!

2. Use a sticker! Kids often get mixed up with which hand to use. That is easily corrected! Just put a cross sticker on your child’s right hand. Tell her that this is her right hand- the hand we use to make the sign of the cross.

3. Do it backwards. I found that when standing in front of a group of kids, teaching them to genuflect and make the sign of the cross, it really helped to do it backwards with my left hand. This way I was a mirror image of them. (This is tip I gleaned from doing exercise videos. It’s so much easier that they do it backwards for you!) Alternately, you can stand in front of the group and face the same way as them to help.

4. Make a craft! You knew I was going to suggest a craft, right? I’m actually planning on making this with my kids this afternoon- a sign of the cross necklace! Isn’t this great?!

Do you have more tips or know of fun activities to teach kids the sign of the cross? As always, feel free to share your links in the comments! :-)

Celebrate Trinity Sunday with “Trinity Sundaes”

Ya, I’m pretty much obsessed with the idea of Liturgical Sundaes because they’re so easy! This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday (the Sunday following Pentecost), so without further adieu, I give you the Trinity Sundae:

Neapolitan ice cream was no-brainer: 3 flavors, one ice cream. The trinity: 3 persons, one God. I also set out shamrock doilies left from St. Patrick’s day because the shamrock is a very popular symbol of the trinity.

What a yummy treat for a hot Summer day!
A few years ago for St. Patrick’s day, I made trinity shamrock bowls out the bottom of Sprite bottles. You can see the my post on how to make shamrock bowls here. I couldn’t find our shamrock bowls for these Sundaes, but I did look for them. :-/ I’m seriously the least organized person in the world!
If you’re in an ice cream sort of a mood this week, Spell Outloud has a whole post on playing ice cream shop with your kids with printable labels, menus, and recipes for ice cream scented play doh! Too cute! Your kids could run their own Liturgical ice cream stand! ;-)
So, Trinity Sundaes… easy? Check! Yummy? Check! Educational? Check! Giving your children a love of the church? Check! You have 3 shopping days before Trinity Sunday to pick up some Neapolitan ice cream, and your kids and I definitely think you should do so. ;-) How does your family celebrate Trinity Sunday? Leave your ideas and links in the comments!
Related Posts:

Religious Shamrock Craft for St. Patrick’s Day

Catholic ABC’s Week: 24 
Letter of the week: T
Theme: Trinity
Saint of the Week: St. Therese
Craft: Trinity Shamrock Craft

This week we are learning about the letter “T”, and what better time to learn about the Trinity than for St. Patrick’s Day?! I just love when the whole world is celebrating Catholic feast days! :-)
For this craft, all you need is green fun foam, plastic craft string, and stickers. I actually got a whole package of shamrock shaped fun foam from the Dollar Tree- 8 of them for $1, and half of them were already glittery! (Although the stickers won’t stick to the glittery ones). The plastic string is also available at most Dollar Trees, and certainly at craft stores. If you can’t get shamrock shaped foam ready to go, you can cut them out yourself- just do a google search for a shamrock template. You can also print shamrock lacing cards for free from Chalk in My Pocket.
Once you have your shamrock, just punch holes around it with a regular hole puncher.
Give your kids some plastic string and let them lace their shamrock. You could also use yarn if you put some tape on the end or have a plastic needle for them to use. Lacing is good for their hand eye coordination and motor skills. It’s also a lot of fun! ;-)
Once their shamrock is laced, have them add symbols of the Trinity. We used a heart to symbolize God the Father, a cross for God the Son, and a Dove for God the Holy Spirit. (The heart symbol was totally inspired by Karen’s Adventures in Mommyland!) I actually got all the stickers from AC Moore- it was a package of stickers for Vacation Bible School. The whole book of them was $1.
These were easy to make and came out pretty cute!
This craft is another good match for my St. Patrick Trinity Song for kids! We also read our Catholic Children’s Treasure Box Book 17, which is about the Trinity. Have you even heard of the Treasure Box Books? I need to type up a whole post about these books to I can rave on and on about how adorable they are!

Grab Bag Ideas for the Letter T: (be sure to check out the Classroom Scriptfor directions on using the grab bag.) Truck, Train, Tiger, Table (from a doll house), Tennis ball, Triangle, Tank, Tap shoe, Tape, Tea bag, Tea cup, Tie, Tissue, Tongue (from Mr. Potato Head), Tools, Toothbrush or Toothpaste, Top, Tractor, Turkey, Turtle, Tu-tu, Twisty tie, T-rex. (Avoid words that start with “Th” for new learners).

For More Resources, check out the Catholic Toolbox lesson plans for the Letter Tt. (Her Tt lesson is on the the Ten Commandments.)

Catholic ABC’s runs here at Catholic Icing every Wednesday with the new letter of the week. You can find the details of the program here.

Catholic ABC's

Catholic ABC's Curriculum

Saint Patrick Puppet Craft {And a Linky!}

Ya’ll know I’ve been obsessed with making paper bag saint puppets, so today I bring you Saint Patrick! :-)

The one above is made with just a lunch sized paper bag, paper, glue, and googly eyes. I drew on the crosses with a marker. Here’s a picture of the pieces before they went together:
His beard is shaped like a heart. 
I folded the paper in half and cut it out like this:

I also folded my paper to cut out my shamrock:
Then I assembled him like so with school glue:

Before I glued my pieces together, I let my daughter use the pieces I cut out to trace her own pieces so she could draw and cut them out herself. She just turned 5 last month, and she made this whole puppet by herself! I am so proud! 
I love how she glued the staff way up on his hand like he’s balancing it! For her shamrock, she traced our shamrock shaped cookie cutter and cut it out. I tried to get her to use cotton balls for his beard, but Vee from Paper Dali has a St. Patrick coloring sheet where his beard is black, and well…. Vee is a lot smarter than Mommy. Lol! ;-)
Here’s mine with a cotton ball beard:

The one above has a pipe cleaner staff, and the doily shamrocks I got at Michael’s. I love them! :-) Wa also used some gold glitter glue to put the crosses on our shamrocks. Remember while you’re doing this to explain to the kids how St. Patrick taught about the trinity using a shamrock.

I decided they were so cute that I wanted to display them on the mantle in our dining room! So I just opened up the paper bags and slipped them onto liquor bottles.
The cute banner came from the Dollar Tree.
I hope you enjoy this Catholic St. Patrick’s Day craft- I know we did! These puppets are just too much fun to make with kids! Now I want to see what you’ve been doing to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick! If you have a post to share about St. Patrick’s Day, please link it below! :-)