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! 🙂


  1. I taught myself a song when I started studying Catholicism in college – unfortunately I can’t upload the music file here, but I can tell you the words.

    “Father God, be on our minds;
    Christ, his Son, be in our hearts;
    Holy Spirit, surround us – your wisdom to impart.”

    Basically, it not only reminded me of where to touch and in which order, but it gave me something tangible to think of when I make the sign of the cross, as to why I’m making this somewhat awkward gesture. It’s habit now, and I don’t always think about why I’m crossing myself, but when I catch myself doing things by rote and without thought, I can sing myself this song. (:

  2. The song to accompany the sign of the Cross is precious and so perfect–children learn so well when something is put to song or rhyme. thank you for sharing and I hope you don’t mind if I teach this to my students in our Religious Education program at my church.

  3. Thank you Sanda for the little song. I am going to take it and put to to the tune of “Mary had a little lamb” and teach it to my Gr. 2’s. I hope that is okay, thanks in advance!

  4. Laura Focaracci says

    I tell my three year old students:
    We think about God the Father, (touch forehead)
    We love like Jesus the Son, (touch heart)
    We are strong with the Holy Spirit. (touch shoulders)

  5. Catherine Baranek says

    I heard an idea for the “Holy Spirit” part of the prayer. Children always get confused which shoulder to touch. Tell the children to give themselves a hug. They have to reach across to the left shoulder and give themselves a hug.

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