Encouraging Kids to Kneel- How to Make an Easy Kneeler

Kneeling is an important part of our faith, and is referenced in scripture many times.

1 Ephesians 3:14 “For this reason I kneel before the Father”

Acts 9:40 “Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed.”

Kneeling is a sign of humbleness before God, and this is definitely something we want to teach to our kids! ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought a kneeler would be a great addition to our home altar, and so we went for it!

encouraging kids to kneel

We kneel in Mass, and that’s easy because (generally), kneelers are provided for us, and everyone kneels in unison. But it is important to teach our kids how to kneel on their own, and also to kneel in Mass even when the rest of the congregation chooses not to.

kneeling angel symbol

The above “Kneel” symbol is from my book, A Picture Book of the Mass. The symbols appear throughout the book indicating when to sit, stand, or kneel. Having a book like this can really encourage kneeling, because especially in a Mass where the congregation may not kneel, or in a small Mass (such as daily Mass), having the confidence to absolutely know when to kneel and get up can make the difference between kneeling, and not.

Now, do you need a kneeler to kneel? Absolutely not. I attended Mass at World Youth day in the middle of a rat infested field, and you can bet that we all got right down and knelt directly in the mud. However, having a kneeler is a great way to encourage others to kneel. There’s no surer way to get someone to kneel than to simply provide a kneeler.

In an attempt to encourage kneeling at bed time, and during family rosary, we decorated our very own kneelers using garden foam kneeling pads. I got ours at the Dollar Tree for $1 each, and I grabbed the yellow ones because they were the lightest in color, so I thought they would decorate the easiest.

garden kneeling pad

Supplies Needed to Craft a Kneeler With Kids:

On my kneeler, I wanted to decorate around the edge with a rosary design. *Hint* You want to leave the large areas in the middle open without decoration because it won’t be comfortable to kneel on fabric paint bumps!

To make a rosary design around your kneeler, start by drawing the string with a black sharpie marker.

making a kneeler

Then, add the Our Father beads with large dots of fabric paint. There are 5 decades, so you can evenly spread out the Our Father’s in a square shape on your string.

how to decorate a kneeler

Fill in between the Our Fathers with 10 small Hail Mary dots in each decade. Add a cross as well.

rosary decorated kneeler craft

Again, notice that in the big open area where my knees will actually be while kneeling, I left open spaces without decoration.

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On the back of mine, I wanted to write a quote about kneeling. I’ve seen this quote a lot on Pinterest: “When life gets too hard to stand, kneel”, so I went with that one.

decorate a kneeler for kids

When drawing on these with sharpie markers, just use a good amount of pressure so it fills in the texture dents. Let your kids decorate their own. Seriously. Don’t be a perfectionist… just let them do it themselves. They will like it better this way, and it’s good for them. Different age groups will have different abilities- that’s ok. Your 3 year old may just scribble on theirs. That’s what my 3 year old did.

decorate a kneeler with kids

My 5 year old tried to copy mine.

write on a kneeler

My 7 year old did her own thing.

kid decorated kneeler

Then my 1 year old took a bite out of my kneeler. Seriously. I should have taken a picture of it. But for those of you who always want to know how I craft with so many kids, that’s how we roll around here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s it. This is a simple one. Your children may want to store these under the edge of their bed to use for night time prayers.

Possible Uses for Portable Kneelers:

  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Familiy Rosary
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Outside Mass
  • Adoration
  • Bring to Churches that don’t Provide Kneelers
  • Outside Prayer of Any Kind
  • Inside Prayer of Any Kind

Yep, that pretty much covers it. ๐Ÿ™‚

decorate a portable kneeler

As long as you’re on the topic of kneeling, go over with kids proper kneeling etiquette, and the reasons why we kneel. Teach them especially about keeping their bottoms off the pew (or the back of their feet) while kneeling. Kneeling is different than sitting on our knees.

Although these are fun, and they only cost a dollar, and the work great, I still have my eye on these beautiful kid’s kneelers from Catholic to the Max. The box lid even opens to store holy cards or rosaries. So beautiful! Perhaps for Lydia’s First Communion next year….

Related Posts:

Picture Book of the Mass


  1. Wonderful kneelers! I had thought of trying to use these foam kneelers and somehow sew a cover for it that would fold in half and have handles to carry as a sort of bag to my mom’s church and not be so ‘obvious.’ They do not have kneelers, do not provide temporary pads (like our old church did when they were still building), and very few kneel during Consecration. The hard bare floor hurts these old knees for hours and kneeling on my purse doesn’t always work :).

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring kneelers.

  2. How serendipitous! I have been pondering ways to encourage kneeling too, we have hardwood floors…I don’t really like them using the sofa pillows, and so I was thinking of maybe looking for some other small pillows. This is much better! They will love this! My teenager was reading over my shoulder and we both burst out laughing at your one year old taking a bite out of yours…that would SO happen in our house.

  3. Niiiice!! I’ll have to check into buying some kneeling pads. My kids always used our sofa pillows, but we just don’t have enough pillows to go around. Nope, 4 pillows with 9 kids is just not working! Thanks for the idea, Lacy! God bless!

    • krissy knox says

      Jenniffer, I don’t know you, but I just wanted to say thank you for being open to life! 9 kids! That’s great! I know we’re supposed to be open to life anyway, but I just wanted to stop to say thank you, as you said your “yes” to life, just as Mary said her “yes”! God bless your 9 kids and God bless you. ๐Ÿ™‚
      krissy knox ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. THIS is a fantastic idea!

  5. krissy knox says

    Thanks for the fantastic idea! So practical; so important. And you’re creative too! Thanks for the idea, I’m definitely going to be making some of these for here at home. Fortunately my church has kneelers. But I want to have some for home prayer. And I’m just coming up w an idea! i think this would be a great gift to give to families you need a gift for. You could make a prayer mat for each member of the family, and give each family member a mat as their gift. You could even send the mats in one big Christmas package together to the family, with a mat in for each family member. Imagine their delight as each mat is pulled out, each w a different name on it. Each adult and child would be waiting i n anticipation for the mat to be out that has his or her name on it! That would be fun. I’m going to pick up some of these mats in the summer/spring, and save them to make for Christmastimes (so i’ll have them in the winter), and to have them on handy to make on birthdays as well. What do you think? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I love this idea and am so glad I re-found it! I grabbed two rounder garden kneelers on clearance this am at Walgreens and am kicking myself because I did not pick up a third for my niece!!

  7. LOVE this idea, My homemade kneeler is still too hard on my bad knee, I am going to have my Son made me one of these ๐Ÿ™‚