How to Make a Prayer Table for Catholic Kids

When I teach Catholic ABC’s at our homeschool co-op, my class always finishes by putting together a prayer table and saying our Rosary prayers with our beginner Rosaries. Check out what goes on our prayer table.

Bible, crucifix, flowers, and a candle on a green table top set up as a prayer table for catholic kids

Here are the basics you’ll need to put together your own prayer table:

  • Table of some kind
  • Cloth
  • Standing crucifix
  • Bible
  • Vase/flowers
  • Candle
  • Any other religious trinkets you have around: small statues, holy cards, rosaries, religious medals, statues from incomplete nativity sets, etc.

First of all, I travel back and forth to my co-op class with this tub.

red box on table for prayer table

It holds everything I need for circle time and closing prayer. That way, when I am sitting in the circle with my preschoolers, I have everything I need with me. My snacks, crafts, coloring pages, etc. are stored and carried in separate bags. There’s a list of everything you need for circle time and closing prayer in my book. I use the tub itself as the prayer table. You could use anything, but wooden stools or fold-up TV trays would both make great portable prayer tables!

First, I remove the bag of my prayer table stuff from the bucket. Then I put the current correct color of Liturgical cloth over it. This is just fabric I picked up at the store- it hasn’t been hemmed or anything, which works out just fine.

green cloth on a box on a table for prayer table for kids

You need more objects for your prayer table than you have children in your class. Each child is called 1 at a time to choose an object and place it on the table. Again, there are more specifics about how to do this in Catholic ABC’s the book.

I made some tiny plastic vases out of plastic campaign cups from Dollar Tree. Just use regular scissors, and cut off the tops. This takes a little patience, and I did ruin a few cups before I got it exactly right, but I couldn’t find anything that did this well and was small enough to be portable. Also, they come 4 for $1, so no big deal if you break 1 or 2 of them.

hand holding a small plastic vase for prayer table

I got some fake roses at the Dollar Tree and cut the stems short enough to fit in my tiny vases.

white flowers in small plastic vase for prayer table

I love this stand-up crucifix from Autom, and I really like it! I thought that the kids would be able to hang the special intention medals, but it’s too hard for preschoolers to do. Still, it’s a great crucifix.

portable prayer table for catholic kids

This is my prayer candle for our table. I got the glass kind with a lid.

hand holding prayer candle for home altar

Post continues after this brief information about the Catholic ABCs Curriculum

Catholic ABCs Curriculum for Preschool and Kindergarten

Catholic ABCs Curriculum

Catholic ABCs is a hand-on curriculum full of crafts, printables, worksheets, saints, learning, and more for preschoolers and kindergartners. There are over 2,000 pages that you can use for multiple school years! (This is also a great supplement for 1st and 2nd graders.)

When I take the lid off, it becomes our holy water bowl. I pour a tiny amount of holy water in and let each child bless themselves before we begin praying. They love this! When class is completely over, I use the remainder of the holy water to bless my classroom, then put the lid back on the candle.

prayer table candle and holy water sitting on green table table top for prayer table

I let the kids put together the table however they want to, so it rarely ends up looking all tidy like this, but that’s okay. Sometimes they just like to lay the flowers right on the table, or prop the Bible up, or whatever.

I love this Catholic Picture Bible! It looks like a real leather Bible with golden page edges and everything. I adore this mature look even though it’s a children’s Bible. I think it’s so much nicer than something with cartoons on the front- plus, it’s really affordable!

prayer table for catholic preschoolers

Inside, each Bible story is 1 page and across from a beautiful illustration.

Beautiful catholic picture bible for children.

I think the stories in this Bible are better for older children (maybe 6-10 year olds?), but I don’t read out of this children’s Bible to my preschool class. If I’m actually reading to them, I’m more likely to use my Beginner’s Bible.

I always turn out the light the candle and turn off the lights before we begin praying. This really helps kids with the “mood” of prayer. (I don’t let the kids light or blow out the candle- that’s a job just for me.)

lit prayer table candle

Using this method, I can get 12+ two year olds at a time to sit quietly through a Hail Mary, Our Father, and Glory be. Seriously. Kids eat this hands-on stuff up with a spoon. So that’s my prayer table! If you’re interested in seeing how I lay out my preschool class, check out Catholic ABCs. I walk you through everything!

set up for prayer table for catholic preschool

Even if you’re just going to use this at home, it might be nice to have something that can be put away. This could be especially true if you have young kids or you don’t have enough space to leave out a family altar all the time.

Catholic ABCs Curriculum information


  1. cool 2b catholic says

    We have prayer tables, but for safety we have switched to the battery operated candles. They come in so many different sizes adn things now. No one can now bump or get too close to the burning flame this way.

    • We do, too; in fact, in our new ed. center at our parish, we aren’t allowed to use real candles (our insurance won’t let us–candles are only allowed in the church). We used battery candles in our Advent wreaths, & on our prayer tables. Most of us (catechists) do have prayer tables in the classrooms, making the classroom different than their classrooms in public school. Thanks for your ideas, Lacy!

  2. My husband’s family always had a permanent “altar” in their home where they kept their rosaries, statues, etc, and has brought up having our own many times in the four years we were married. I never cared for that particular idea because I like idea of statues and religious images being dispersed throughout the house, much like sacred images are found throughout the church building (our family home is our domestic church after all) rather than condensed into one little spot (which my toddlers would destroy, anyway).

    I DO like your idea, however, in terms of the liturgical-colored tablecloth, special prayer candle, and literary devotions. And the storage box, which implies that the altar doesn’t have to be left out all the time for the you-know-who’s to destroy!!)That might just be my favorite part.

    Thanks for another awesome post! Keep them coming!!
    God bless you and your family. 🙂

    • Glad you like it! I also like to have my catholic stuff spread out around my house, although I do like to have a May altar. Depends in my mood I guess. 🙂

  3. thank you so much for your website, and your pinterest boards. I just became a catholic last easter, and i have 3 kids. I was so overwhelmed about where and how to begin teaching them about our faith. Your blog has really encouraged me, I know I can do this now. Thank you so much for all of your work.

  4. Bert Weissensee says

    What a lovely website!

  5. Katie Fraser says

    Thank you for the lovely ideas. I can’t wait to try them with my kids. Could you share where you bought the portable tote? I’m not sure where to find something like that — I like how the handles snap on. Thanks!