Gadgets, Books, and Cuddles: Tips For Taking Your Kids To Adoration

Gadgets, Books, and Cuddles: Tips For Taking Your Kids To Adoration

Gadgets, Books, and Cuddles: Tips For Taking Your Kids To Adoration

Do you have trouble working a holy hour into your schedule as a parent?

Why not make your adoration time into family-time?

We’ve slowly worked adoration into our family life and it’s been very rewarding. Here’s a couple of tips for taking kids to adoration and making it enjoyable as well.

Why adoration is important for kids

Adoration should be an integral part of your child’s faith development:

  1. It introduces your kids to the sacred. The adoration chapel has a certain aura. It’s just different; quiet, calm, and…holy. You can feel the presence of Jesus there.
  2. Part of the secret to introducing your kids to the Catholic Faith is the witness and example of other Christians. In adoration, kids see other adults besides you that love the Lord and take time to pray. That’s powerful.
  3. Adoration teaches your kids reverence. Mass can be a mixed bag here–some good, some bad. There are no bad examples in the adoration chapel. Everyone is reverent and respectful.
  4. This is a prime place for encounter with Christ. Jesus is really present in the Blessed Sacrament. It’s not visible but there is an effect…like being out in the sun. Whether you like it or not, you’ll get a tan.
  5. It gives your kids a dedicated devotional time.

Taking kids to adoration

My kids are 9 and 11 now so they’re pretty used to the drill, but it wasn’t always easy.

We started small. The key is not trying to do too much right away.

We began taking them to the chapel when they were toddlers. But we’d only stay for 10, maybe even 5 minutes…and not every week. Sometimes we let them walk around a bit if they stayed close. But, if they made too much noise or got fidgety, we’d leave and try again another day. Then we worked our way up.

I think dedicated adoration chapels work best. There’s less distractions. Sometimes adoration in the church can be good as well, especially for active kids that wiggle more.

What can kids do at adoration?

Activities during adoration fall into 3 main categories for us–gadgets, books, and cuddles.


An iPhone and iPad are a major part of our kid’s adoration experience. They use them to say the rosary with the iRosary app. It’s like saying the rosary, and a little bit more.

The beads move, there’s a picture to look at, and you can read the text of the prayers. I think it gives them the sense that, yes we’re praying, but it’s also kind of fun.


Reading must be the most popular activity for everyone at adoration. Every time I look around, that’s what people are doing. Why not kids as well?

But it has to be spiritual reading. You’re establishing adoration as devotional time. Lately we’ve been using the Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books & Media.


Rosary apps and reading are great, but an hour is still long for 9-11 year-olds. So, the last part of adoration is usually spent with hugs and affection.

This is also part of a larger strategy to make adoration full of “warm fuzzies.” You want to associate very positive feelings and emotions with going to church and doing church-y things. Hugs and cuddles are part of that. So, we often spend the last 10 or 15 minutes just enjoying the silence with some togetherness. Besides, what kid doesn’t love that kind of attention from their parents?

Adoration takeaway

I definitely think you should work family adoration into your schedule. It’s an excellent way to evangelize your kids and establish them in an amazing and powerful Catholic devotion.

Is it hard for them to sit still and stay quiet? Like anything with kids, it requires perseverance and patience. You have to work them into it. But if you put in the time and effort, I’m sure you’ll be rewarded. How could Jesus not want your kids to come to him?

Now it’s your turn. If you go to adoration with your kids, what activities do you have them do? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Copyright 2013 Marc Cardaronella


About Author

Marc Cardaronella is author of the soon-to-be released book, Keep Your Kids Catholic: Sharing Your Faith and Making It Stick from Ave Maria Press. He's director of adult faith formation for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO. He writes about parenting, evangelizing, and life re-imagined Catholic on his personal blog. Marc lives in Kansas City with his beautiful wife and two awesome, young boys.


  1. I love our Adoration time. My daughter is 6 and she has a special Adoration bag. Rosary and Religious books. A small notebook and a few color pencils, but I request that all pictures drawn have to do with The Lord or Appropriate themes. Lots of pictures of The Blessed Sacrament or Bible themes. Now that she’s growing in her reading ability, she has her own Sunday Missal, We read the Readings for the coming Sunday. It’s a wonderful blessing to share this with her.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      My youngest son is also an artist. We let him draw during adoration as well and he really loved that. The only problem at times was the loud erasing sounds. 😉 But other than that it worked fine. I agree that you should limit it to religious themes. That time should be about the Lord. Sunday readings are great too! Thanks for commenting!

  2. What a great article! I never really thought about taking my kids with me until recently when my 8 year old said he’d like to go sometime. I love your thought on how to make church a positive experience for children, as I don’t want them growing up thinking this was just something they “had” to do. Wonderful ideas! Thanks for writing.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      Thanks Lyn! Glad you liked it.

      We’ve taken that approach of creating positive experiences for a while with Mass as well. We make Mass a love fest with lots of hugging. The kids would spent the whole Mass on our laps until they were about 7 or 8. My youngest would still be there if he had his way but he’s getting too big. Still though, we spend the whole time with our arms around them giving them lots of love. Our strategy as been to associate Mass and adoration with love, and I think it’s worked pretty well so far. They still have a hard time every now and then but at least they know they will be lots of cuddle time. That goes a long way.

  3. Marc, thanks for a good new year’s resolution that is worthwhile and attainable. I don’t know why I thought adoration had to be a holy hour. With 6 children at home ranging in age from 3 to 13, it very well may only be 15 minutes. So I won’t be able to sign up for a hour time slot, but we can still visit. I like Dawn’s idea of an adoration bag. I have lots of religious books with which to fill it, but no iPad. They do have their own rosaries and rosary booklet. The books will only hold their attention for a little while. And I am afraid that color pencils may create disturbances over who gets what color when, if you know what I mean. Maybe I can get them each their own lttle box of crayons. Wish me luck. If I come up with something new that works for us, I’ll let you know.

    • Hi Kelly,
      Marc’s wife here. We have had great luck with separate tote bags. We tried backpacks, but oh, the zipper noises.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      Please do let us know Kelly. I’d love to get more ideas. And iPad is definitely optional…but fun!

      Yeah, go for as long as you can and then head out. You’re playing the long game. Each individual time is not as important as what you establish in your kids over their lifetime.

  4. I love it!

    While I love going to adoration, I have never been brave enough to take one or both of my toddlers with me. Maybe it’s time.

  5. My daughter loves Adoration. At first, she brought her Narnia book and her Children’s Bible, and spent some time curled in my lap. Now, she loves Adoration, and brings a saint’s biography or other spiritual reading on her Kindle. She likes getting as close as possible to the Holy Sacrament.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      What a cute image that is…your daughter getting as close as possible to the Blessed Sacrament. How awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  6. We recently went to a childrens adoration. It was very well done. A prayer and then a few minutes of adoration, then a song, then a few minutes of adoration etc. This was for a hour. I would guess there was about 15 kids there between the 4 families and they where all under 9. All the kids were very well behaved. It was a great experience, they do it once a month.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      We used to do something very similar to that. I agree, it’s really good. It does a great job of occupying the kids. What a blessing to have that offered. You should definitely take advantage of that.

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  8. Marc,

    My husband and I have separate adoration hours. This allows all the older boys the opportunity to go to adoration without out us having to bring the littlest ones We have only boys, very active,curious boys who once set off the alarm because they touched the glass case holding the monstrance before my husband could reach them! This is how the “you must be 4 years old to go to adoration” rule came into existence in our family.
    We homeschool and allow our boys to take their religion reading and memorization with them to adoration. In addition, they bring saint biographies, Amy Wellborn’s Prove It series, and different devotions they are doing at the time such as the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
    During Advent, they brought rosary kits and made the rosaries during adoration. While they made them, they prayed for the American solider who would be receiving the rosary.
    Thanks for the app suggestion. It had never occurred to me and I have at least one boy who I think would benefit greatly from it.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      Thanks for the great ideas Jenny! I’m going to get the Prove It series for my guys to read. Making rosaries is another awesome idea. I’m assuming it’s the knot rosaries…can’t imagine fooling with a bunch of beads in the adoration chapel. 😉

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      Yes, it is! So cool that you recognized it, Juliana! It is kind of medieval isn’t it? Especially with that stained glass. I never thought of that before, but it’s a good description.

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