31 Quiet Resources to Engage Your Kids at Adoration


Image by Olu Eletu (2015) via StockSnap.io, CC0

Kids at adoration?

I heard you shudder.

Some time ago I wrote some tips for taking your kids to adoration. A large part of that was occupying them with quiet, holy activities during that time.

Over the years, we amassed quite a few resources for accomplishing this feat, so I thought I’d share some with you.


One of our strategies was integrating gadgets, which were mostly iPhones and iPads, into adoration time. Here are some apps we found helplful:

1. iRosary: This is my favorite rosary app. I like it because you can customize the look of the beads, chain color, and style of crucifix. It’s great for adding a little visual interest. There’s sacred art of each mystery, and you can pray the Divine Mercy chaplet, as well.

2. iMissal: Readings of the Day and Saints of the Day

3. The Divine Mercy Chaplet video: This is a You Tube video. You can pray with the app, but it’s fun to listen to it also. Make sure you have ear buds if you’re going to do this one.

4. The Bible App for Kids: I love this free app from YouVersion. It has cute animations that move when you tap them and questions to answer about the story. It covers all the major stories from Old and New Testament, including some you don’t normally see like Ruth and Elijah vs. the prophets of Baal. The best part is, at the end it has a short gospel presentation! Get your ear buds out for this one too…the animations make noises.

5. The Beginner’s Bible App: This is a good app too, especially if your kids are familiar with The Beginner’s Bible series in print form. It’s free but that only gets you six stories. Additional stories require in-app purchases–$1.99 individually and $20 for the whole set. While that won’t break the bank, it could be a turn-off. The added bonus here is the app will read to your kids and highlight the words as it goes. Kind of cool.

Books for younger kids

By far you’ll get the most bang for your buck from having your kids read books. They have to be religious books, though. The best deal is a series. If your child likes the author, you can mine that for all it’s worth.

These are picture books and shorter chapter books for younger kids.

6. Book of Saints Series by Fr. Lovasik: This is a classic. There are something like 15 books in this series. Perfect for young readers.

7. Loyola Kids Book of Saints by Amy Welborn

8. Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola: St. Patrick was a favorite, but there are several other Catholic books by Tomie dePaola. He is a master.

9. King Nimrod’s Tower by Leon Garfield  (Author), Michael Bragg (Illustrator): A fun telling of the Tower of Babel with a great message. We read this one over and over.

10. Magnificat’s Magnifikid: Kid-friendly Sunday Mass readings.

11. Magnificat children’s books: These were nice, concise Bible summaries.

  • The Illustrated Gospel
  • The Illustrated Parables of Jesus
  • The Illustrated Miracles of Jesus
  • The Illustrated Acts of the Apostles

12. The Bible Wise Series by Carine MacKenzie

13. Catholic Heritage Curricula:

  • Rare Catholic Stories
  • Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls
  • The Little Apostle on Crutches

Books for older kids

These are longer chapter books. Ideally, you would reserve these just for adoration so your kids don’t run through them too quickly. Again, a series is key.

14. Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Press: These are fantastic and there’s at least 24 of them. They have various authors.

15. Saints’ Lives Series by Mary Fabyan Windeatt: These are well done little books. There’s a set of 20 by the same author. My favorite is the one on St. Therese. It’s basically The Story of a Soul for children, but it gives more background so it helped me understand what was going on in that book.

16. Brendan the Navigator by Jean Fritz

17. Tirzah by Travis Lucille

18. Adara by Beatrice Gormley

19. God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah by Joanne Williamson, Daria M. Sockey

20 and 21. a.k.a. Genius and Genius Under Construction by Marilee Haynes

22. Mission Libertad by Lizette M. Lantigua

23. Nacar the White Deer by  Elizabeth Borton de Trevino

Children’s Bibles (younger to older):

What’s adoration without reading the Bible? Here’s a great selection going from younger to older readers.

24. The Beginner’s Bible: A classic. Fantastic way to start very young kids exploring Bible stories.

25. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones: My favorite story Bible of all time. All the stories are linked together to tell the big picture of salvation history centered on Jesus. Every story whispers his name. I wrote a review of this one too. You’ll want to read that because it contains some important caveats.

26. New Catholic Picture Bible by Nable, Lawrence G. Lovasik: The classic Catholic children’s Bible…with pictures!

27. New Catholic Children’s Bible by Thomas J. Donaghy

28. The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story by Doug Mauss: The graphic novel Bible. The whole thing is written in comic book style. Visually interesting and very engaging.

Art supplies for drawing

If your child likes to draw, like my younger one, then regular art supplies are a no-brainer. Get an art pad, pencils, and/or colored pencils and you’re ready to adore. I think he or she should draw religious stuff though. We got more than one very detailed drawing of the monstrance during our adoration years. If your child is not a creative artist, consider coloring books like those below.

29. The Beginner’s Bible Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Coloring Book: Again, The Beginner’s Bible. How can you go wrong? Especially if they’re also reading the stories in book form.

30. My Bible Coloring Book by Shirley Dobson

31. Great Adventure Kids Bible Story Coloring Book: I’m a huge fan of the Great Adventure series of Bible studies and this is the only way for kids to get exposed to it. If you’re reading these sections of the Bible with them at the same time they’re coloring the pages, however, this is a great resource to reinforce your formation efforts.

Kids at adoration

I admit, taking your kids to adoration can be daunting. But it can be done, even in the younger years.

These resources will be a huge help in teaching them how to be reverent and prayerful at adoration. It also gives them dedicated quiet time for spiritual reading and thinking about God. Time invested like this will definitely pay dividends for their future formation.

You can learn more about ways to form your kid’s faith in my new book, Keep Your Kids Catholic: Sharing Your Faith and Making it Stick, now available for pre-order from Ave Maria Press.

Have you tried taking your kids to adoration? What resources, tips, or tricks have worked well for you? 

Copyright 2016 Marc Cardonarella.

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About Author

Marc Cardaronella is the author of Keep Your Kids Catholic: Sharing Your Faith and Making It Stick coming in May from Ave Maria Press. By day he works as director of the Bishop Helmsing Institute for Faith Formation at the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO. By night he writes about Catholic parenting and how to share the Faith on his personal blog. Marc lives in Kansas City with his beautiful wife and two awesome boys.


  1. Great suggestions, Marc! The school we send our school-age kids to has a perpetual adoration chapel, and I’ve been wanting to spend more time there given we’re in carline and right there so close each day. But, the younger kids … what to do with the littles, right?! This is very timely for me as we approach Lent. Thank you!

    (although the allowing screens during adoration part has me pondering!) 🙂

    • Thanks Lisa! Yes, it’s always a task to figure out what to do with the littles.

      If you read the original article, it was always a large part of our strategy to allow “gadgets” during adoration. Having boys, it increased the buy-in factor A LOT. The apps are visually interesting and engaging as well. Of course, it has to be religious. I’ll admit, I might be pushing it a bit allowing video. That might not be for everyone. It depends on where you are too. If you’re the only one in a small adoration chapel, it might not be that bad. In a church it might feel irreverent.

  2. I think it’s an essential practice, but one many avoid. I would add making a regular habit of unplanned drop-ins to the Blessed Sacrament, where no distractions are available, and also having Dad there is critical, too. A father’s piety is one of the strongest influences on a child’s faith.

    • I agree Keirnan, it’s an essential practice that’s often avoided. Quick, unplanned visits are a great idea. That’s good way to work your kids into it too. Just stop in for a few minutes and get them used to the idea more and more. And so right…dads are a strong, strong influence on children’s faith. Dads can really make the difference.

    • Your comment about drop-in visits is definitely right on target! I remember that when I was a child, my dad used to take us into the church (they used to just be open during the day, but had no Adoration Chapels) so we could “say hi to God.” It was mostly dark, just a few lights, and very quiet, and very peaceful–until the 3 of us kids would burst in there and say hi (aloud) to God. But the takeaway there was: you can DO that. You can talk to God, just whenever; it doesn’t have to be during Mass.

  3. Thank you for the resource list. There are 35 Encounter the Saints books now! Another book is precisely for adoration and was written by Nunblogger Sr. Anne Joan Flanagan. It is also from Pauline Books & Media and can be found on Amazon or at your local Pauline Center: Come To Jesus

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