We started to say a family Rosary together about 5 years ago. It amazed me how much it seemed to help me and my family life!
So I highly recommend saying a family Rosary! Saying the Rosary may take those precious 20-25 minutes out of our overly busy days, but God more than makes up for it in other ways!
I've been asked by several people "How can you say a Rosary with so many little kids?" And I was just asked that question again by a wonderful lady who also has her hands full!
While every family is different and our tricks may not work for everyone, this is what we found works well for us:
When and How:
We normally say the Rosary at night after the kids have had their night time snack and the little ones are ready for bed.
The room you are praying in needs to be clean - toy, book, and distraction-free.
We have a few rules:
The bigger kids must stay sitting or kneeling.
The little ones must stay laying down or sitting and they normally have a pillow and blanket, too, but no toys!
It did take a few days to get them to understand the "no toys, stay sitting" rules!! We just had to keep bringing them back to the room and taking toys. Once it becomes an everyday event the kids just learn to accept it. Now the little kids just lay down and often times they fall asleep.
Types of ways we pray the Rosary:
1. With a DVD:
Years ago when we started saying the Rosary as a family we used Rosary DVDs.
It helped the kids to learn how to say the Rosary and the images helped them to stay focused.
We got the DVD's from EWTN, but they might be cheaper somewhere else.
The DVDs I found to be the best ones for kids are:
- Use the DVD -- "Rosary in the Holy Land" (The one in the picture is different than mine, but I guess it's the same.) For Holy Land Rosary Link ~Click here!
- Other DVD -- "The Holy Rosary" -it's the one with the stain glass window pictures. For Holy Rosary DVD with stain glass window Pics. ~Click here!
Note: The Rosary DVDs which are made special for kids are often too distracting and seem to make them think it's more playtime!!
2. With Pictures:
Before we had the 8x10 pictures, the kids each had small Rosary books (Simple $1 book) to help them follow along, but those eventually were just too ripped up to use.
3. With Scripture:
Sometimes we will read scripture verses before each Hail Mary.
"Rosary of Praise" or "Scriptural Rosary" are good books to use for this.
4. Other ways, times, and places we have prayed the Rosary:
We have also said the Rosary on the drive home from different events when we know we will not have the time when we get home.
A few times we have loaded the kids in the van to say the Rosary while trying to get a baby to sleep.
We have said the Rosary while walking outside around our property.
We've said the Rosary at nap time, it helped to put the little kids to sleep.
We change the way we say the Rosary (with the pictures, DVD, scripture book, etc.) if they seem like they are becoming more easily distracted.
**In other words, if we say the Rosary with the scripture book for a few weeks and the kids seem to be losing interest we switch to the DVD for a while.
It might help if you start saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, then after a few days/weeks switch to the Rosary.
We give each of the kids a turn leading a decade of the Rosary.
If you plan to buy or make Rosaries for children, I recommend "all-twine knotted Rosaries" ~ they are much stronger and more difficult for kids to break!!
If you are considering trying to say a daily Rosary together as a family, I hope this can help you to get you started. I hope it all made sense, if not please feel free to leave a comment!