Preschool and kindergarten is an interesting time, where little ones are learning about their world at a very rapid pace. While letters and numbers and language in general is important, young children also begin to learn their core values during this period. Incorporating prayer into their lives in ways that will engage and interest them presents a number of possible benefits—it can be a wonderful teaching tool, even beyond helping them develop a relationship with God.
Here’s an idea that can instill gratitude in your young child, while giving them an opportunity to practice a few other skills as well…
10 – Thank you God for my 10 fingers and 10 toes. Let’s count them all together.
9 – Thank you God for my 9 favorite animals, from the farm and the zoo and the jungle too. Let’s name each one.
8 – Thank you God for my 8 favorite foods. Let me tell you the 8 yummiest things I put in my tummy.
7 – Thank you God for the 7 days of the week. I know how to name them all.
6 – Thank you God for my 6 favorite songs. Let’s sing a verse from each one.
5 – Thank you God for my 5 senses. I use them to hear my favorite songs, taste my favorite treats, feel hugs and kisses from my favorite people, smell my favorite foods and see the beautiful world around me.
4 – Thank you God for my 4 favorite books. Can I tell you what they’re called?
3 – Thank you God for my 3 favorite activities. There are so many things I love to do. Let me see if I can name a few.
2 – Thank you God for the two people who take such good care of me every day, who feed me, read books to me, listen to me when I need to talk, play with me when I’m ready for fun and hold me when I need a hug.
1 – And thank you God for YOU! You are the one who loves me the most, who accepts me exactly as I am and who will always be there whenever I need a friend.
It can be fun to see how your child’s favorite choices will change from time to time… and they will enjoy letting you know. This is a prayer that requires time and patience to move through but the positives that it presents are endless. Give it a try!
Of course, the most famous counting prayer is the Rosary — 5 decades, 5 Our Fathers, 10 Hail Marys per decade, and so on. While a great way to pray, the Rosary is also a good tool for learning counting (and you can do it on your fingers, too).
The animated series “Brother Francis” has a whole playlist of videos (click here for that) to teach kids about the rosary. Here’s the first one to get you started: