Sidewalk Prayer

Tips & Tricks for Sidewalk Prayer with Kids

Prepare Well
  • Choose your vigil site
    • Find one that you are comfortable taking your kids to and has an established prayer presence. 
    • Identify friendly parking lots. (Abortion providers do not want us parking in their parking lots.)
    • Identify the nearest friendly bathroom. (Because with kids, it's inevitable!) or pack a bucket & baby wipes in your car for a "travel potty"
    • If you are looking for a site, check out our listing of Sidewalk Locations to see if we have information about any vigils near you. (If not, please add any you know!)
  • Choose when to go
    • Weekend or Weekday?
      • Can your spouse help on the weekend?
      • Is there less traffic on a weekday?
    • Time of Day
      • Think about naps times, snack times, etc.
      • We always go in the morning because of the temperature, it is hotter in the afternoon.
  • Gather Supplies
    • A rosary for everyone, even the littles
    • A water bottle for everyone
    • Snacks for the car after your prayer time
    • Entertainment for little kids
      • We personally love sidewalk chalk, but I have seen others bring a few cars, books, or a baby doll. Whatever will keep your kiddo entertained that is easy to bring and won't block the sidewalk
    • How will you carry all of this? 
      • A stroller or wagon that can double as a ride for tired kids is ideal in my mind. Remember to plan something that will not block the sidewalk.
  • Prepare your kids 
    • Do they know WHY you are going to pray? Explain this to them at their level. For the youngest, this might just be that there are mommies in that building that need our prayers. If you aren't sure what is or isn't appropriate to tell your child at their age, check out our article on just that!
    • Set their expectations (and yours). What is this going to be like? What do you expect from them? How long will you be there?
      • An hour works really well for my  children 
      • We always do a Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a Rosary, and quiet prayer time. The kids are told to please pray with us until they just can't anymore and then they may draw quietly with chalk. The youngest have no expectations of how long they pray, early Elementary we require them to say the whole Chaplet with us, and upper elementary are challenged to get through the Rosary. Middle school & up can pray the entire time. 
      • A plan of out loud prayer helps them mark time and participate. Praying silently for an hour would be torturous to my children, but prayers they know pass time faster.
      • Singing prayers & Praise & Worship songs would also be an appropriate way to make the experience positive for kiddos.
On the Sidewalk
  • Keep a prayerful atmosphere
  • Give you kids grace
    • They are only kids after all! 
  • Be willing to cut the trip short if necessary, but do not extend it.
    • Think of how excited your kids will be the first time they make it to the end of the time praying the entire time or without complaining. You can try for longer next time, but stick to how long you told the kids it would be this time.
    • Of course, if things are going poorly, kids crying, hurting each other, or running in the street, give yourself the grace to leave before you planned. You can always try again another day!
After You Go
  • Talk to your kids about the experience
    • Thank them for going with you!
    • Did you see any women going into the center?
    • Were there any other people there praying?
    • What did they think of the experience.
    • Remind them WHY you went. 
    • Ask them what you could do differently next time to make it easier for them (if you had a hard time)
  • Add your vigil site to our list if it isn't already there
  • Plan your next Sidewalk prayer time! 
    • Consider inviting a friend next time!

Looking for a vigil site? Check out our list!

Join our email list

Copyright ©2024 All Rights Reserved