I’ve now done the prayer bracelet activity with the children in my Sunday School group – I used a set of coloured beads from Hobbycraft, and bought some of their cross-shaped beads as well.
We did Psalm 23 for the story part of the session, using this book. The illustrations provided rich material for discussing the psalm, and the children are doing the Old Testament stories of the time of the Kings, so they had some context for when and why the psalm was written.
I then let them loose to make the bracelets, having suggested:
- They can assign meaning to the colours themselves (maybe “thank you,” “help,” “wow”) and then hold a particular bead when they feel the need for that prayer.
- They could choose a colour for each line of Psalm 23, and then say the psalm as they work their way around the bracelet.
- They could rotate between two or three different prayers, like doing a rosary.
I then gave them and their parents the handout (below), to help them learn some of the suggested prayers at home.
Children who wanted to make more than one bracelet were encouraged to make one for a family member or friend.
As our Year 6s were coming up to exams when we did this activity, I suggested wearing the prayer bracelet to their exams and using it if needed to relax them and remind them God was with them.