Friday, March 1, 2024

Hands on Stations of the Cross (for one, or for a group!)

A long, long time ago (2012!) I posted a set of Resurrection Eggs (for the stories during Holy Week) that I made with our CCD program. A couple of years later, I also made a set of Way of Light Resurrection Eggs (for the stories during the Easter Season). We recently had a CCD family day focusing on the Stations of the Cross. Kids aged 5-14 participated, and I knew that the little ones would benefit from something hands-on before we went to the church to pray the Stations together. I thought about making a version of the Resurrection Eggs, but really wanted to make sure we were hitting all of the traditional Stations of the Cross- and then I remembered how my friend Bonnie prayed the Stations with her kids back when her now teenagers were toddlers. So, inspired by Bonnie Engstrom (who tells me she was inspired by Kate Wicker), I set up a symbol for each Station for the kids to collect, complete with artwork and a table tent explaining the meaning of the symbol.

You can certainly use this idea to make a hands-on set of the Stations of the Cross for your own home, but I wondered if maybe someone else had seen activities like this and wanted to be able to replicate it for a whole group. So I made sure that I used objects that were affordable on a larger scale and created printables using public domain images (or my own art) so that you would be free to print them yourself. 

I ordered simple cotton bags for the children to put each object in (fyi, I got 4x6 bags, but 5x7 would have been a better choice) and added a tag that they labeled "Stations of the Cross" and wrote their name (important since they will look exactly alike). Practically speaking, the set would be easier for preschoolers to use at home if they were in a box, rather than having them dump the bag out when you are planning on using them. But the bags were a simple and affordable way to package them for the activity at church, and then parents can always change up the storage when they take them home. The rock, nail, cross, and medal are also choking hazards for little ones, so if you are making these without parents present, it might be a good idea to give them a heads up before those items get lost around their house! ;)

Here is the list of objects according to each Station: (You can obviously switch these up based on supplies you have on hand or your own creative ideas!)

  • Station 1- Jesus is Condemned to Death- Rope for His arrest (piece of twine)
  • Station 2- Jesus Takes Up His Cross- Cross (small wooden cross)
  • Station 3- Jesus Falls the First Time- Bandage (I wrote a #1 on the bandaids, the kids stuck them on a purple card before putting in their bag)
  • Station 4- Jesus Meets His Mother- Miraculous Medal
  • Station 5- Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus- Helping hand (image of a hand, but this would be a good one to trace and cut out your own hand)
  • Station 6- Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus- Veronica prayer card (block print made by me)
  • Station 7- Jesus Falls the Second Time- Bandage (Bandaid with #2)
  • Station 8- Jesus Meets The Women of Jerusalem- Tissue for the tears of the weeping women
  • Station 9- Jesus Falls the Third Time- Bandage (Bandaid with #3)
  • Station 10- Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes- Piece of cloth
  • Station 11- Jesus is nailed to the Cross- Nails (we added one large nail to reduce the chance of them falling on the floor and getting lost. Three large nails would be even better)
  • Station 12- Jesus Dies on the Cross- Crucifix (we used a picture, but adding a small crucifix would be great)
  • Station 13- Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross- Pieta image
  • Station 14- Jesus is Laid in the Tomb- Stone for the stone rolled in front of the tomb
I had some of these items already on hand- like the nails, stones, miraculous medals, twine, and cloth. I was able to print the images at our parish office, so I only needed to purchase the bags, crosses,  (affiliate links) and bandaids, which worked out to about $.60 a child, so quite inexpensive! We also gave every family a copy of this Stations of the Cross book to make it easier for them to pray at home.

We set up each Station in order and the children went down the line to collect their items. Parents walked with their younger children, and I loved listening to them read the name of the Station to their child while pointing to the art, and then read the description from the table tent with the short meaning of the object.

If you'd like to make these with a group, here are copies of all of the printables I made!

Station 6: Veronica (Also available for you as a print here)

You may also like this printable Prayer before a Crucifix card, which is a handy way to get kids involved in praying group Stations even when they aren't able to follow the book the congregation is leading:


  1. This is wonderful, Katie! Thanks for always sharing such awesome ideas to help continue to catechize our children. You are such a blessing to our Catholic faith:)

  2. I love this so much! Thank you!!!

  3. this is absolutely amazing. I am so grateful for your generosity in sharing this with us. Our little disciples will love it. Many blessings, Michele

  4. Thank you Katie once again for sharing your talents and your faith. I am thinking about how I can use this with my Student Council to present to our school on the 22nd of this month. I have been to a stations of the cross where it was set up in church were you went independently and spent time in meditation. I am sure I can do something similar. Thank you for your inspiration.
    Many Blessings,

  5. Thank you! It is just what we need!!!

  6. Katie, I've got to tell you, I did this activity with our Confirmation students last week and with my higher elementary-aged students today. It was very engaging for both groups. There were so many Confirmation students and so we did this activity in the cafeteria. The activity was great, it was just hard to maneuver from Station to Station because of the lunch tables and chairs that were in the way. I had a small elementary-aged group (5 kids) and of course it worked much better. Our Parish just doesn't seem to have the space to host so many students at one time. In the future, I think it would work best to perhaps do the activity with each individual class instead of all students at one time. This activity was great because everyone was participating and was able to remember the sequence of events more easily after gathering their item that represented that Station. As we know, not everyone learns the same way :). Once again, another fun and intriguing activity. I give it an A+ for sure! - Laura G.