The room is instantly filled with excitement when I show the kids the priest paper doll. They recognize the face as being the pastor in our parish. I have tried other priest paper dolls but the vestments had tabs and were very hard for the children to keep on the priest paper doll so I created an alb, stole and chasuble that have a front and back and go over the priest’s head. They stay on the doll!
The priest paper doll is a wonderful way to teach about priestly vocations, vestments and the liturgical year. We begin class with our priest showing the children the vestments he wears. Our class is after Mass so he talks about the vestments as he takes them off. This is usually the first time children have seen the vestments up close.
The children then get their own priest paper doll and vestments. (I have already cut them out and put them together to save time.) The children color designs on the chasuble and stoles.
I then hand out a liturgical year calendar (see this Liturgical Year Calendar for Children). I announce a Sunday in the Church year. With the parents help, the children find that Sunday on the calendar, see what color it is, and dress the priest paper doll in the correct color of vestments for that Sunday. The kids dress and undress the priest paper doll lots of times AND learn a little about the colors of the liturgical year.
How to Make the Priest Paper Doll & Vestments:
Print the priest paper doll onto cardstock. I have a lighter weight cardstock so I glue a second sheet of cardstock to the back of the priest paper doll and then cut out the doll. Make the tabs into a loop. Staple or tape the tabs together so the doll will stand.
Print the alb on white paper. Cut both of them out.
Print the chasuble and stole on white paper (and have the children color them) OR print on colored paper. I print the ones for my class on red, purple, green, and white paper so the children have a chasuble and stole for all the liturgical seasons. The children can draw designs on the chasubles and stoles. Cut them out.
Tape the chasubles and alb together (see picture).
After the stole has been cut out (and colored), fold on the dotted lines.
Your priest paper doll and vestments are ready! Have fun!