Catholics celebrate seven sacraments--baptism, the Eucharist, reconciliation, confirmation, marriage, holy orders (ordination) and anointing of the sick. As with any religion, it is important to teach children early about their faith. However, the topic of religion can confuse a child. One useful way to teach children about the seven Catholic sacraments is through games and activities. Educating children this way can make lessons more interesting and less tedious.
Sacrament Bingo Game
Imitate the look of a bingo card by drawing five columns and five rows of boxes on a piece of paper. The number of papers will depend on the number of participants. Set these bingo cards aside. Cut small pieces of paper and write down the letters B, I, N, G and O. Roll the papers so that no one can see them and put them in a bowl. Write the seven sacraments on small pieces of paper. Roll them and put them inside another bowl. Give each participant a bingo card and pen. Instruct them to write down a sacrament in each box. Give the children a copy of the seven sacraments to choose from, if needed. Start the game by picking a rolled paper from the bowl where the letters are contained. Then, pick a rolled paper from the bowl where the sacraments are contained. Say the letter out loud and then the sacrament. Have the participants mark the corresponding boxes. Continue calling out letters and sacraments until you have a winner. The first to complete a horizontal line wins.
Match the Sacrament
Have the children form a line. Prepare chairs for them to sit on later in the game. Write each of the seven sacraments on a strip of paper. On another set of strips, write down statements corresponding to each sacrament. For example: baptism - beginning of a new life. Have each participant pick a strip of paper. Then instruct them to find their matches (the sacrament and the description) on your go signal. Once they have found their pair, let them sit side by side. Once everyone is seated, tell them that each pair should go in front and read the strips they have. Do this until everyone is finished. If there are more than 14 people joining, you could repeat the sacrament and have several descriptions for it.
Find used folders that you can cut into bookmarks. Any old paper folder will do as long as it has no tears or creases. Cut a 6-inch-x-2-inch rectangle out of the old folder. Find old magazines with a variety of photos in them. Pick a sacrament to interpret using the different pictures found in the old magazines. Use creativity in selecting pictures that relate to your chosen sacrament. Glue the pictures like a collage on the front and back of the bookmark. You can also add text like "Sacrament of Baptism" and glue it on the bookmark. Once you have finished collating the pictures, put a layer of clear tape over the bookmark. Punch a hole in the uppermost centre of the bookmark and tie a ribbon onto the hole. You have recycled old materials to create a personalised bookmark that will always remind you of the seven sacraments.
Seven Sacraments True or False Game
Find big, empty containers such as boxes or plastic pails. Label one container "True" and the other "False." Find two small items that would be hard to put between your knees while walking, such as a clothespin. Other items such as hair clips or ping pong balls also will do. Divide your students into two groups and have them form two lines. Mark a starting line on which players will position themselves. Place the two containers at least six feet from the starting line. Come up with questions related to the seven sacraments that can be answered true or false. Give the small item to the two players in front of the line. Read your question aloud. The group should choose the correct answer and have the first person in line put the small item between his knees and start walking toward the containers. Players should try their best to not let the item fall between their knees as this would immediately disqualify them. Upon reaching the containers, they should drop the item from their knees into the appropriate container. Read out several questions and repeat the process. The team with the most correct answers wins.