Sunday, January 27, 2013

First Reconciliation Activities

  Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit while teaching my children (and a class) all about Reconciliation I have come up with some ideas to share! Please note I'm just a mom, not a theology major or religious education director. Please review materials before distributing. All of these ideas are free to print for home or school use. If you share these ideas, please remember to acknowledge me with a link to this page. Thank you!

Faith Folder
Creating a special folder full of spiritual information is SO helpful in the process. One child had a file folder lapbook, another a note book. Each is decorated by the child, with things pasted inside to help them remember prayers and other things related to Reconciliation. A notebook is a great idea, because it can be used as a journal. Encourage them to daily add 2 things they've done well and 2 things they did not. Before confessing, they can look back on the list.
Lapbook nameplate example
Click to Print your lap-book pieces. It includes name label (for meaning of name, bible verse),  important prayers, Ten Commandments, and more. Pages for one student, or pages for multiple students included in the file.
Note: The 10 Commandments for Kids in this lap-book was created by me for my children. You may decide to use the 10 Commandments verbatim in place of my version, which I do not have avail to print. Also some churches may teach a different Act of Contrition.

Here are the basics for assembly:
  1. Take a file folder, open fully. Fold the two short ends into the center. 
  2. Opening it up again, you'll have a left flap, center, right flap. [[]]
  3. The ribbon for their name and its meaning goes on the outside left flap or the back side.
  4. The Examination of Conscience goes in the inside left flap.
  5. The Center is for the Reconciliation, Ten Commandments for Kids, and Act of Contrition. Print and cut the prayer/words and glue them onto the inside center panel. Chose either the color image or outline image to color, then tape that on top of the matching prayer/words so they can "life the flap" to expose the prayer.
  6. The Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Holy Spirit prayers are pasted onto the inside right flap.
  7. The empty flap or backside is a good place to put stickers when they practice or memorize their prayers. The whole folder is great for taking home worksheets.
  8. If you print out the Ten Commandment match-up cards included in the file, those can go in an envelope glued to the folder. (I had a hard time figuring out images for those, so use at your own discretion)
A Taste of Confession
  I just love how this project turned out. I have children who process information through hands on and senses. Now they can associate a taste for each part of their reconciliation experience.
Taste of Reconciliation
1. Examination of Conscience: Hot Seat Cinnamon
2. Reconciliation: A Sour Patch Sorry
3. Contrition: Prayer Pretzels
4. Penance: Refreshing Acts Mints
5. Forgiveness: Melt Away Our Sins Chocolates
Taste of Confession

Another food idea is to serve ALL WHITE FOOD or treats, as a symbol of purity. You can see my Sacramental Cakes at our Michalek Kitchen blog.

Lord Have Mercy

While reviewing the parts of the Mass, I made this coloring sheet for the children to color and hang at home. Hoping they'd see the words and remember to participate at Mass more often. To make this, I typed up the text and added an image of Christ from an online coloring page. Here is a version I created using my own art for you to print.

Kneeler for Reflection
"When life gets too hard to stand.... kneel."
Homegrown Catholics: Kneeler
Whether you use this as a place for a Time Out, a place for prayer/rosary, or in teaching how to make a good confession - your child will enjoy this DIY kneeler. Dollar store garden pad and puffy paints is all it takes! (inspired by Catholic Icing's post)

Carve a Cross
Need: Soap bar, plastic knife and toothpick
Directions and picture on All Things Beautiful blog.

Make a Spiritual First-Aid Kit
  Chose a container, such as a pencil box, tin, or muslin bags like those pictured. Muslin bags are fun to color. For our VBS Wilderness Adventure (CatChat) we used these for "Jesus Heals" or "Faith Aid Kit." Insert text was found on More Than Enough blog  and in the CatChat VBS materials. For an extended activity, you could make home-made lip balm.

The Bandage reminds us that Jesus heals the wounds of the heart.
The Cotton Balls remind us that Jesus blots away our sins.
The Tissue reminds us that Jesus wipes away our tears.
The Antiseptic Wipes remind us that Jesus cleanses our hearts.
The Lip Balm reminds us that Jesus softens our hard, dry hearts.
The Holy Water reminds us that Jesus blesses us.

Ten Commandments Match-up
  We cut these cards and matched the text card to the picture card. It is not my favorite, as I had a hard time deciding what images to use. The wording is my own, so use at your own discretion.
10 Commandments 4Lapbook pg110 Commandments 4Lapbook pg2

Ten Commandment Tablets
Here is one idea to make an aged looking set of tablets. Directions on
Ten Commandments Tablets craft

First Reconciliation Gift Ideas
*Rosary or Rosary Bracelet
*Crucifix for Room (or kit to make a cross rosary hanger)
*Craft Kit: above activities or First Communion Banner kit
*Quiet in the Pew: Catholic Mass Seek and Find Cards

Arma Dei - Equipping Catholic Families has wonderful faith-learning products and freebies. My favorite is converting ordinary games to Catholic learning tools!

What is a Catholic Confession?

To order Brother Francis's "Forgiven" visit

Other Links
Homegrown Catholics: The Soul Diet: Keepsakes, Quiet in the Pew, Celebrating Sacraments, and more
The Catholic Toolbox: Sacrament of Reconciliation
That Resource Site: Meeting Our Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation booklet
Sunday School Network: Hard to see the light through a sinful heart


  1. Great activities, thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you. Will be using these on a personal (my son!) basis this year. So good!

  3. This is a fantastic collection! Thank you so much for sharing. It will be perfect for our current (and future) Penance students! Would you be willing to post a picture of your completed lap book? I love the idea of it and read the directions, but would love to see the finished product to be sure I fold correctly. Thank you!

  4. Loved your "Taste of Confession" treat bag. Any ideas for a First Communion one??

    1. Thank you for your feedback Tara! I hadnt thought of that. I suppose because the Eucharist is true food and true drink. We typically eat unleavened bread and grape juice. Thinking about it now: a bag would have crackers or necco wafers for bread/host, grapes or grape fruit snacks for wine, chocolate coins for Judas betrayal, 12 of something like sour patch kids? representing the apostles, etc. I hope that gives you some ideas! ?


Thank you for reading about our family. I look forwards to sharing ideas, joys and struggles. God Bless you in your journey!


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