Reconciliation Craft For Catholic Kids

We are still preparing for Lydia’s First Reconciliation at home, but Reconciliation is a Sacrament that we and our children should be receiving often. It’s never the wrong time to be learning more about the Sacrament of Confession. This craft focuses on the “Treasures Of Reconciliation”. I found it here, and thought it was an absolutely beautiful craft! I knew I had to make it with my kids. :-)

teach children the treasures of the sacrament of reconciliation

first reconciliation- teach kids

This was such a fun craft to make! We got to pull out all of the really fun craft supplies. I wanted this craft to be really special and memorable for them, so I pulled out all of my best stuff. You could make this craft out of a variety of many materials, but here’s what we did.

Supplies Needed:

  • Construction Paper (Brown for the chest, and whatever color you want for your background.)
  • Glue Stick
  • Foiled Paper (My kids loved having shiny paper! You can buy it by the sheet in the scrapbooking aisle at craft stores, or you can use regular paper if you want. We actually utilized gold doilies leftover from our Monstrance project, green shamrock doilies leftover from Trinity Sundaes, heavy duty foil left from our giant Miraculous Medals, and red and gold paper leftover from turning chocolate Santas into chocolate St. Nicholases. lol!)
  • Self Sticking Craft Jewels (It’s really nice to have the ones that stick like stickers rather than needing glue. If you’re trying to save money, you can use sequins and white glue instead.)
  • Black Sharpie Marker
  • Golden Doilies (optional)
  • Glitter Glue (in a variety of colors)

Also, think creatively! Candy wrappers can be shiny, old jewelry, if you have any old locks you can glue on the front, raid your gift wrap drawer- think outside the box. :-)

First, cut a long rectangle from your brown paper, and fold the top third down to be the lid. Glue onto your background paper like so without gluing the flap down.

how to make a treasure chest from paper

Now you want to go ahead and decorate the outside of your treasure chest. We glued 2 golden strips down the sides and drew dots on them with a sharpie marker. On the lid of our treasure chest, we glued on a pieces of golden doilies, and then another piece of golden paper where we drew a key hole with a sharpie.

treasures of reconciliation craft

Now you’re ready for the fun to begin! Start cutting out jewel shapes from your beautifully colored paper. Each one has a “Treasure Of Reconciliation” written on it with a sharpie. We used the ones I found on the original craft, and added one of our own. Here are the ones we used:

  •  Takes away my sins
  • Increases my treasures in heaven
  • Helps me say no to sin
  • Makes my soul more beautiful
  • Restores grace to my soul
  • Helps me to be good
  • Reconciles us with Jesus

reconciliation craft for kids

It’s best to first glue down the shape, and then write the treasure in. You’re less likely to smear the marker this way. Avoid placing any jewels on the crease line where your lid folds, or where you’ll see them from the outside of the treasure chest. We cut all different shapes for the jewels- I cut the shapes out of scrap paper and let my kids trace them, which helped a lot. They had so much fun as they worked!

first reconciliation treasure craft

Once you have all the jewels in place, decorate all around them with your stick on jewels. I suggest that you add glitter glue details last to go as long as possible without the fear of dragging your hand through wet glue.

first reconciliation craft for catholic kids

Lydia (age 7) wrote her own treasures on, but I wrote them in for Julian (my 5 year old). He was, however, able to build the rest of the craft (mostly) on his own, and he really enjoyed decorating all the jewels! I did not attempt this craft with my 3 year old. She woke up from her nap while we were in the middle of this and I just let her play with some glitter glue until we were finished.

first confession craft for catholic kids

Even I had fun making this craft! (What, ya’ll didn’t know I actually make my own crafts when I’m crafting with my kids? Pretty much always. It keeps me from doing that annoying mommy stuff where I want to do theirs for them so it looks really nice.) ;-) Here is mine after I decorated with stick-on jewels.

first confession craft for kids

And here is mine again after I filled in with glitter glue.

first reconciliation- teach kids

Kids always love sparkly stuff, and this craft just seems extra special and worth the specialty supplies! The glitter glue will need to dry overnight. In the morning, you can write “Treasures Of Reconciliation” in on your background paper. You can write this with a marker or glitter glue.

Here are our finished products:

teach children the treasures of reconciliation

teach children about the sacrament of confession

teach kids about reconciliation

My kids especially love how they don’t look that special until you open them, and then WOW! This really is a special craft that would be precious to do anytime you’re learning about or preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation with children. We are putting ours in our First Communion Journal.

PS. I sure hope these pictures are doing the craft justice because it is super hard to photograph shiny stuff!

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Picture Book of the Mass

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First Reconciliation- How To Celebrate

Check out all of my First Communion Resources for Kids here.

Although there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as a “First Confession Party”, it’s still a major milestone in your child’s life. Receiving a Sacrament is a big deal! So, how can you celebrate? Here are some ideas.

Take the family out for vanilla ice cream afterward. I’ve heard sooooo many families do this that I’m going to go ahead and proclaim it a Catholic tradition! (Do I have the authority to do that?) No matter. Whether you spring for Baskin Robbins or make Sundays at home with the kids, take it to the next level by making it symbolic- eat vanilla ice cream because it’s white for “purity”. :-)

Depending on the time of day, you might rather take the family out to eat or have a special family dinner at home. You could even invite the priest to come!

For a very simple idea, you can print a free first penance certificate here! (Isn’t it great to find stuff for free online?!)

Check this idea- Give your child an eraser! I’ve seen these erasers “for big mistakes” at the Dollar Tree. This is a great way to recognize the sacrament in a symbolic way without filling your house with more dust collecting trinkets, or breaking the bank. This might be a cute gift idea to send to your God child for their first reconciliation. Let them know you haven’t forgotten their important religious day!

Give your child a nice wooden crucifix with the dates of their Sacraments written on the back. In this case, that would mean writing in their Baptism date and First Reconciliation date. Be sure to leave room for future Sacraments! This way, the dates of their big days will always be easily accessible.

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Think to yourself, “is there anything I still want my child to have before they make their First Communion?” If there is, by all means it may as well be now! Here are some ideas along those lines of thought.

It’s such a cute tradition to make a First Communion Banner before the big day. Check out these First Communion Banner kits from Illuminated Ink- a great gift idea!

Have you seen the new Catholic Children’s Bible from Saint Mary’s Press? It’s a full Bible, but actually for kids. It’s the first of its kind available for Catholic children. This is what I got Lydia for First Confession. It arrived last week and I am very excited about it! Seems like a great resource for Catholic kids.
Bible for Catholic Children- this is actually a full Bible with all the books and verses! Great resource.

The Weight of a Mass- A charming picture book for Catholic children! In the book, a beggar woman asks for a scrap of bread, and promises the baker to offer a Mass for him in exchange. He scribbles “Mass” on a tiny piece of paper, puts it on a scale, and says she can have whatever the Mass is worth. Throughout the book, no matter what he puts on the other side of the scale (cookies, stacks of pastries- even a wedding cake), the Mass weighs more! It’s a miracle! Very cute story.

The Weight of a Mass- Great book for First Communion children!

We love the Glory Stories CD’s from Holy Heroes, and they have one for First Communion! Check out this story of Blessed Imelda, the patron Saint of First Communicants.

Glory Stories- St. Imelda for First Communion.

We’re also a big fan of the Brother Francis movies, and they have one about Confession, and one about the Eucharist. I highly recommend the Brother Francis movies. Very high quality, solid,  and well done without being overly corny. My kids love them!
Brother Francis- great movies for Catholci kids!
Don’t forget about A Picture Book of the Mass! This is a missal for Catholic kids with beautiful Catholic art throughout. It will help your kids follow along and pay attention, and these do make great gifts.

Mass missle Catholic for kids
How does your family celebrate first reconciliation?

.Check out all of my First Communion Resources for Kids here.

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Practicing For First Confession With Kids

We are preparing for First Confession at home this year, and Lydia was growing more nervous as the date was approaching. I thought we could easily eliminate at least the fear of the unknown by simply practicing for her First Reconciliation at home.

preparing for first reconciliation at home- first confession resources for kids

Above, you can see the pretend confessional we set up to practice at our house. We happen to have one of those decorative room separator things in our living room, but even if you don’t you could set up a pretend confessional in a closet, on the either side of a door- be creative! :-)

I also made some printables to make practicing confession with your kids easier. Most importantly, I made these confession practice cards. They run through the Sacrament from beginning to end, and are fully written in. They start with “Bless me Father for I have sinned”, tell how long it’s been since this person’s last confession, and already have the sins provided on them. They also have a standard version of the Act of Contrition directly on the card.

first confession printable practice cards

The cards include some very generic sins (such as “I have lied”) and some silly outrageous sins (such as “I robbed 500 banks”). There is a little picture on each one that goes with the outrageous sin. My kids really liked these silly sins mixed in. :-)

There is also a card for the “pretend priest” because as we were getting ready to start I realized that I didn’t know what to say on the priest side of things- lol! There are 7 variations of cards for those practicing reconciliation, and one card for the pretend priest.

I also included some extra printables to make setting up your confessional a little more fun. The first is a flipable sign so that you know if the confessional is occupied or not.

printables for practicing first confession with kids

The other page has little pictures for face-to-face-confession or behind-a-screen-confession. You draw your own arrows in depending on where the choices are in your own pretend confessional.

confessional- face to face or with a screen

Here is the inside of our pretend confessional.

preparing for first reconciliation- practice with Catholic kids

When you turn the corner, there’s a place to kneel down. We used our kneelers that we crafted ourselves, which was fun for the kids! I also printed this kid-friendly version of the Act of Contrition from Raising and Teaching Little Saints to tape up in the confessional. It has  clip art pictures throughout the prayer to help kids understand the bigger words. This was awesome for explaining the Act of Contrition to my 7 year old! :-)

catholic dramatic play for kids- preparing for first confession

Once you have it all set up, there’s nothing left to do but practice practice practice!

confession reconciliation pennance practice- dramatic play for kids

I also took Lydia to the church and showed her the real confessional so it won’t be a new sight on her big day. In fact, we’ve peeked our head in at confessionals at several different Catholic churches we’ve been at recently. I think it’s good for her to see the variety. It’s also good for kids to see the example of their parents actually attending confession, so make sure you’re doing that as well.

This “Practice Confession” download is available for $2. Once you purchase it, you can use it with your entire religious ed program at church, your kids at home- however it is useful to you. However, you cannot email the file to your friends. They will need to purchase their own copy. Thanks so much for being honest and understanding. :-)

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This download includes:

  • 7 Confession Practice Cards
  • 1 Card for the Pretend Priest
  • Occupied or Open flippable Sign
  • Face to Face or Behind Screen Sign

The signs print like this:

first confession practice at home- printable

When assembling, add your own arrows to your “face to face” or “with a screen” page. For the open or occupied sign, fold it in half, and tape it shut with a ribbon loop on top. This way you can tape your ribbon to the wall (or wherever) and be able to flip it back and forth.

And there you have it- a Catholic version of dramatic play for learning purposes. If I had a priest costume, we would have used it. This was fun, and it did ease some of Lydia’s tensions about her upcoming First Confession.

practicing first confession with kids- a guide with printables

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Teaching Kids The 5 Steps To A Good Confession

We are preparing for the Sacrament of First Reconciliation at home this year, and it’s coming up for Lydia very soon! I made a printable set of the “5 Steps To A Good Confession” as from the First Communion Catechism. You can tape the signs onto your actual steps at home (or anywhere else) for your kids to see and memorize in the weeks leading up to their First Penance.

five steps to a good confession- free printable for kids

We have had these on our stairs leading to our playroom for about a week now, and Lydia told me yesterday “Mommy, I almost have these completely memorized because I read them every time I go up the stairs!”. This made my heart so happy. Hooray for passive teaching!

I put them on the top steps because you actually see them as you walk up the stairs (and you don’t have to lay down on the floor to do so). lol.

teach kids the 5 steps to a good confession- free printable

Each sign has a picture to help children understand the meaning of the 5 steps to a good confession. While it’s great to memorize stuff, it’s also important that it’s being understood and taken to heart. When you first hang the signs, walk the steps with your kids and explain them. Then leave them in your home for awhile so they’re reminded.

teaching kids the steps to a good confession

I made a sign for the top that says “You Are Forgiven!” At our house, I taped it on the door of the playroom, but you could also simply tape it to your top step.

This download is free for Catholic Icing Subscribers! You’ll find it on the Subscriber Bonus Page. If you’re currently reading this post in an email because you’re already an email subscriber, you’ll find a link to the subscriber bonus page at the bottom of this email. If you are not yet a subscriber, you can become one by entering your email address in the box below. That way, you’ll always be updated when I come out with a new craft or printable! You’ll receive an email with the subscriber bonuses link the next time I put a new post on Catholic Icing.

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