Games to Play for Teaching the Sacraments

by Julia Detering

In the Christian faith, most notably Catholicism, the sacraments represent ceremonies that bring believers closer to God. These seven ceremonies span a lifetime and are often celebrated with close friends and family. The ceremonies include: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, matrimony, holy orders, confession and last rites. Draw on common games to teach children about the sacraments in an enjoyable and unifying way.

Sacrament Bingo

Set up a sacrament bingo game during a party or for a Sunday school event. To create bingo cards, cut 6-by-6-inch squares out of cardboard. Draw a grid with four rows and four columns. In each cell on the grid, write in one of the sacraments. Each sacrament will have at least two entries on the grid. Write individual sacraments on pieces of paper to be drawn out of a bag. Give each player 16 dried kidney beans or other small items to use as a marker. Play bingo by drawing a sacrament paper from the bag and announcing to the group. The first person to get all the cells on a row, column or diagonally wins. Ask the winner to name the winning sacraments. Hearing the names reinforces memory.

Sacrament Concentration

Memory games help children learn. Sacrament Concentration helps children remember the sacraments by associating them with defining quotes. Divide 48 index cards in half so that you have two piles of 24 cards. On the cards in one pile, write an individual sacrament. On the cards in the second pile, write a sentence or two that describes one of the sacraments. Layout all the cards face down on a table or the floor into two grids of four rows and six columns. The first child flips over a card on the sacrament grid and reads the sacrament aloud. Then the same child flips over a card in the definition grid and reads that aloud. If the definition card defines the sacrament card, the child keeps the pair and goes again. If not, the child flips both cards back over and the turn ends. Play until all the cards are gone. This game can be played in teams or individually.

Sacrament Charades

Divide the group into teams of four or five. Choose one person from the first group. Give this person the name of one of the sacraments. The person must act out the sacrament without using any sounds, letters or numbers as teammates guess the sacrament. If they guess the correct sacrament within one minute, that team wins a point. The next team then takes a turn. Choose the number of points needed to win by the amount of time allotted to play the game. Add difficulty by asking the children to define the sacrament once it has been guessed.

Name that Sacrament

Children play this game in pairs in front of the other children so that everyone can learn. Bring the first two children in front of the group. When they are ready, slowly describe one of the sacraments. As soon someone recognizes the sacrament a bell is rung or a hand goes up. The child then names that sacrament. If the answer is correct, the child wins and the next team is called up. If the child is wrong, continue reciting the definition until the other child can guess the sacrament. When the round ends, the next team plays. In order to include all the children, think of different ways to define each sacrament.

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