Introductory Activity – Memory Game
Materials: No materials needed.
Lead kids to stand in a circle.
Say: “I’m going on a trip and I will take a hat (touch head).” The kid next to
you says: “I’m going on a trip. I will take a hat (touch head) and a pencil (pretend
to write).” Continue around the circle. Each kid will say what came before and
make the appropriate actions. Then he will add another item and action. Decide
what to do when a kid makes a mistake. (Options: corrects and goes on; starts
over) Comment that Mary went on a trip in the Bible story.
Note: For younger kids, restart the list after five items are listed. (The next child starts with just one item and build to five items again.)
Live It Out
Game – Letter Knockdown
Materials: plastic cups, permanent marker, beanbag or foam ball
Print these letters on the bottoms of plastic cups: M, a, r, y, E, l, i, z, a, b, e, t, h. (Add other names, such as Joseph, Gabriel, Jesus for a more complex game.) Mix the cups and set them up at one end of the game area; stand the cups upright.
Post one of the names. Tell kids that they will knock down cups but they can only keep the letters in the displayed name. Choose a child to go first. She can toss the beanbag (or roll the ball) to knock down cups. Then she (or another child) examines the toppled cups and collects the letters that are in the displayed name. Choose another child to knock down letters.
When all the letters of a name are gathered, put the cups in order. Talk about the person named and recall the Bible story related to that name. Reset the cups and repeat with the other names.
Say the Life Point and stress that both Mary and Elizabeth worshiped God because of His promise to send Jesus.
Option: Group the kids into teams. Teams alternate tossing to knock down cups. Give points for each correct cup gathered.
Craft – Shakers
Materials: small plastic bottles with lids, rice or sand, funnels and scoops, colored tape, stickers, permanent markers, worship music
Encourage kids to use the materials to create shakers. They can scoop rice or sand and pour it into their bottles until it is ⅓ to ½ full. They can use the markers, stickers, and tape on the outside of the shakers. They can print the Life Point or other words about worshiping Jesus. Also use a strip of tape to seal the lid. Play worship music and shake the shakers with the music. Repeat the Life Point together as you shake the shakers.
Introductory Activity – Christmas Song Charades
Materials: list titles of Christmas songs on strips of paper
Guide a child to choose a strip and read the title. Then he can act out the words of the title so other children can guess the title. Repeat with several children as time allows. Ask kids to tell what songs they like to sing at Christmas. Ask which songs are songs that worship Jesus.
Live It Out
Game – Sliding Stones
Materials: cards with the words of the Life Point, tape, smooth stones
Mix the words of the Life Point and tape the words randomly on a table. Say the Life Point together. Guide a child to stand at one end of the table and try to slide a stone onto the first word of the Life Point. Allow each child two tries. Then another child can take a turn. After a stone is on the first word, kids try to get a stone on the second word. (The stone should remain on the first word.) If a stone is knocked off a word, kids must slide a new stone onto that word before continuing the game. When all the stones are on the words, say the Life Point again together. Talk about what kids remember from the Bible story.
Craft – Worship Garland
Materials: construction paper, shape stencils or patterns, markers, hole punches, yarn, scissors
Guide kids to make several shapes
each. On the shapes they can print worship words or names for Jesus. Talk about
the Bible story and talk about ways that kids can praise and worship Jesus.
After they have written on all their shapes, lead kids to punch holes in their shapes
and string them on lengths of yarn to create garlands. Suggest they hang the
garlands in their rooms to remind them to worship Jesus during Christmas. They
can use some of the words and names to worship Jesus at home.
Option: Staple the shapes, end to end, to create the garland.