Introductory Activity – Countdown Chain
- Construction paper strips, scissors, staplers with staples, markers
Tell kids that sometimes people use a calendar or other item to countdown to Christmas. Provide lots of construction paper strips or guide kids to cut their own paper strips. Tell kids to number the strips, starting with today’s date (2) and continuing until 25 (Christmas Day). They may want to add drawings or words about Christmas on the strips, too. Lead kids to use the staplers to make paper chains with the strips. Tell kids that today they will hear about prophets who told that the Savior would be born; people waited for the day that He would be born.
Teaching Tip: To use fewer paper strips, guide kids to make strips for every week instead of every day. Number the strips: 2, 9, 16, 23, 25.
Live It Out
Game – Life Point Jump
- Paper, marker, tape
Print the words of the Life Point on paper, one word per page. Mix the words and tape them to the floor in a 3-by-3 grid. Guide kids to stand in a line. Tell the first child to jump on the first word of the Life Point; then he can move to the end of the line. The next child can jump on the first and second word and move to the end of the line. Continue, leading kids to jump on the words in order and adding the next word. If a child makes a mistake, he can start over. Say the Life Point together. When you reach the complete Life Point, tell the next child to start with just the first word again; or all kids can take turns jumping on the complete Life Point as you say it together.
Craft – Wrist Reminder
- Heavyweight paper cut into 3-by-9-inch strips, colored masking tape, colored duct tape, decorative paper tape, permanent markers, yarn, hole punches
Guide each child to wrap a tape pieces around a paper strip. She can create a design or cover the strip with all one color of tape. After the paper strip is covered (or decorated as the child chooses), lead her to print the Bible verse on the strip. Help kids punch holes at each end of the strips, tie yarn in each hole, and tie the yarn ends together around their wrists. Recall the Bible story and the message of the prophets.
Introductory Activity – Prophets Tree
- Bibles, sticky notes, markers, large piece of green paper (or a stationary white board)
Print the names of the Major and Minor Prophets’ books: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. You can make a set for each team or just one set for all teams to use. Mix the names and stick them to a wall at one end of the game area. Draw a Christmas tree on the paper or white board and position it at the other end of the game area.
Group the kids into teams and give each team a Bible. Position teams in the middle of the game area. On your signal, one member of each team runs to the prophet names and pulls one from the wall. The member takes the name to his team and the team works to find that Bible book. When the team finds the book (verified by an adult), a team member runs that sticky note name and adds it to the tree. The member runs back to the team and tags another member to get another name. Play is over when a team places all its names (or when all names of the one set are on the tree). Tell kids that they will hear about prophets today and what they said about the coming Messiah.
Live It Out
Game – Catapult
- Plastic spoons, cotton balls, paper, marker
Print the words of the Life Point on paper, one word per page. Scatter the words at one end of the game area. Guide kids to stand at the opposite end of the area. Show kids how to hold a plastic spoon up and facing out. Hold a cotton ball in the spoon, pull it back slightly, and launch it across the room. Kids can take turns catapulting cotton balls onto the words of the Life Verse. Challenge kids to hit the words in order. Talk about God’s plan to send Jesus. Pray and thank God for His perfect plan.
Craft – Ornaments
- Clear plastic ornaments (one per kid), quick dry paint pens, pom-poms, shredded paper, other filler (as you choose)
Talk about the Bible story. Say the Life Point, helping kids understand that God planned to send Jesus as the Messiah. Give each kid an ornament. Lead them to remove the tops of their ornaments and fill the ornaments with pom-poms, shredded paper, or whatever other filler items you have provided. Choose items that are white, silver, or glittery. Put the tops back on the ornaments. Lead kids to write the verse, Life Point, or names of Jesus on the outside of the ornament using the paint pens. Tell kids to hang the ornaments on their trees or another place to remind them of God’s plan for Jesus.