Introductory Activity – Use Your Head
- Headbands, large index cards, markers, tape
Print Christmas words on the index cards, one word per card. Use large, clear letters. Include general Christmas words as well as words related to the biblical story. (Avoid fantasy character names/words.) Mix the words.
Choose three kids to come forward. Put a headband on each one and tape a word to the headband. The first child should turn and face the second child. The second child gives clues for the first one to guess the word on his own head. When the word is guessed, the second child turns around to face the third child. The third child gives clues for the second child to guess his own word. The first child chooses a seated child to move behind the third one and be next. Continue until all kids have a chance to guess a word. Say: “These words were about Christmas. But today we will talk more about the story of Christmas.
Live It Out
Game – Bounce the Point
- Beach ball or balloon (one per team)
Display the Life Point and say it together. Practice the Life Point several times. Group the kids into two (or more) teams. Lead each team to stand in a small circle. Tell kids that the teams will gently bat the ball back and forth across the team circle. As each person hits the ball, the team will say a word of the Point. The team should keep batting the ball up and saying the words of the Point until it is complete. If the team misses or drops the ball, they must start at the beginning of the Point as they restart the ball. The team who can complete the Life Point first without any misses wins. Talk about the Bible story. Say the Bible verse. Then repeat the game with teams saying words of the verse instead of the Life Point.
Craft – Gift Tags
- Heavyweight paper, scissors, small rubber stamps and stamp pads, gel pens
Talk about the Bible story and say the Bible verse. Tell kids they can make gift tags. They can cut heavyweight paper into tag shapes. They can stamp designs on the tags. They can use the gel pens to make other designs or to add To and From to the tags. Suggest they print the verse somewhere on the tags. Continue to talk about the Bible story as kids work. Suggest kids attach their tags to gifts they are giving to tell about the story of Christmas.
Introductory Activity – Find the Angel
- Several small boxes (at least 5 per team), angel stickers or angel pictures (1 per team), index cards, wrapping supplies, oven mitts (one pair per team)
Attach each angel sticker or picture to an index card. Place each of these angel pictures in a separate box. Place a blank index card in each of the other boxes. Wrap all the boxes as “gifts.” Group the boxes into collections, 1 angel box and at least 4 boxes with blank cards.
Group the kids into teams. Give each team its collection of gifts and a pair of mitts. On your signal, one team member puts on the mitts and unwraps one box. If a box has a blank card, the team member passes the mitts to another member to open the next box. If the box contains the angel, that team is finished. They can cheer together. You can end the game when one team finds its angel. Or other teams can continue to play until each finds the angel. Tell kids that in today’s Bible story the people did not need to find the angel; the angel found the people and gave them a special message.
Live It Out
Game – Tabletop Golf
- Paper cups, scissors, pom-poms, craft sticks, permanent markers, paper, pencils
Cut an arch or three-sided opening in the side of a cup (like a notch from the top). The opening should be large enough for a pom-pom to roll through. Prepare several cups. Print one or two words of the Bible verse on each cup. Arrange the cups, top side down, along the side of a table, with the opening facing the opposite side. Tape cups to secure, if you choose.
Group kids into teams. Tell players to stand at the table opposite the golf holes. Invite a player from Team 1 to use a craft stick to hit a pom-pom and try to get it in a hole. If she hits a pom-pom into a hole, tell the team to write down the word or words on the cup. Alternate between teams as you play the game. Lead teams to try and collect all the words—hit pom-poms into each of the cups/holes. When teams have collected all the words, lead them to work to put the verse in order. Say the verse together and talk about the message that the angel gave Mary and Joseph.
Craft – Angel Whirligig
- White paper plates, scissors, hole punches, white construction paper, markers, yarn, glue, glitter glue (optional)
Distribute plates to the kids. Tell kids to start at the edge of their plates and cut a spiral around the plate to the center. (Cut like a snail shell.) Tell kids to stop in the middle and leave a circle about one-half inch. (Exact size is not important but circle should be large enough to punch a hole and tie yarn.) Tell kids they can brush glitter glue along the spiral if they choose.
Lead kids to each cut two white paper circles the same size. On one circle, they can draw the angel’s face; on the other circle, they can draw hair (back of the angel’s head). Tell them to punch a hole in the center of their plates. They can cut a length of yarn and tie it through the hole. Tell them to knot the other end of the yarn. Help kids glue their circles on this yarn, at the top of the spiral; sandwich the yarn between the two circles so the head will be immediately above the center of the spiral. Tell kids to cut other circles or shapes from the white paper. They can print words of the verse or words about the Bible story on each shape. Tell them to punch other holes along the spiral and punch holes in their shapes. They can use yarn to tie the shapes onto the spiral. Show kids how to hold or hang the spiral by the top piece of yarn. The spiral will hang down, making an “angel.”