Introductory Activity – Bounce the Name
- Plastic cups, unsharpened pencils with erasers, marker
Print the letters J, E, S, U, S on cups, one letter per cup. Make several sets. Place each set of cups in a line on a table. Lay a group of pencils with each set of cups.
Guide kids to take turns bouncing the pencils on their erasers and into the cups. Groups of kids can work together to bounce a pencil into each cup to spell Jesus’ name. Or form teams and have groups compete against one another to complete the task first. Tell kids that today they will hear the story about Jesus’ birth.
Live It Out
Game – Life Point Search
- Paper squares, marker, tape
Print the words of the Life Point on paper squares, one or two words per square. Make two or more sets of words (at least one set per team). Mix the words and tape them around the room. (You can tape them in one area or in all areas of the room.)
Form teams. Say: “I will say a word/words in the Life Point. A player from each team will search for that word. Each player should search until he finds a square with that word. Then he comes back to the team and I will call another word.” Start the game by saying the word: “God.” Continue until teams have found all the words of the Life Point. Challenge teams to put the Life Point in order. Say it together. Talk about how the birth of Jesus provided a way for people to be saved.
Craft – Savior Cards
- Heavyweight paper, markers, gel pens, other art materials
Give each child a piece of paper. Guide him to fold the paper in half to create a card. Lead kids to print Jesus is the Savior! and similar messages on their cards. They can draw pictures and create designs on their cards. Talk about the Bible story and say the Life Point. Suggest that kids give their cards to friends to help them know that Jesus is the Savior, the way for people to become Christians and be saved from their sins.
Introductory Activity – Bible Book Scramble
- Paper squares, marker, box fan
Print the names of the books of the New Testament on paper squares, one per square. Set the box fan near the game area. Tell kids to stand outside the area. Turn on the fan and drop the paper squares in front of it so that the book names blow throughout the space. On your signal, kids should work together to gather the book names and put the books of the New Testament in order as quickly as possible. Gather the paper squares, mix, and play again as time permits. Tell kids that today’s story is in one of the Gospels. Name the Gospels and hold up the Luke sign.
Live It Out
Game – Good News Sticks
- Craft sticks, marker, Bibles
Print these Bible references on craft sticks, one per stick: Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:11; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10. Mix these sticks with blank sticks. Guide kids to sit around a table or in a group on the floor. Drop the group of sticks. Kids will pick up the sticks, one at a time. When a preteen picks up a stick, he should carefully remove it without moving another stick. If he moves another stick, his turn is over. When a preteen removes a stick with a reference, ask him to look up the verse and read it. Talk about how that verse tells us about God’s plan through Jesus. (Use the information inside your leader guide for more information about sharing the gospel with kids.) Tell kids they can talk privately with you or another adult about the Gospel and becoming a Christian if they have questions.
Craft – Story Stones
- Heavyweight gray paper, thin-line permanent markers or paint pens, scissors
Alternate Idea: Use medium-sized smooth stones instead of paper.
Lead kids to cut irregular shapes from the paper. Each child will need 6-9 shapes (depending on how many different figures they choose to draw). On each shape, lead kids to draw figures from the Bible story: Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, manger, shepherd(s), sheep, angel(s). Talk about the Bible story. Kids may want to print the verse on one or more of their “stones.” Tell kids to use the stones to tell the Bible story to family members. Say the Life Point and talk about how Jesus is God’s plan for salvation.