Introductory Activity – Crown Toss
- Paper plates, scissors or craft knife
Cut a line through the middle of a paper plate; start about an inch from the edge and stop an inch from the other edge. Cut four lines across the middle of the plate to create wedges in the center of the plate. Push the wedges up from the back and fold them up to make a crown. Make enough crowns for every two kids.
Group the kids into pairs. Tell the kids of each pair to stand facing one another about a foot apart. Lead one child to toss the crown onto the head of his partner. If the crown stays on the partner’s head, the child takes one step backward. Then the partner tosses the crown onto the other’s head. Continue tossing and stepping back. If crown doesn’t stay on the head, no steps are taken. After a few rounds, change partners and repeat (as time allows). Tell kids that they will hear about a king who had some visitors from far away.
Live It Out
Game – Shifting Gameboard
- Sticky notes, marker, buttons or other game pieces, numbered cube, timer
Lead kids to use 30 sticky notes to make a trail gameboard on a table. They can arrange the trail in any configuration they choose. Lead them to draw a star on at least 5 of the self-stick notes along the trail. Set timer for 15-30 seconds.
Group the kids into teams. Each team can take a turn rolling the cube and moving a button along the trail. (Start the timer when the first team rolls to begin the game.) If a team lands on a star, ask a review question for the team to answer. When the timer sounds, the team with the cube rolls it and moves that many self-stick notes from the start of the trail to the end of the trail (shifting the finish of the game). After the spaces have been shifted, reset and start the timer and game play continues. At the end of the game, talk about the Life Point with kids.
Craft – Stained Glass Stars
- Poster board star shapes, aluminum foil, permanent markers, rulers, glue
Guide kids to cover stars with foil and smooth it carefully. Use glue to hold the foil on the stars as needed. Show kids how to use rulers and black marker to make 3-5 straight lines across the star. Then kids can use colored markers to fill in the spaces (to make the stars look like stained glass). Talk about the Bible story and how the wise men traveled to find Jesus. Say the Life Point and talk about how the wise men worshiped Jesus. Encourage kids to think about ways people worship Jesus today.
Introductory Activity – Name Toss
- Tape, plastic plates (several colors, one color per team)
Use the tape to make the letters J, E, S, U, S on the floor at one end of the room. Make a tossing line several feet from the letters.
Guide kids to take turns tossing the plates (like flying disks). They should try to get the plates on the letters. Group the kids into teams. Give each team a different color of plates. Teams can toss plates (one player at a time). The first team to get its color on each letter is the winning team. Tell kids they will hear a story about worshiping Jesus today.
Live It Out
Game – Unscramble Rumble
- Paper, 2 bells (or other “ring in” items)
Beforehand, print these scrambled words related to the story on pieces of paper: doHre; asrt; dlog; aceefiknnnrs; hmrry; arMy; eeemhhBtl; uJses. (Unscrambled words: Herod; star; gold; frankincense; myrrh; Mary; Bethlehem; Jesus) Add other words as you choose.
Group kids into two teams. Guide a player from each team to stand at a table with a bell. Show the first scrambled word. Players have 15 seconds to ring in and say the correct word. If a player guesses the wrong word, the other player has a chance to say it. If both teams say the wrong word, the scrambled word goes back in the stack. Talk about the Bible story. Note how the wise men worshiped Jesus. Lead preteens to name ways people worship Jesus today.
Option: Scramble the letters of each word of the Life Point. After teams unscramble these words, challenge them to put the words in order and read the Life Point.
Craft – Jesus Banner
- Craft foam, permanent markers, stickers, yarn, hole punch
Tell kids they can create a banner to proclaim that Jesus is Savior. Give each preteen a piece of craft foam. Kids can use markers to print Jesus is Savior (or similar message) on the banners. Then they can decorate the banners with markers or stickers. As they work, talk about the Bible stories from this unit and what kids have learned about God’s plan to send Jesus. When kids finish their banners, help them punch holes at the top and use yarn to create hangers. Suggest kids hang the banners on their front doors to proclaim that Jesus is the Savior.