Introductory Activity – Card Relay
- Materials: variety of Christmas cards, two gift bags
Label one bag Biblical and the other bag Not Biblical. Set the two bags at one end of the play area. Guide kids to line up, one behind the other, at the opposite end of the play area, facing the bags. Show the cards. Tell kids that different kinds of pictures are on Christmas cards. Each kid will take a card and examine the front of the card to decide if the front reflects the Biblical story of Christmas or not. Then the kid will run to the bags and drop the card in the corresponding bag and run bag. Then the next kid will take a card and repeat. Start the relay. Examine the cards in the Biblical bag after the relay. Tell kids that the story today will tell more about God’s plan to send a Savior.
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, J, e, s, u, s, G, a, b, r, i, e, l. (For a shorter game, limit the letters to Mary’s and Elizabeth’s names.) Mix the cups and set them up at one end of the play 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 kid to go first. She can toss the beanbag (or roll the ball) to knock down cups. Then she (or another kid) examines the toppled cups and collects the letters that are in the displayed name. Choose another kid 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. Repeat with the other names.
Say the Life Point and stress that God sent Jesus to be our Savior.
Option: Group the kids into teams. Teams alternate tossing to knock down cups. Give points for each correct cup gathered.
Craft – Ornament Reminders
- Materials: heavyweight paper, pencils, scissors, yarn, thin-line markers, chenille craft stems, glue, hole punches, other art supplies
Talk about the Bible story and say the Life Point. Guide each kid to draw and cut out a letter S using heavyweight paper. Kids can decorate the letter with the art materials. Suggest they print the word Savior on the letter or on paper to attach to the letter. Encourage kids to say the Life Point and talk about God’s plan to send Jesus to be the Savior.
Option: Make ornaments with the letter J (for Jesus) instead of S.
Introductory Activity – Memory Game
- 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. (Option: corrects and goes on; starts over; sits down) Comment that Mary went on a trip in the Bible story.
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Game – Hike and Answer
- Materials: plastic cup; large plastic hoop (or large wreath)
Suspend the hoop (wreath) from the ceiling or enlist two adults to hold the hoop.
Group the kids into teams or play the game as one group. Show kids how to stand facing away from the hoop, bend over and hold the cup like a football, and hike the cup through your legs toward the hoop, trying to get it through the hoop. Tell kids to take turns hiking the cup and trying to get it through the hoop. (If you are playing with teams, players alternate between teams.) When the cup goes through the hoop, ask a review question. If the question is answered correctly, award 5 points. Say the Life Point.
Craft – Good News Cards
- Materials: Note cards or construction paper, markers, other art supplies
Talk about the Bible story. Note that the angel told Mary the good news that she would be the mother of the Savior. Mary traveled to talk to Elizabeth and tell her the news. Say: “We can tell the good news of Jesus’ birth, too.” Provide materials for kids to create cards to share the news of the Savior. Suggest they include the Life Point as part of their messages in the cards.