Introductory Activity – Tree Trimming
Materials: Christmas garland or tinsel, plastic Christmas decorations (You will need a set of tinsel/garland and decorations for each team.)
Group kids into two or more teams. Guide each team to choose a “tree” (one of the kids). The “tree” will stand in the middle of his team. On your signal, team members wrap their trees with garland and hang decorations on the garland. The first team to complete decorating the tree wins. Undecorate, choose another tree, and play again as time permits. Tell kids that decorating is a fun part of Christmas, but today they will hear about the reason we celebrate Christmas; they will hear that Jesus’ birth was part of God’s plan for salvation.
Live It Out
Game – Hop on It!
Materials: construction paper, marker, tape
Print the words of the Life Point on paper, one word per page. Print several other words from the story that are not a part of the Life Point sentence. Mix all the words and tape them to the floor in a grid pattern. Say the Life Point with kids. Guide kids, one at a time, to hop on the words of the Life Point in order. They should not hop on words not in the Life Point statement. Say the words as a child hops. If a child hops on an incorrect word (or on a word out of order), she stops, returns to the line, waits for another turn.
Craft – Thumbprint Pictures
Materials: paper, washable stamp pads, gel pens
Talk about the Bible story with kids. Lead them to think of scenes from the Bible story that they can depict. Each kid can use thumbprints and pens to create a scene from the story. Arrange the scenes in order to create a timeline of the Bible story. Tell kids that Jesus was a man and He was God. Jesus’ birth was part of God’s plan of salvation.
Introductory Activity – Make a J
Materials: cotton balls, straws (one per kid)
Scatter the cotton ball on a table. Give each kid a straw. Tell kids to work together to blow the cotton balls into a J shape; they should not use their hands to move the cotton balls at all. Give the signal for kids to start. Stop after a minute to assess the progress. Let kids look at the table before beginning again. Give the signal to start again. When kids create a J shape, stop the game. Tell kids to name the key person in today’s story; it begins with a J. (Jesus)
Live It Out
Game – Tic-Tac-Toe Toss
Materials: masking tape, plastic plates (two colors)
Create a Tic-tac-toe grid on the floor. Group the kids into two teams. Guide players from the teams to take turns tossing plates (like flying disks) onto the grid. When a plate lands in a space on the grid, ask a review question. If the answer is correct, the plate stays in the space. If the answer is incorrect, the team must retrieve the plate. The first team to get three plates in a row on the grid wins. Say the Life Point.
Craft – Nativity Scene
Materials: wide craft sticks, thin-line markers, paper, scissors, tape or glue, ziplock bags
Provide four craft sticks for each kid. Tell kids that they can make nativity figures with their craft sticks. They can draw faces on one end of the sticks. They can cut paper into triangle shapes and tape or glue to the tops of the sticks for head-coverings for Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. They can cut a paper oval and draw a face to be the baby; they can tape or glue the baby to the middle of the Mary craft stick to show her holding the baby. They can cut sheep shapes and glue or tape them to the bottom of the shepherd shapes. They may want to make more detailed clothing or other items for their figures. Talk about the Bible story as kids work. Group the kids into pairs; ask kids to use their figures to tell the story to their partners. Provide time for both partners to tell the story. Provide ziplock bags to hold a kid’s set of craft stick figures. Suggest kids print the Weekly Verse on a piece of paper and tape it to the bag or insert it in the bag with the figures.