Introductory Activity—Choose a Friend
Once all kids arrive, gather everyone together and tell them they will be choosing a partner based on something they have in common. Use the following categories or create some of your own to encourage kids to choose a partner.
-Choose a partner wearing something similar to you.
-Choose a partner with the same first letter in your first names.
-Choose a partner with similar hair color.
-Choose a partner who lives close to you.
Allow kids to mingle and get to know one another better to find someone they can partner up with. After they find a partner, encourage a few groups to share how and why they chose one another. At the end of the activity, tell kids they will be learning about God’s choice of Mary and Joseph for Jesus’ parents. God didn’t choose them because of what they wore or their hair color, but because they were part of David’s family and because Mary had faith in God.
Live It Out
Game—Move It or Lose It
Create groups of three to five kids. Allow kids to read either Matthew 1:18-24 or Luke 1:26-56 and create motions to the story. Assign one narrator and encourage kids to perform their story in front of the group as the narrator reads. Tell kids that creating these moves will help them remember that God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ family.
Craft—Make Mary or Joseph
Materials: Small cardboard tubes, 6-by-6-inch pieces of fabric, paint and paintbrushes, markers, rubber band
Hand out a tube to each child. Allow kids to paint the roll whatever color they would like about ¾ of the way up the roll. At the top of the roll, they can draw facial features. Hand out fabric so kids can use a rubber band to attach to the top of the roll like a headpiece from Bible times. Remind kids that God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ earthly family. Say that God had the perfect plan for the Savior.
Introductory Activity—True About You
Gather kids to stand in the center of the room. Instruct them that the right side of the room represents the word True and the left side represents the word False. Say the following statements. If the statement is true for that kid, he should go to the right side of the room. If it is false, he should go to the left side.
-I like ice cream more than cookies.
-My favorite movie has a superhero in it.
-My favorite subject in school is math.
-I have a pet.
-I like summer more than winter.
-I like winter more than summer.
-I would rather eat pizza than burgers.
Thank the kids for being willing to share some facts about themselves. Say that they will be learning about God’s choice to make Mary and Joseph the parents of Jesus in today’s Bible story; however, God’s choice didn’t have to do with facts about them like their preferences for pizza or ice cream. He chose Mary and Joseph because they were part of David’s family and because they had faith in God.
Live It Out
Game—Weekly Verse Ball
Form the group into a circle and read the weekly verse aloud and repeat it five times with the kids. Toss a ball to a volunteer who will say the first word of the verse, who then tosses it to another person of her choice. That person will say the second word and so on. If someone forgets a word, lead the group in saying the verse together one more time and start over until the group can get through the whole verse without stopping! Remind kids that these are the words that the angel said to Joseph in his dream.
Craft— Angel Ornament
Materials: Peg clothespins, white paper, scissors, tape or glue, fine-line markers
Talk about the messengers that spoke to Mary and Joseph. Kids can use the materials to create ornaments to remind them of God’s plan to send Jesus. Talk about the family that God chose for Jesus. Tell kids they can use the markers to draw faces on the peg clothespins. Guide kids to cut “clothing” from the white paper; they can print the Unit Verse or Weekly Verse on the paper and glue the clothing on the clothespins. Tell kids they can hang their ornaments by sliding the clothespins onto tree branches. Say the Weekly Verse together.