Introductory Activity – Unscramble the Letters
Materials: letter tiles or magnetic letters to spell good news (one set per team), envelopes (one for each set of letters)
Form kids into teams of two or three. Tell each group to find an isolated spot away from the other groups and give each team an envelope with letters. Tell them when you say “Go,” teams should empty their letters and try to form a word or words with the letters. Tell them to stand when their team is finished, but not to call out the answer. When all teams are finished, lead the kids to say together “Good News!” Tell the kids that today’s Bible story is about some people who heard good news.
Live It Out
Game – Christmas Pictionary
Materials: white board and dry erase markers or chart paper and markers, index cards, pen or pencil
Print the following on individual index cards: Mary, Joseph, angel, dream, baby, and other words from the Bible story you think kids will be able to draw. Tell kids that they will take turns looking at a card and drawing it on the board for other kids to guess. Be prepared to offer suggestions about drawing, if needed. After each word is guessed, question kids about how that person or object relates to the Bible story. Say the Life Point. Thank God for His plan to send Jesus.
Craft – Clothespin Angel
Materials: peg-type clothespins, squares of white fabric, find-point permanent markers, yellow and brown yarn, scissors, white glue, index cards cut into 1½-by-2½-inch pieces, silver or gold craft chenille stems (optional)
Review the Bible story with the kids. Ask: “Who told Mary and Joseph that Mary would have a special baby?” (an angel) Give each child a clothespin and white fabric square. Comment that angels are usually pictured dressed in white. Kids can make angels by following these steps: glue a white fabric square around the clothespin under the rounded end; use a permanent marker to draw a face on the head (rounded part); if desired, cut yarn and glue on the head for hair; if you provide the chenille stems, bend one to form a halo for the angel. Tell each child to print the Weekly Verse, Mathew 1:21, on a piece of index card and glue it to the back of her angel.
Introductory Activity – Tell Your Partner
Materials: no materials needed
Tell each child to find a partner. When you say “Go,” each child should tell his partner the best news he ever heard. When both partners have told their news, kids should raise their hands but stay where they are. After all have raised their hands, tell kids to find a new partner and repeat what they said and raise their hands. Continue for several rounds. Tell kids that today’s Bible story is about two people who heard the best news ever.
Live It Out
Game – Matching Relay
Materials: index cards, pen
Print the words of the Life Point
on individual cards. Make four sets. Shuffle two sets together and arrange them
in a grid on the floor near a wall. Do the same with the other two sets, laying
them near the wall on the opposite side of the room.
Form two teams of kids. Direct each team to line up in the center of the room, each facing a different wall. Tell them they will take turns racing to the grid of cards and turn over two cards. If the cards match, that member take the cards back to her team. If they do not match, she should turn the cards facedown and return to her team where the next person will take a turn. When all of the cards have been matched, each team should work together to put the Life Point in order. Say the Life Point together. Remind the kids that God planned from the beginning of time for Jesus to be born, and now He was fulfilling His plan.
Craft – Watercolor Bookmarks
Materials: watercolor paper, watercolor paints, paintbrushes, cups of water, scissors, fine-point permanent markers
Cut the paper into 2-by-8-inch strips. Give each child a paper strip, paintbrush, and access to watercolor paints and cup of water. Review the Bible story with the kids. Say: “God planned for Jesus to be born. He sent an angel to tell Mary and Joseph the good news.” Direct kids to write the Weekly Verse, Matthew 1:21 onto their strips with permanent markers. Kids can use the watercolors to decorate their bookmarks. Encourage kids to put their bookmarks in their Bibles to help remind them of the special way God planned for Jesus to be born.