Introductory Activity – Herding Sheep
Materials: foam balls, canes or yardsticks, tape, plastic hoops
Set hoops around the sides of the game
area. Scatter the balls around the middle of the area. Provide canes for kids
to use to “herd” the balls (sheep) around the game area and into the hoops
(pens). Use tape to create paths that the kids must use as they are herding the
sheep. Say: “In our Bible story today, we will hear about some shepherds.”
Option: Add obstacles or other challenges for kids as they herd the sheep.
Live It Out
Game – Leftover Man
No materials needed.
Tell all kids to stand back to back. Ask the “leftover man” to stand in the middle of the back-to-back pairs. (If you have an even-numbered group of kids, ask an adult to play and stand in the middle of the pairs.) Call: “Switch!” All partners must move to stand back to back with a new partner. The leftover man also moves to stand with a partner. Ask a review question. The new “leftover man” can either answer the question or ask a friend for help in answering the question. Call for kids to switch again and ask another question. Continue to play the game as you review the Bible story. Say the Life Point. Play the game, asking the leftover man to say the Life Point instead of answer a question.
Craft – Christmas Cards
Materials: heavyweight paper, markers, decorative tape in several designs and colors, scissors, glue
Lead a child to cut a shape from the paper. She can cover the shape with tape in whatever design she chooses. She can trim the tape around the edges of the shape. Invite her to glue the finished shape onto a folded piece of paper to create a card. Suggest she use markers to add details around the shape. For example, she could add lines to make a circle into an ornament, a square into a wrapped package, or a triangle into a tree. Talk about the Bible story as kids work. Suggest kids print the Life Point or other message about Jesus’ birth inside the card. Tell kids they can give their cards to others to tell about the birth of the Savior.
Introductory Activity – “What Do You Know?”
Materials: digital recording device (one per team), paper and marker (or white board and marker)
Group kids into teams. Tell teams to choose a videographer. That person will record the rest of the team telling about what they know about Jesus’ birth. Tell teams they will only have 2 minutes to tell what they know. Lead teams to move to different areas of the space so they will not interfere with one another. After time, call the groups back together. Play a team’s video and list (on the paper or board) things that the team’s video mentions. Play the other teams’ videos, one at a time. If an item is repeated, place a check mark on the board by that item. If something new is mentioned, add it to the list. Tell kids that they remembered a lot of things about Jesus’ birth. Challenge them to learn something new and to try an identify anything that is not correct on this list as you study Jesus’ birth today.
Live It Out
Game – Body Spelling
Materials: White board and marker or computer to display words (optional)
Form groups of about five kids. Call out a word or name from the Bible story: Mary. Guide the groups to lay on the floor and form the letters to spell the word. (You may want to display the word on a screen or white board.) All team members should be a part of the word. Suggest that two groups work together, if they choose. After all groups have formed the word, talk about how that word or name was important in the Bible story. Ask all teams to stand and prepare for the next word. Words to use could include manger, baby, Jesus, angel, shepherd, born. Recall other parts of the Bible story after you have spelled all the words. Tell kids that Jesus was born as God planned.
Craft – Name Ornaments
Materials: large washers, permanent markers, small stickers, scissors, cord or ribbon
Invite kids to use the materials to create ornaments. They can decorate washers with permanent markers. They can print Savior or Jesus on a sticker to add to the washers. Help kids tie a length of ribbon to the washer to make a hanger. Talk about the story and the Life Point. Suggest kids hang the ornaments at home or give to someone else to tell the good news about the Savior. Recall what the Bible says about Jesus’ birth. Note that Jesus was born as God planned.