Introductory Activity – Name Clap
No materials needed
Direct the kids to sit in a large circle on the floor with their legs crossed. Choose one child to be first. He will slap his knees twice, then clap twice as he says his name. All the kids slap and clap at the same time. The next child will say the previous child’s name as she slaps her knees, and her name as she claps. Continue around the circle until everyone say his own name. Tell the kids that today the will hear a story about a man named John and why he was special.
Live It Out
Game – Life Point Relay
Materials: index cards, pen
Print each word of the Life Point on a separate index card. Make two sets (or three if you have a really large group). Mix each set of cards and lay them facedown against a wall. Put each group of cards against a different wall. Form two (or more) teams and line them up in the center of the room across from their wall of cards. When you say “Go,” the first person from each team should hurry to the cards, pick up one, and return to the end of the line. The second person can o when the first one returns. When the team has gathered all the cards, tell them to work together to stand the members in line so that the words are in order. When each team has finished, say the Life Point together.
Craft – Scroll Ornament
Materials: paper, scissors, markers, wooden coffee stirrers, tape, yarn
Invite kids to use the materials to create a scroll ornament. They can cut paper strips and print the Weekly Verse on the paper. Help a child tape a stirrer to each end of the paper strip and tie on yarn as a hanger. Encourage kids to use their own ideas in creating the scroll ornaments. Talk about the Bible story as kids work. Suggest kids add the ornament to their home decorations to help their families think about the promise God gave and the long time that people waited, expecting Jesus to be born.
Introductory Activity – Face to Face
Materials: large index cards, markers, tape
Guide kids to print Christmas words on the index cards, one word per card. Kids should print the words in large, clear letters. (You can print words beforehand.) Take up the cards and mix the words. Choose three kids to come forward. Hand the each kid a card. She should hold the card on her forehead and turn and face the second kid. The second kid gives clues for the first kid to guess the word on his own head. When the word is guessed, the second kid turns around to face the third kid. The third kid gives clues for the second kid to guess his own word. The first kid chooses a seated kid to move behind the third kid and be next. Continue until all kids have a chance to guess a word. Say: “These words were about Christmas. Today we will learn how God planned for Christmas.”
Live It Out
Game – Hike and Review
Materials: plastic cups, 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 – Advent Chain
Materials: construction paper, scissors, glue or staplers with staples, markers, white board with marker
On the white board, print a list of verses that relate to prophecies about Jesus’ birth. Use Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 5:2, Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 1:1, Malachi 3:11, Isaiah 11:2. Guide kids to cut paper strips. They can number the strips, starting with today’s date and continuing until 25 (Christmas Day). Tell them to choose four of the verses to write on four separate strips of their chains. They may want to add drawings or words about Christmas on the strips, too. Lead kids to use the glue or staplers to make paper chains with the strips. Talk about advent and waiting for Christmas to come. Say: “Today we will learn about the promise God made that people were waiting for.” (To use fewer paper strips, guide kids to make strips for every week instead of every day.)