Introductory Activity – Tear Words
Materials: newspapers, tape, large piece of paper
Lay large pieces of paper on the floor. Guide kids to find and tear out good news stories. They can tape the stories to the large piece of paper. Suggest they tear the letters to spell good news and add to the posters. Tell kids that they will hear about people who heard good news.
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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 baby, Jesus, angel, Joseph, dream. Recall other parts of the Bible story after you have spelled all the words. Tell kids that God planned for Jesus to be the Savior.
Craft – Paper Plate Angel
Materials: paper plates, construction paper, markers, glue or staplers
Give each kid a paper plate. Lead kids to fold opposite sides of a plate down to make a shape that looks like an angel’s body and arms. (Fold like you are making a paper airplane, in a triangular shape.) Kids can cut circles from paper for heads. They can add hands or other details with paper or markers. Talk about the Bible story and what the angel told Mary and Joseph. Suggest kids print the Weekly Verse on their angels.
Introductory Activity – Draw and Guess
Materials: large pieces of paper and markers
Draw a picture of a Christmas-related word or phrase. (Avoid fantasy characters.) Guide kids to guess what you are drawing. Choose a kid to draw another picture of a Christmas word or phrase. After a few guesses, talk about the words and phrases drawn. Say that Christmas is a time of celebration. However, the Bible story tells about the reason we celebrate Christmas. Tell kids that today they will hear about God’s plan to send Jesus as the Savior.
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Game – Find and Spell
Materials: beanbags (one per team), letter tiles or letters printed on paper squares Hide these letters around the room: a, a, a, a, b, b, d, e, e, e, e, g, h, J, J, l, M, m, n, o, p, r, r, s, s, s, u, y, y. Group kids into teams. Guide each team to sit in a circle. Tell teams to pass the beanbags around the circle. Say: “Stop.” The kids holding the beanbags can get up and search the room for letters. Each kid should take only one letter back to his team. Start passing the beanbags again when all the kids have returned to their teams. Continue until all letters are found. Challenge teams to create words about the story with the letters they found. Make a list of the words they create. Then tell teams to pool all the letters together and make additional story words. Talk about God’s plan to send a Savior and His plan for Jesus to have a family. (Words that can be made: angel, Mary, Joseph, baby, Jesus, 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.