Christmas unwrapped

Every year we take are able to visit a local school to take a lesson about Christmas and what it means for Christians. This year it was a bit more of a long assembly as we wee able to use the school hall and all the year Two classes were able to be there at the same time. We call this assembly/presentation ‘Christmas Unwrapped’.

The idea is that all the different characters, places and objects that are in the Christmas Story are in gift bags and we allow the children to discover what we have wrapped up. We begin by talking about how the first events of Christmas are found in the Bible. Then as each gift bag is opened a verse from the Bible is read.  All the items are added to a nativity display as we go along. Some people or items need more explanation than others.

When we have all the people, places and objects we tell the story using pictures (Power point)

After telling the story in this way we talk about how Christians celebrate Christmas – the food, decorations, special church events and carols. We sing a carol together. And of course we mention presents! At this point we also make sure that the children know that people who wouldn’t call themselves Christians may also do some or all of these things but that the reason why Christians celebrate is that they are remembering the birth of The Saviour, Jesus.

We always finish by thanking the children for taking part and wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and a great holiday.

Here’s some photos – apologies for the quality but it was quite dark!

 



Christmas baubles craft

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All you need to make these decorations  – circles cut out of card (I use a paper punch), an oblong with a hole for string, glue and sequins. I’m going to ask parents to put the child’s name and date on the back so that this becomes a keepsake.

To minimise sequin spillage (!) each child will have a paper plate to catch sequins! (I hope this works)


Angel to make

To make this angel all you need is – paper plate (cut out a triangle for the angel’s body), circle for the angel’s face, shredded tissue paper for the hair, black felt tip to draw a face, ribbon to make a hook so the angel can be used as a decoration and yellow tissue paper, shiny paper and glitter to decorate the angel’s wings and body. And glue!

We aren’t using glitter at our toddler group because we made so much mess last year! The shiny paper was a good substitute. Sequins would be fun too.

 

Here’s some that the children made last week



Advent – for you!

Advent isn’t just for children or families with children – the calendars and candles and chocolates are great but it is also a time when we can take some time to prepare ourselves for Christmas. Each year I try to find something that will help me get my head and my heart ready. I love Christmas baking and craft but I still need to focus on the coming of Jesus. Last year I bought, ‘Good News of Great Joy’ by John Piper; 25 devotional readings for advent that help us prepare for Christmas by putting Jesus at the centre of Christmas.

The book is available as a free download – click here to go to the website.

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Let’s make some time for a cuppa, a chocolate biscuit (optional!) and an advent reading a day as we look forward to this Christmas.


Joseph – fancy coat and camels!

This past week our Bible Story was all about Joseph, his special coat and how his brothers sold him to people travelling on camels to Egypt. The camels were donated to the group about a year ago and normally live in our ‘Vet’ box. They come in very useful for several stories.

Craft – Joseph and his coloured coat! There is a PDF – Joseph

Look out for the umbrella in one of the children’s pictures 🙂

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The Angel visits Mary

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Bible story – from Luke 1:26-38.

(Include actions in the story if you can – ask the children and adults to join in)

One day Mary was at home. It was just an ordinary day. Mary was cleaning the house (some actions here – maybe dusting or sweeping).

But then something extraordinary happened! An angel came to see her! Now angels are not like fairies. Angels are big and strong! (actions here too). The angel that came to see Mary was called Gabriel (ask everyone to repeat the name). He had a message from God.

‘You are going to have a very special baby,’ he said to Mary. ‘This baby will be God’s Son and he will be King forever.’

Who was this baby? This baby, that the angel talked about, was Jesus.

Mary listened. (everyone touch their ears). She knew that this promised baby would be very, very special and important.

Jesus is very, very special and important.

Craft Ideas – make angels

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Square paper plate angel – cut out the wings and use tissue paper to create a stained glass effect.

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Paper cup/ice cream pot angel

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Story bag ideas – a doll to represent Mary or Early Learning Centre Nativity Set. You could add a duster and a dustpan and brush and your angel craft to represent Gabriel.

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Favourite books to share

Do you have a cosy corner for sharing books? Does your toddler group have a special space for parents and children to read a book together?

Last week I spotted a  mum sitting in our comfy book corner with her son and baby daughter. They were surrounded by books and were, in her words, having a ‘book fest’. Even though it was time for snacks I left them to it – they had to finish the book!

When my own children were small we had a favourite book – we can still quote parts of it to each other. It’s ‘So Much’ written by Trish Cooke and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. When I joined the Toddler Group Team at my church I bought a copy for our group. Everyone should have a chance to enjoy this book.

It’s all about a family and how that family love the new baby – they love him so much. As the book goes on we are introduced to all the family – mum, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas. The illustrations are fab.

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Do you have a favourite children’s book? Please share!


shepherd and sheep printable

There are lots of Bible Stories about people who were shepherds  – Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,  Joseph and his brothers, Moses, David and Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

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I’ll be using this colouring page as the craft for the story about Moses and the burning bush. (Exodus 3). As we do the craft before and after the lesson I haven’t included the burning bush as I want that to be a surprise in the story.  Click here for the story.

You could use it for any of the Bible Stories about shepherds.  Here’s the link for the PDF – Shepherd and Sheep