This week we arrive in Bethlehem!
The story is from Luke 2:1-7.
I often start story time by introducing the characters – in this story we’ll all say hello to Mary and then to Joseph as I take them out of the story bag. (The knitted characters are from an Alan Dart pattern – available from his website or from Amazon)
‘Mary and Joseph had to go on a long journey. They needed to go all the way to Bethlehem. Maybe they took one of these with them – take donkey out of the story bag. What noise does a donkey make? Everyone join in with ‘eeyore (hee-haw)’
When they got to the town of Bethlehem they needed to find somewhere to stay. Mary’s baby was soon going to be born.
They looked and they looked. They knocked on the door of the hotel. ‘We must find somewhere soon!’ they said to each other.
The hotel boss answered the door – ‘No room here!’ he said
Oh no! (Everyone repeat this)
‘But maybe you could stay where the animals are?’ he said.
It was better than having nowhere to go. So that was where Mary and Joseph went. And there Jesus was born.
He was a real baby – with 10 fingers and 10 toes and a nose and two eyes and two ears. But he was also very special because he is God’s Son. The Bible gives him a special name – Immanuel – which means ‘God with us’. ‘ (Matthew 1:23)
We’ll add another paper plate to our Journey to Bethlehem display..
So altogether we have …..
We will be making Christmas star wreaths as our craft..
Yesterday I posted a Christmas Card Star idea. Today another idea using the same star wreath. This time you can paint the star or decorate with stickers and then use tissue paper for a stained glass effect.
I used paint markers to create the dots. As with all paint check that what you use is washable and have aprons or warn parents/carers that there will be paint! I bought Washable Dab and Dot Markers. They are for 3plus years but if you put the lids out of reach and keep a watchful eye they are ok. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with using something in your group then don’t use it.
The two ideas…
Star wreaths are from Baker Ross
This is so easy and uses up Christmas cards! The star shape is from Baker Ross. I kept my Christmas cards from last year but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them until I was planning for Christmas and a friend told me about star shaped wreaths!
For toddlers I’m cutting out nativity themed pictures plus a few winter robins and I’ve added the choice of tissue paper too. I went with green and red but silver and gold would be lovely!
Older children could cut out their own motifs from a selection of cards.
The story of the Wise Men is from Matthew 2:1-15. As this story is being told to toddlers I don’t mention Herod’s plan to kill the baby boys. It is a very dark part of the story and reminds us that Christmas and the birth of Jesus took place in a world where many people had rejected God.
To tell the story you need – some Wise Men, toy camels and a star. You can add some actions too – stars with hands (like in twinkle, twinkle little star), running, looking, kneeling.
Do you remember how we heard about Jesus being born? He was a tiny baby. But then he grew and he was a toddler – just like you! He lived in a house with Mary and Joseph.
Far away from where Jesus lived there were some Wise Men. They read books and knew lots and lots of stuff. They loved to look at the stars in the dark nights sky. One night they saw a new star! They looked at the new star and they looked at each other. ‘Wow! they thought this new star means that a new king has been born in Israel. Let’s go and worship him’.
So they packed their things and set off for the important city of Jerusalem. They traveled for a long time. It took days and days to get there. But when they arrived in Jerusalem they couldn’t find a new baby king anywhere!
There was a king but he was a grown up and he wasn’t happy. He didn’t want a new King! He sent for the Wise Men. He sent for the men from the temple. ‘Where is this new King to be born?’ he asked. The men from the temple knew the answer. ‘In Bethlehem.’
So off the Wise Men went. It wasn’t too far to go now. As they got nearer something very special happened. The star was there again and this time it shone right over the house where Jesus was. The Wise men had found Jesus and they knelt down and worshiped him.
Herod didn’t want to worship Jesus. He wanted to get rid of him. An angel told Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and run away to a different country till it was safe to go back home.
Craft Idea –
Decorate stars – we’ve used wooden stars from amazon and paint. Put the painted star on a white envelope so you can name it. It’s much easier than writing it on the back and then having to turn the stars over at home time.
‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’
A song to enjoy
Something to make – twinkly Christmas star
all you need
- 2 pipe cleaners (large) cut in half and twisted together in the centre to make a star
- beads to thread on to the pipe cleaners. Once done fold the end of each pipe cleaner
- fold one pipe cleaner into a hook at it’s end so you can hang it on the tree.
edited – found a spelling mistake!