Links to ‘how to make’ the characters (specifically the angels but the same basic idea is used for Mary, Joseph and the shepherds too) and the manger
The stable is a cardboard box covered in tissue paper. If you cover the inside of the box with yellow paint or tissue paper the characters will show up better. You can add battery powered tea lights too!
You could make this over several weeks in toddler group or Sunday School or make at home.
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..
This week the Bible story was all about Abraham and God’s promise to give him a huge family and to bless all the people on earth through that family. During the story I use the names Abraham and Sarah for simplicity. (Gen
Bible Storyfrom Genesis 12:1-3 and 15:5
Bible truth for toddlers – Jesus was born into Abraham’s family
‘Say hello to Abraham! (take a puppet or doll from the story bag). Abraham lived a long, long, long time ago.
One day God spoke to Abraham, ‘Pack up your things and leave the place where you are living. Go to a place that I will show you.I will make you a great nation and all the families on the earth will be blessed through you’
Abraham listened to God and he did what God said. He and his wife Sarah (take another doll or puppet from the story bag) packed their things and off they went.
God showed them where to go.
Now after Abraham and Sarah had been living in their new home for quite a while God spoke to Abraham again.
Abraham was outside at night time. It was dark. God said to him, ‘Look up at the sky and all the stars. So many stars that you can’t count them. This is how large your family will be.’
Abraham listened to God and he believed God.
And Abraham did have a large family .. and from that large family came Jesus. He is the one that blesses the whole world.’
These paper plates can be used to tell the Christmas story and/or as craft ideas. They need some prep so I’m posting them now!
The Angel Gabriel visits Mary – Luke 1:26-38
Jesus is born – Luke 2:1-7
The shepherds are told about the birth of the Saviour – Luke 2:8-21
You can tell the story a little at a time over three weeks or use the plates altogether
They are made from sturdy paper plates that have a rim (not the cheapest but they need to stand up to being taken out of a story bag). The picture backgrounds are made from tissue paper and the scenes and people use paper, sugar paper, crepe paper, cardboard rolls (stable) wool, cotton wool and shiny paper. The angel wings are hearts cut out using a paper punch. The bodies of the people are triangles and the head scarfs (I can’t think of a better word!) are material. Lots of different textures and colours! Use what you have 🙂
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!
(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
Square paper plate angel – cut out the wings and use tissue paper to create a stained glass effect.
Paper cup/ice cream pot angel
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.