Thank you for visiting this blog! I just want to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.
This is my last post of 2018. To finish, here are some photos from the Toddler Group parties that I’ve been involved with over the past week. One was a birthday party for Jesus – with a cake! Father Christmas came to see us last Thursday (real shame there were no elves to wrap gifts! – wrapping 60 books was not all that much fun). I put the gingerbread house and train together the night before one party. Some ideas seem so great till you are several hours into decorating and it still isn’t finished. But no doubt I will forget this and do another one next year. (Only with better decoration!)
Each Christmas I really enjoy telling the Christmas Bible stories. What a truly wonderful thing it is that Jesus came as a baby. It always fills me with a sense of wonder.
‘And while they were there (Bethlehem), the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.’ Luke 2:6-7
Thought you might like to see how we display our ‘Journey to Bethlehem’ paper plates at Toddler Group. The hall has a stage (very mixed blessing) and I use a Go pack table put onto it’s side as a large display space. It works really well and is very stable as the legs of the table hold it up. Each week we’ve added more plates.
This week we also had our stable scene which we bought from Costco about ten years ago. We use it in toddler group and for school classes. The toddlers are always really fascinated by it so it comes out for two weeks. Week one is The Birth of Jesus. Week two (Christmas party week) is The Visit of the Shepherds.
Here’s some pictures of our star wreath craft from this morning
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..
This week we get very near to Bethlehem! The story is the Angels visit to Mary from Luke 1:26-38.
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.
All the paper plates so far will be on display…
New plate to add…
And a new angel craft idea…
All you need is paper plates cut into wedges, doilies cut into quarters, circles, wool, shiny paper and wool. You can either draw on the eyes and smile beforehand or let the children do it.
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.
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. (Genesis 12:1-3 and 15:5).
We add another paper plate to all the others ..
So, altogether the story so far….