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.
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….
Week one was creation – God made everything good and Adam and Eve were friends with God and each other.
The idea for the creation paper plates came from here – https://ithappensinablink.com/paper-plate-the-days-of-creation/
This week the story is all about how things went from being ‘very good’ (thumbs up) to very bad (thumbs down). The creation plates will be part of the large picture board and the next story will be added.
God gave Adam and Eve one rule. ‘Don’t eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden’. They could eat from every other tree but not that one.
Then one day a serpent began to talk to Eve! ‘ Just look at the fruit on that lovely tree in the middle of the garden! It looks so deliciousssss. I’m sure God won’t mind if you take a bite. Nothing bad will happen!’
Eve looked at the tree. Eve looked at the fruit. It did look yummy. She reached out her hand and she took the fruit. She could smell how delicious it was and then she took a bite. Then Adam took a bite too!
They had broken God’s one rule and everything changed. They weren’t friends with God anymore and they tried to hide.
But God found them. He still loved them and he promised to send a Saviour so that people could be friends with God again.
In the storybag
I love Christmas. It’s an opportunity for all sorts of lovely crafts. People do appear to be in the mood to celebrate. I wanted to put Christmas into context in our stories at toddler group. Why did Jesus come to earth? So this is the journey to Bethlehem that we are taking.. (sorry that the pics are poor quality – just not enough daylight!)
where we start
God made everything good
Everything did not stay good but God promised to send someone to sort it out.
Things got worse – only Noah and his family were safe in the ark.
God promised to make Abraham’s family huge and to bless everyone on earth through that family
An angel tells Mary that she will have a special baby – Jesus – at last the promise in being fulfilled
Jesus, the saviour is born!
Angels tell shepherds the good news – a Saviour has been born. God has kept his promise to send someone to sort out the mess!
We started with creation last week and move on to the serpent this week. I hope that the adults will enjoy this journey and see Christmas as part of God’s Plan.
As we go through the weeks I’ll post pictures of what it will be like at toddler group. Hopefully you will get an idea of how all the paper plate pictures look as we build the story each week.
Final photo of my attempt to show you them altogether.. didn’t quite work .. but the best I could do today. The footprints will be added each week.
This half term at toddler group we are going to take a journey to Bethlehem. Each week the Bible story will be a simple retelling of a key event on that journey for the children. The plan is to put the stories in the context of The Big Story for the adults.
So we start with creation and everything being made good. Next week the fall and things no longer being good and then onwards to Jesus being born. God’s saviour sent for us.
The order will be
Creation, Fall, Noah, God’s promise to Abraham (through you all the families of the world will be blessed), angel visiting Mary, birth of Jesus, visit of the Shepherds.
So this week the story is going to be told using an idea that I found here – It Happens in a Blink.
here’s some of the paper plates in close up. I had a lot of fun making them. You need sturdy paper plates! I decided not to have a blank plate for day seven. I did see an idea that included lots of zzzz for resting but God didn’t go to sleep he just stopped making because everything was complete and perfect. He doesn’t need to rest in the way that we do. He never slumbers or sleeps 🙂
As I tell the story we will count the days together and name what we can see on the plates. After each day we will say ‘it was all very good’ and do a thumbs up. This will be our action for this weeks story. Next week it will be thumbs down to represent the way that everything was no longer good and perfect.
I’m looking forward to going on this journey to Bethlehem.