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 is one of my favourite Bible stories. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover and to face arrest and death when he stops to help a blind man who has to beg to be able to survive. Jesus isn’t too distracted or busy. He stops for a man who asks for help.
In his book ‘Let’s Study Mark’ (Banner of truth 1999) Sinclair Ferguson writes, ‘Jesus has not changed, he is still the same. He still stops for those who call on his name, and he listens to our prayers for help.’
To tell the story…
Jesus and his friends were in a big crowd of people going to the city of Jerusalem. By now lots of people had heard about Jesus and the amazing things he said and did.
One of those people was Batimaeus. Say hello to Bartimaeus!
(Use a puppet or doll to represent Bartimaeus) He wasn’t able to see and couldn’t work so each day he sat with his bowl and begged for money. He had heard about Jesus. He started to call out as loud as he could ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’
There were other people too and they didn’t want to hear Bartimaeus. They said ‘Shush’ Can we all say ‘Shush’?
But Jesus listened. He stopped. He asked to meet Bartimaeus.
‘Get up quick!’ the people said
Bartimaeus threw off his coat and jumped up and came to Jesus.
‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked.
What would Bartimaeus say? Did he want money? No! Did he want a chat? No!
‘I want to be able to see!’ he said.
Could Jesus do that? Yes! Jesus was able to make Bartimaeus see. Bartimaeus believed in Jesus. He believed that Jesus had the power to make him see. We also need to believe in Jesus.
To tell the story from Luke 8 I used some simple pictures. I introduced ‘Jairus’ first and asked the children to repeat his name and say hello.
The pictures I used were a selection of symbols and a photo of a house that I made from a shoe box, and one phrase. I realise that the children weren’t necessarily going to be able to read this but the adult listeners are there too! Plus is a useful prompt for the storyteller 🙂 They are all held together with string and so make one large visual aid by the end of the story.
I like to use a story bag at toddler group story time. I find it holds the interest of the children and adults better than a picture. My mum is a great knitter and made some Bible characters for me.
If you are able to have a go at making some then the pattern is here. They are a good size and can be adapted by adding different clothes. A lovely reader of this blog asked about the pattern so as well as replying in the comments I thought I would share the info here too.