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 Angel’s 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 an 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. 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.’
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.
The storyfrom Genesis 3
Bible truth for toddlers – Adam and Eve broke God’s one rule
‘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. It did look lovely. 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.’
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.
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. You can find all the stories in this series here on the blog with a different paper plate for each story. (You will see that the snake is not a paper plate – but if you don’t have a pre cut spiral a paper plate would be fine. Just decorate and then cut into a spiral shape) The links are with each picture.