The story of the Wise Men is from Matthew 2:1-15. As this story is being told to toddlers I don’t mention Herod’s plan to kill the baby boys. It is a very dark part of the story and reminds us that Christmas and the birth of Jesus took place in a world where many people had rejected God.
To tell the story you need – some Wise Men, toy camels and a star. You can add some actions too – stars with hands (like in twinkle, twinkle little star), running, looking, kneeling.
Do you remember how we heard about Jesus being born? He was a tiny baby. But then he grew and he was a toddler – just like you! He lived in a house with Mary and Joseph.
Far away from where Jesus lived there were some Wise Men. They read books and knew lots and lots of stuff. They loved to look at the stars in the dark nights sky. One night they saw a new star! They looked at the new star and they looked at each other. ‘Wow! they thought this new star means that a new king has been born in Israel. Let’s go and worship him’.
So they packed their things and set off for the important city of Jerusalem. They traveled for a long time. It took days and days to get there. But when they arrived in Jerusalem they couldn’t find a new baby king anywhere!
There was a king but he was a grown up and he wasn’t happy. He didn’t want a new King! He sent for the Wise Men. He sent for the men from the temple. ‘Where is this new King to be born?’ he asked. The men from the temple knew the answer. ‘In Bethlehem.’
So off the Wise Men went. It wasn’t too far to go now. As they got nearer something very special happened. The star was there again and this time it shone right over the house where Jesus was. The Wise men had found Jesus and they knelt down and worshiped him.
Herod didn’t want to worship Jesus. He wanted to get rid of him. An angel told Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and run away to a different country till it was safe to go back home.
Craft Idea –
Decorate stars – we’ve used wooden stars from amazon and paint. Put the painted star on a white envelope so you can name it. It’s much easier than writing it on the back and then having to turn the stars over at home time.
Lots of making today at Toddler Group – sequins and shredded tissue paper here,there and everywhere but beautiful baubles were made and a simple nativity. I think I prefer sequins instead of glitter for making baubles and the children loved them.
I love celebrating Christmas at Toddler Group 🙂
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.
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.
There are lots of Bible Stories about people who were shepherds – Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and his brothers, Moses, David and Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
I’ll be using this colouring page as the craft for the story about Moses and the burning bush. (Exodus 3). As we do the craft before and after the lesson I haven’t included the burning bush as I want that to be a surprise in the story. Click here for the story.
You could use it for any of the Bible Stories about shepherds. Here’s the link for the PDF – Shepherd and Sheep
What you need – Abraham (this picture was from a google image search), blue sugar/construction paper, green sugar/construction paper cut into a narrow strip, a cloud (optional – you could use cotton wool), a tent shape, glue, tissue paper and/or fabric squares.
To make the tent shape – use the same size paper as for the blue background and trim about an inch off the bottom. Then fold as you see in the picture below. I pre-made the basic tent shapes in different colours in advance.
At toddler group –
Our Bible Story was all about how Abraham left his home and went to a new land that God had promised to show him. This is found in Genesis 12:1.
‘Abraham’ came to toddler group in the Story Bag! We did lots of pointing to our ears when we heard how Abraham listened to God and lots of walking as we heard how Abraham did what God said and went to a new place to live.
On Saturday we drove to Wembley nice and early to go to a Toddler Group leaders conference. I was leading a couple of workshops about Crafts. It was a really good day. The Keynote speaker, Mary Hawes drew our attention to how toddler groups should be places of generosity, relationships, accessibility, community and encouragement. She encouraged us to be confident about being church based and to share Bible Stories. In the afternoon there was a music workshop that everyone was able to attend.
Very importantly tea and coffee and great pastries kept me so well fed during the breaks that I didn’t really need my packed lunch!
The day was really well organised and I came away enthused about running a Toddler Group and encouraged.
Here’s a picture of the Christmas craft we made
Sunrise – best time of day to drive on the north circular!
There are lots of versions of this in my house (!) – this is my favourite
How to make – paper plates cut in half. You can easily cut the dinosaur spikes/plates a few plates at a time. Older children who can safely use scissors can do this part themselves.
Each dinosaur needs a tail and a head – there is a free printable here – Dinosaur Head and Tail (1) Colour these and then attach with glue.
Decorate the dinosaur with tissue paper, crayon, pens – whatever suits you. I like to give children a choice.
Decorate the pegs and attach. The dinosaur should stand up!