Links to ‘how to make’ the characters (specifically the angels but the same basic idea is used for Mary, Joseph and the shepherds too) and the manger
The stable is a cardboard box covered in tissue paper. If you cover the inside of the box with yellow paint or tissue paper the characters will show up better. You can add battery powered tea lights too!
You could make this over several weeks in toddler group or Sunday School or make at home.
Every year we take are able to visit a local school to take a lesson about Christmas and what it means for Christians. This year it was a bit more of a long assembly as we wee able to use the school hall and all the year Two classes were able to be there at the same time. We call this assembly/presentation ‘Christmas Unwrapped’.
The idea is that all the different characters, places and objects that are in the Christmas Story are in gift bags and we allow the children to discover what we have wrapped up. We begin by talking about how the first events of Christmas are found in the Bible. Then as each gift bag is opened a verse from the Bible is read. All the items are added to a nativity display as we go along. Some people or items need more explanation than others.
When we have all the people, places and objects we tell the story using pictures (Power point)
After telling the story in this way we talk about how Christians celebrate Christmas – the food, decorations, special church events and carols. We sing a carol together. And of course we mention presents! At this point we also make sure that the children know that people who wouldn’t call themselves Christians may also do some or all of these things but that the reason why Christians celebrate is that they are remembering the birth of The Saviour, Jesus.
We always finish by thanking the children for taking part and wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and a great holiday.
Here’s some photos – apologies for the quality but it was quite dark!
The visit of the angel Gabriel to mary is recorded in Luke 1:26 -36.
This is an important part of the christmas story but can be difficult to tell to young children. I opt for sticking to the main points of the story. There is a craft at the end opf this post.
To tell the story
A story bag with Mary and the angel inside. Or you could have them in a box wrapped like a present.
A long time ago there was a woman called Mary (Take mary from the bag/present). She was looking forward to getting married. One day she was busy at home when someone came to see her.
Was it her mum? No
Was it Joseph who she was going to marry? No
lets find out – (take the angel from the bag/present). An angel had been sent from God to tell mary some news. The angels name was Gabriel. He was a big, strong messenger from God.
‘God is pleased with you.’ The angel said. ‘Don’t be afraid. God has chosen you to have a special baby. He will be God’s son. He will rule over a Kingdom’
How is this possible? Mary asked
God will make this happen. God can do anyhing he wants’. The angel said.
What an amazing message! Mary agreed to be the mum of this special baby.
Angel craft – you need – white paper for the body, circle head and pens to draw on features, sparkly pip cleaner, wool, silver heart shapes (at least two per angel but you can use more to make the wigs larger), glue, A4 paper or card.
In the Bible Alphabet series I decided on the annunciation story for the letter J because we were so close to Christmas. It followed on from ‘i is for Immanuel’ really well.
The story is found in Lukes Gospel 1:26-33.
To tell the story : Before you begin tell the children that there is something for them to say part way through the story. Get them to repeat ‘don’t be afraid’ a couple of times.
Long, long ago in a town that looked like this…
In a house that looked like this…
there lived a lady who was having a busy day. She was cleaning, she was dusting ..(do the actions for these tasks and ask the children to join in) when she had a big surprise (look surprised) . A big, strong messenger from God had been sent to speak to her. We call God’s big, strong messengers angels. The lady was frightened. She had never seen an angel before.
What did he say? (Are you ready? remember the words we practiced at the beginning) He said, ‘Don’t be afraid’. ‘You have been chosen by God to have a very special baby. He will be a king forever and you will give him the name Jesus.’
The lady’s name was Mary. She was going to have a special baby and call him Jesus.
For the figures of Mary and the angel I used items from an old Nativity set from the Early Learning Centre and introduced them from a story bag at the appropiate time in the story. The pictures of Nazareth and the house are flannelgraph backgrounds. These were on board one over the other. After using the first, flip over to the second.
just couldn’t think of what to do for the letter i in our Bible alphabet series at toddler group. I looked through Young’s concordance and decided on Immanuel. It fitted so well as we are approaching Christmas.
Bible reference – Immanuel is mentioned three times in the Bible – Isaiah 7:14; 8:8 and Matt 1:23.
To tell the story – in the story bag I had Isaiah (a knitted doll) and a scroll made out of sugar paper.
‘A long. long’ long time ago there lived a man called Isaiah (ask children to say the name and take Isaiah out of the story bag). He was given a message from God to tell to the king. It was a promise. Isaiah wrote it down. What could it be? Shall we find out? (Take the scroll out of the bag and read what is says on the outside). Lets open the scroll and find out what God promised. (Open the scroll and read the words inside). God promised to send a baby who would be called Immanuel (ask children to repeat the name). The baby would be ‘God with us’.
You could of course use this for ‘i is for Isaiah’ but if you were teaching the children the sounds of the letters (phonics) it would not fit.