Happy Christmas!

‘Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.’

Christina Rossetti

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Paper Plate Nativity

Angels, Mary, Joseph, shepherds and the manger with the baby. Great for a nativity decoration and for telling the Christmas story.

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.

Jesus is born craft

All you need for this craft – paper party bags, shredded tissue paper, stars, baby picture, glue, crayons or material for the swaddling cloths.

There is a lot of cutting out to do beforehand and not loads for children to do – they decorate the baby, add the tissue paper and the star – so you may want to make a paper plate Mary, Joseph or a shepherd as well!

Angel!

There are lots of Bible stories that include angels so this craft isn’t just for Christmas! But obviously we often make angel crafts at Christmas so here is a paper plate angel that stands up and could be used as a tree topper.

All you need – paper plates (cheap and quite thin as you want to cut them in half and fold them), doilies (not too large and cut or folded in half), wool for hair, stars and shiny paper to decorate, glue and crayons to draw on features and glue.

If you are making these in a toddler group do all the cutting out prep beforehand and have a made angel to give an idea. If you want to do the folding of the plate ahead of time you could.

Enjoy!

Christmas stained glass – paper plate!

I first made a paper plate stained glass window back in 2015! You can take a look at the blog post and instructions here – click this link

There is quite a bit of prep for this craft but it’s so worth the effort. It looks lovely!

This year I thought I would add some extra characters from the Christmas story.

There are templates – you may want to alter the shepherds head – it looks a little lopsided!! (sorry) The link to download – Christmas Stained Glass Window Template

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Happy Christmas to you!

Thank you for visiting this blog! I just want to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

This is my last post of 2018. To finish, here are some photos from the Toddler Group parties that I’ve been involved with over the past week. One was a birthday party for Jesus – with a cake! Father Christmas came to see us last Thursday (real shame there were no elves to wrap gifts! – wrapping 60 books was not all that much fun). I put the gingerbread house and train together the night before one party. Some ideas seem so great till you are several hours into decorating and it still isn’t finished. But no doubt I will forget this and do another one next year. (Only with better decoration!)

Each Christmas I really enjoy telling the Christmas Bible stories. What a truly wonderful thing it is that Jesus came as a baby. It always fills me with a sense of wonder.

And while they were there (Bethlehem), the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.’ Luke 2:6-7

Journey to Bethlehem – week 6 – The Shepherds

So far we have had stories about Creation, the Fall, Abraham, the angel visiting Mary and the birth of Jesus. Our last story in our journey to Bethlehem series is all about the shepherds. Luke 2:8-20

Bible Story from Luke 2:8-20

Bible truth for toddlers – Jesus is the Saviour

The baby sent from God was tucked up in the manger. Mary and Joseph were there to look after him. Do you remember his name? He was called Jesus. There they were that night – just the three of them.

Meanwhile, out of the town, in the hills, there were shepherds. Shepherds look after sheep. What sound does a sheep make?

It was dark – the shepherds were making sure that all the sheep were safe.

Then suddenly something happened that made the shepherds really scared! There was an angel – and the angel was surrounded by bright light.

‘Don’t be afraid’, the angel said, ‘I bring you good news of great joy that is for everyone, everywhere. Today, a Saviour has been born. You will find him lying in a manger.’

Then lots of angels were there singing. And then they were gone and it was dark again.

The shepherds looked at each other, ‘Let’s go and see this thing that’s happened that God has told us about.’

So off they went – down the hill, through the town, looking here, looking there – until they found Jesus. They found the Saviour.

We can find Jesus too. He is still the Saviour sent from God for everyone, everywhere. We won’t find him in a manger – but we can know him as our Saviour.

Another paper plate…

All the paper plates from our Journey to Bethlehem

Week One – Creation https://lettheirlightshine.com/2015/11/04/journey-to-bethlehem/
Week Two – The Fall https://lettheirlightshine.com/2018/11/14/journey-to-bethlehem-week-2/
Week Three – Abraham https://lettheirlightshine.com/2018/11/23/journey-to-bethlehem-week-3/
Week Four – The Angel visits Mary https://lettheirlightshine.com/2018/11/28/journey-to-bethlehem-week-4/
Week Five – Jesus is born https://lettheirlightshine.com/2018/12/05/journey-to-bethlehem-week-5/
Week Six – The Shepherds find Jesus

Journey to Bethlehem – week 5 – Jesus is born

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)

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The Story

‘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)’

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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)

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We’ll add another paper plate to our Journey to Bethlehem display..IMG_3697

So altogether we have …..

We will be making Christmas star wreaths as our craft..

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Journey to Bethlehem – week 4 – The Angel visits Mary

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……

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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.

Another Christmas star idea!

Yesterday I posted a Christmas Card Star idea. Today another idea using the same star wreath. This time you can paint the star or decorate with stickers and then use tissue paper for a stained glass effect.

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I used paint markers to create the dots. As with all paint check that what you use is washable and have aprons or warn parents/carers that there will be paint! I bought Washable Dab and Dot Markers. They are for 3plus years but if you put the lids out of reach and keep a watchful eye they are ok. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with using something in your group then don’t use it.

The two ideas…

Star wreaths are from Baker Ross