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!
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..
Looking for books about the Christmas story? These are a few of my favourites.
‘No Tree for Christmas’ by Marilyn Lashbrook illusrated by Stephanie McFetridge Britt. (ISBN 9781859857069)
This book is ideal for younger children. There are phrases to repeat and great pictures. (Not too sure that there would have been pigs in a stable in Bethlehem but I don’t think children would worry about this!)
My First Story of Christmas by Tim Dowler. Illustrated by Roger Langton. (ISBN 9781859856574)
Another great book for young children designed as a gift book for 4-7 year olds. I love the fact that this book accurately depicts the shepherds coming to the stable and the wise men to the house a few years later. The wise men were never at the stable! Great illustrations with lots of detail and suitable humour.
Jesus is Born! Children’s Activity Book. (www.dayspring.com).Illustration Jin Young Lee/Shutterstock
This strory/puzzle book with four pages of stickers would make a good stocking filler or a small gift for Sunday School children. Rather than retelling the Christmas Story the book includes the Bible references. There are puzzles throughout. The stickers can be added to the line drawn pictures which the child can colour in.