Introduction: These sessions will teach the children that many things have changed throughout time but one thing has not changed at all and that is the good news that Jesus came into this world as a baby because God loves us so much. The Birth of Jesus divided time into BC (before Christ) and AD (AD. stands for Anno Domini, which is Latin for year of our Lord,” and it means the number of years since the time when Jesus was born.) Israel at the time of Jesus birth was under Roman occupation. The Roman’s had Censuses every 14 years to tax the people.. Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack S-2-13
• Small glass Jars
• Hot Glue Gun
• Mineral Oil/Baby Oil or water and glycerine (glycerine can be found in craft shops)
• Plastic Nativity Ornament (Christmas tree decoration)
• Small Piece of Cloth, Rubber Band & or ribbon
• Wrapping paper
• Caesars Decree
• Baby in a manger Christmas decoration
Activity 1 - Christmas Nativity Show
Aim: To reinforce teaching about the nativity by doing a snow globe craft.
• Cut the cloth into circles
• Set up the area for craft making and ensure that the glue gun is away from the children’s work space.
• Make sure that one leader is responsible for doing the gluing and does not leave the glue gun unattended at any point.
• Give each child an empty glass jar. (different shapes and sizes are good).
• Let each child choose a nativity decoration, look for something that can stand up. (Remove the string that attaches the decoration to the tree).
• Place the decoration in the centre of the jar lid and put the jar over it to ensure that the decoration will fit in the closed jar.
• Put some hot glue on the centre of the inside of each lid, (a leader should do this part) then place each decoration onto the glue.
• You can cover the glue with sand or glitter but make sure that you shake off any excess as it will end up in the liquid.
• Leave the lids to cool and the glue to dry.
• Pour the mineral oil / baby oil or water and glycerine 3/45 full in the jar.
• Add glitter to the jar for sparkle.
• Use the glue gun on the inside edge of the jar lid.
• Get a leader to carefully very tightly screw the lid onto the jar.
• You can add a piece of cloth around the jar’s lid and use either a piece of ribbon or an elastic band to secure the material.
Check that all the decorations will fit into the size jars that you have.
Activity 2 - Mary And Joseph Go To Bethlehem
Aim: To get the children to think about the story and to extend their memory.
Prepare a circle of chairs
• Get everyone to sit on a chair in a circle. Choose someone to start or get a leader to start.
• That person says Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem on a donkey.
• The next child says: ‘Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem on a donkey to have a baby.
• The next child repeats what both the previous children said and then adds something.
• E.g. To stay in a stable, Under a star. To be visited by shepherds, To receive gifts from Kings, to fulfil the prophets
• Children take turns until one of them forgets something or forgets the order they are said. Each time this happens that child is out until there is only one person left
• That person wins the game.
Song — Mary & Joseph go to Bethlehem You could start with the song so that the children are reminded of the story.
Activity 3 - the Christmas Story - The Birth od Jesus
Aim: To teach the children about the birth of Jesus.
• Read through Luke 2:1-20
• Wrap up the ‘Baby in a manager’ in a box.
The Birth of Jesus (NIV)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was Governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a
manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Christmas is a time that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. What do you do at home to get ready for Christmas?
Well when Mary and Joseph were getting ready for Jesus Birth they had to travel a long way. Caesar who was like our Prime Minister sent out an order — lets read that order.
(Take the Caesar’s decree scroll and read it out)
Every person must travel to the place where they were born and report to the government officers In that city. The ruler of all the land, Caesar Augustus has ordered that every person do this. Everyone must obey this order. Caesar commands all people to be counted. Do not disobey!
So everyone in the land had to travel. Imagine how many people that would be all travelling at the same time. So Joseph and Mary set out to travel to Bethlehem where Joseph was born. Mary was pregnant at the time so it was hard for her to make that journey. They had a donkey and Mary rode on that donkey. It was a long journey.
Before they made this journey an angel had come to Mary and told her that she would have a baby.
The Angel said Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God.
Wow that must have been a shock to meet a real angel. The Bible tells us that his name was the angel Gabriel and that he also appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that Mary would give birth to God’s Son and His name was Jesus because He would take away the sins of everyone in the world.
When they arrived in Bethlehem there were already hundreds of other people arriving to register for Caesar. When they tried to find somewhere to stay there was nowhere for them. They went around asking people and no one could help them until they came to an Inn and asked if they had anywhere for them to sleep. The innkeeper said that the only place he had left was in the stable where the animals sleep but it was warmer than sleeping outside. So Mary and Joseph went to the stable when it was time for Mary to have the baby Jesus.
So with the animals standing around. Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus in a Stable and after he was born they laid Him in a manger.
In our homes we give each other presents at Christmas don't we? I have a present here — can someone help me by opening it?
When the child has opened it ask them to show the group and tell them what it is.
Well, God gave us a very big present on that very first Christmas. He sent His Son to earth as a gift to all of us. God has given us such a special gift in Jesus — because Jesus is our way of getting to know God and of living forever with God. That is the best present that we have ever been given and it will last forever.
Thank you for sending your son Jesus as
a gift to each one of us on that first
Christmas so that we might be able to
trust in Him and live forever with you.
• You could get a leader to dress up as Caesar to make the story more interactive and act out the rest of the story to the children.
• Have a nativity set available for your children, The children could place the baby Jesus - after opening the present - into the Nativity scene after the session
For full details see the BB Anchors Pro Pack S2-13