The weeks leading up to Christmas are packed with excitement and tradition for kids in your ministry. You can inject even more hope, love, joy, and peace into this blessed season with these eight awesome ideas. Add an extra dose of festivity and faith—and grow kids’ excitement as the celebration surrounding Jesus’ birth approaches.
1. Agent Angels for Hope
Use this game to show kids they can pass along God’s message of hope.
You’ll need: a large room or playing field
Say: In the Bible, angels often came to give people messages of hope from God—like when the angel came to tell Mary and Joseph that Mary was going to have God’s Son. Let’s play a game to help us think about how we can pass along God’s message of hope.
Choose one child for every five or fewer kids in your group to be an Agent Angel, and have those kids stand in the middle of the play area. The rest of the children will pretend to be Mary or Joseph, and they’ll stand along one wall.
When the Agent Angels call “The Lord is with you!” as the angels did in Luke 1:28, the Marys and Josephs will try to cross the room and get to the opposite wall without being touched by an Angel. (The Marys and Josephs avoid the angels because they were afraid when they first saw the angel.)
If an Angel touches a Mary or Joseph, he or she will say “Hope in God’s promises” to that person, and that person becomes a part of the Agent Angel team. When anyone joins the Agent Angel team, he or she can tag Marys or Josephs and repeat the Agent Angels’ message.
Continue rounds until all the children are on the Agent Angel team. Play the game a couple of times.
• In our game, we shared God’s hope with others by touching them. In real life, what are ways we can share God’s hope with others?
2. A Taste of Hope
Use this craft to encourage children to practice sharing the hope of Jesus’ birth with others.
You’ll need: gold or silver colored markers; small, sticky-back googly eyes; white-colored snacks, such as white popcorn, mini marshmallows, or white M&M’s; and for each child: 1 clothespin, 1 resealable sandwich bag, and 1 gold or silver chenille wire
Show kids how to make angel-shaped snacks using these instructions.
1. Color the clothespins gold or silver.
2. Add googly eyes near the top of the clip section.
3. Fill the bags with snacks, leaving enough room so the bag can be pinched together in the center and placed inside the clip to look like angel wings.
4. Show kids how to make a halo by twisting a chenille wire around your finger. Leave about half an inch untwisted and put it in the clip so the halo floats over the angel’s “head.”
Say: Think about someone who might not know about Jesus’ birth. Pause. Give this gift to that person. When you do, tell about Jesus’ birth and how he brings you hope.
Help children brainstorm ways Jesus brings them hope. For example, they might say, “Jesus brings me hope when I feel sad,” or “Jesus came to earth because he loves us.”