Fa-La-La-La-La Festival

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Celebrate Christ’s birth with 22 Christmas ideas,
activities, and resources.

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Kids love Christmas more than any other time of year — and who
can blame them? Adults can get just as caught up in the excitement
of this blessed season. So let’s get festive! Let’s truly celebrate
Jesus’ birth and the awe-inspiring things he has done for us. Let’s
celebrate, sing our praises, and say “thank you” for the most
precious gift the world has ever been given.

We’ve pulled together ideas that focus on celebrating Christmas in
many different ways — from giving to others to receiving God’s
most awesome gift. Kids are sure to love the fun candy crafts and
delight in the moving-and-grooving celebration of God’s Son.

There are so many things for kids to celebrate during this time of
year-families, friends, the ability to give, and most importantly,
Jesus. Let’s make the most of this wonderful celebration!

Gift Jars

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Age level: 6 to 9

Scripture: Matthew 2:7-12

Materials: Clear glass or plastic jars with lids, craft glue,
water, paintbrushes, small paper cups, several colors of tissue
paper, scissors, felt, yarn, gold-covered chocolate coins,
frankincense and myrrh resin blend (available at www.internatural.com), mesh
netting (available at craft stores) cut into 4×4-inch squares,
ribbon, resealable plastic baggies, and parchment paper preprinted
with the Scripture.

These stained-glass gift jars are filled with ways to remember
how the Magi celebrated Christ’s birth with gold, frankincense, and
myrrh.

Have kids cut out 15 to 20 small different sizes and shapes of
tissue paper. Mix craft glue and a small amount of water in paper
cups. Have kids “paint” glue on the jar and then apply tissue paper
pieces. Set aside the jars to dry.

Give kids one or two frankincense and myrrh resin nuggets, and have
them put the nuggets in the center of a piece of precut mesh
netting. Have kids tie the nuggets inside the netting using ribbon.
Place the frankincense and myrrh resin inside the jars.

Have kids place several gold-

covered chocolate coins inside a resealable baggie and place them
inside the jar. Then have kids roll a piece of the preprinted
parchment paper to give it an aged look. Put the papers inside the
jars.

Have kids cut a piece of felt 2 inches in diameter larger than each
jar’s lid. Seal the jars with the lids, and center the felt over
the lid. Using a piece of yarn, tie the felt to the jar around its
neck.

Have kids take home their gift jars to share with their families as
they read the Scripture.

Mega Birthday Bash

Age level: 5 to 9

Scripture: Luke 2:8-20

Sponsor a huge birthday bash at your church to celebrate Jesus’
birth.

Two weeks prior to the event, send birthday party invitations to
kids to announce the birthday bash and encourage them to bring
their friends and neighbors.

For the birthday bash, create booths with party games such as Pin
the Gift on the Wise Man, Christmas Musical Chairs, and Christmas
Star Twister. Include face painting and a cupcake stand where kids
receive a cupcake with a birthday candle they can blow out. Stock
another booth with paper, markers, decorative scissors, glitter,
glue, and stickers to make Christmas cards for people in a nursing
home or at a shelter.

Decorate with streamers, balloons, and banners. Play kids’ favorite
Christmas carols. Give kids birthday hats and party bags to collect
candy from each booth. Hire or recruit clowns and balloon artists
to wander through the party as they share the story of Jesus’ birth
and the amazing gift God has given us.

Kandi Elliot

Lansing, Illinois

Beaded Bookmarks

Age level: 6 to 12

Scripture: Romans 12:6

Materials: Waxed jewelry cording, medium-size mixed glass beads
(available at craft stores), decorative card stock, hole punch,
scissors, and decorative pens.

These beaded bookmarks make gifts that are beautiful and
practical.

Precut the jewelry cording to 12-inch lengths. Have kids cut a
1×2-inch section of card stock and punch a hole in one end. Kids
can write “We all have different gifts, according to the grace
given us-Romans 12:6″ on one side of the card stock. Have kids
thread the cardstock to the cording as a gift tag.

Have kids tie a double knot 2 inches from each end of their piece
of cording. Kids can choose any combination of beads they’d like
and thread beads on both ends of the cording to the knots. Have
kids tie off each end as close to the base of the beads as
possible. Clip off any extra cording.

Julianne Winkler Smith

Morrisville, North Carolina

Sweet Snapshots

Age level: 6 to 12

Scripture: Romans 8:14-16

Materials: Assorted decorative rhinestones, buttons, glass beads,
and other items; craft glue; cardboard photo frames (available at
www.orientaltrading.com); and photos.

Children will love to make these unique Christmas photo frames
using “gems” and lots of imagination.

A week or two before the activity, have kids bring in a photograph
of themselves or their families.

Have kids decorate the outside of the frame using craft glue and
different combinations of the gems. Once decorated, set the frames
aside to dry. When dry, insert or glue the photos in place.

Read aloud the Scripture. Ask, “What does it mean to be one of
God’s children? What do you think this Scripture tells us about how
we should live? How does it feel to think of your parents as God’s
children? How can we celebrate being part of God’s family this
Christmas?”

Wise Men

Age level: 6 to 12

Scripture: Matthew 2:7-12

Materials: Three round papier-mâché craft boxes with lids (ranging
in diameter from 2 to 8 inches)-(available at craft stores) for
each child, felt, scissors, yarn, glue, tempera paints,
paintbrushes, and various decorations.

Have kids create their own “wise men” to celebrate Christ’s
birth. Give kids each three round papier-mâché craft boxes of
different sizes. Kids will stack the boxes from largest to
smallest. Have them glue bottoms of the smallest and mid-size boxes
to the center of the lids of the boxes just larger. Allow the glue
to dry.

Kids can decorate their boxes with paint, felt, and yarn to
represent the wise men. Encourage kids to be creative as they
imagine what these men might’ve looked like on their visit to see
the baby Jesus. Once decorated, allow the creations to dry
completely.

Kids can use their wise men as candy keepers or give them as
gifts.

Manger Puppets

Age level: 3 to 9

Scripture: Luke 2:13-18

Materials: Empty pudding boxes (two per child), yarn, cotton balls,
pompoms, tempera paint, masking tape, large google eyes, and
construction paper.

Kids will love to re-create the barn animals that kept Mary,
Joseph, and baby Jesus company on the night Jesus was born.

Before class, cut or tear off the “open here” flaps from the end of
each pudding box. For younger children, stack two pudding boxes
with the open ends on top of each other. Use masking tape to create
a “hinge” between the boxes by placing strips of masking tape along
the area where the boxes meet. (Older kids can do this for
themselves.) Apply tape to both sides of the hinge. The child’s
hand will slip inside the pudding boxes to create a puppet’s head
and mouth.

Kids can make their puppets into any barn animal they choose, such
as a lamb, a donkey, or a pig. Use items such as paint, cotton
balls, google eyes, and yarn.

Read aloud the Scripture, and ask kids to imagine what it may’ve
been like that first night for Jesus and his family.

Baby Gifts From Preteens

Age level: 10 to 12

Scripture: Matthew 2:10-11

Materials: Large cardboard collection box and giftwrapping
supplies.

We have our preteen kids sponsor a baby-item collection in the
weeks leading up to Christmas. We place a collection box outside
our classroom door for kids to fill and for congregation members to
add to. Most of the gifts come from local businesses’ donations or
from our preteens.

Just before Christmas, we have a wrapping party. On each gift, we
attach a bow, a Scripture message, information about our church,
and a short message about God’s love for children. Then we deliver
the gifts to a hospital that caters to economically disadvantaged
people. The gifts are then given to parents of new babies born on
or after Christmas Eve. The preteens love doing this unique
serv­ice project, and they look forward to being part of it every
year.

Lois Green

Kansas City, Missouri

     

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