If you shake your Christmas stocking for new ideas to celebrate Christmas this year and nothing falls out, don’t despair. Try any of these Christmas Activities for Kids: Countdown to Christmas to keep kids focused on the true meaning of Christmas.
1. It’s a Boy!
Have groups of children work together to create a birth announcement for Jesus — complete with a painted footprint from a baby in the nursery (get parent’s permission). Photocopy two announcements for each child to take home—one to keep and one to give away.
2. I Was There
Have groups choose different characters in the Christmas story. Then have each group write and present a Christmas drama based on that character’s account. Videotape each drama and send it to parents to watch.
3. Shine On
Have each child cut out a poster board star and write his or her name on it using glow-in-the-dark paint. Tape the stars to your classroom ceiling. Turn off the lights and tell kids that just as the star pointed people to Jesus, they too can help others find the savior.
4. “The Christmas Story”
Have preschoolers dictate to you the Christmas story. Write each sentence on a different sheet of paper—keeping it in the children’s words. Then have kids illustrate each page. Put the pages together in order, put a cover on the book, and staple it together. Invite your pastor to your class for a special presentation of this book.
5. Create an interactive Christmas outreach event.
One Stary Night families will explore Bible-times Bethlehem, strike up conversations with townspeople who are hoping for a Savior, follow shepherds to find the baby Jesus –and enjoy hands-on experiences along the way.
6. Hire an Elf
Have kids sign up to do gift-wrapping for the staff members in your church. Staffers provide all the materials.
7. Belated Gift
After Christmas, have kids give free housecleaning to church staff members who’ve put in double duty during the holiday season.
Kids can give to less-fortunate children around the world at Christmas time. Have kids pack a shoe box with small toys, batteries, flashlights, hats, gloves, or wrapped hard candies and deliver the box to Samartian’s Purse or a drop-off location. Samaritan’s Purse delivers gift boxes to children in countries such as Bosnia, Rwanda, and Romania.
9. Surprise Advent Boxes
Have children fill 25 boxes with goodies such as wrapped candies, small toys, pencils, a Christmas card, handmade pictures, and a Scripture verse. Then have children wrap or decorate their boxes. Have children think of 25 people who serve in your church, such as pastors, teachers, custodians, secretaries, or committee members. Number these names and assign the people to children. Tell parents what’s going on too. On the date that corresponds to that person’s number, the child delivers a surprise advent box to that person.
10. Artsy Calendars
Assign a different month of the year to each child—assign more than one month if necessary to cover the year. Have each child draw a picture for the assigned month and sign his or her creation. Then use these drawings as the picture part of a calendar. Photocopy the calendars and have them spiral bound. Kids can give these to their parents.
11. Book Giveaway
Have kids bring in old books to donate to a local library or give to community children to enjoy.
12. Help families make meaningful Christmas memories together.
During this engaging, one-hour, interactive program, families will hear a dramatic retelling of the Christmas story from cast members onstage.
13. Teacher Blessings
Give each teacher a subscription to Children’s Ministry Magazine — the gift that keeps on giving!
14. Angels Everywhere
Give each child an angel ornament or an angel pin. Attach the angel to a card with this calligraphy on it: “…Your angels in heaven continually behold the face of my father who is in heaven”— Matthew 18:10.
15. Special Recognition
Present to each teacher and classroom helper a corsage or boutonniere to wear at your services on the Sunday closest to Christmas.
16. Swaddling Quilt
You’ll need a large nativity scene at the front of your church. As people arrive for services, give each one a 4X4-inch square of sturdy white fabric. At an appointed time, provide permanent markers and have each person write on their fabric square a prayer to Jesus or a gift they want to give him. Collect the squares. During the sermon, work with volunteers to iron Stitch Witchery tape (available at fabric stores or Wal-Mart) onto the squares (allowing a 1/2 -inch overlap on each side of the squares) to make a quilt. At the end of the service, have the church sing “O Come, Let Us Adore Him” as you ceremoniously bring in the quilt and wrap baby Jesus in it.
17. Surprise Seating
Help church members get to know each other at your Christmas dinner. Draw each one of these symbols on a different 3X5 card: a tree, a bell, an angel, a cross, a star, and a gift. Repeat the drawings to make one card for each guest. Put one card from this set on the table at each place. Make another set of cards with one of each symbol and put these cards in a bowl. As people come to the dinner, have them draw a Christmas symbol from the bowl and then put the card back into the bowl. Tell people to find their symbols at the table and enjoy getting to know the people seated next to them during dinner.
Christine Yount Jones
18. My Gift to Jesus
After teaching about God’s gifts to us, talk about how we can give gifts to Jesus. Then have children think of something they promise to do that Jesus would really like, such as tell a friend about Jesus or pray. Have kids write gift cards: “Lord Jesus, this Christmas my gift to you is (promise). Love, (child’s name.)” Have each child put his or her card in a small box, wrap it, and label it: “To Jesus. From (child’s name.)” Have children take their gifts home, put them under the tree, and open them for Jesus on Christmas day.
19. Angel Tree Partners
Create a partnership with a church in a low-income area. Get the names, ages, sizes, interests, and Christmas wish lists of the most needy children. Write the information on angel cutouts and place them on a small Christmas tree at a central place in your church. Church members can choose an angel and provide gifts and a package of underclothes for the needy child. Invite the children to a Christmas party with games and refreshments at your church. Then present the gifts.
Fort Worth, Texas
20. Paper Bag Stockings
Have children make brown paper bag Christmas stockings for a crisis pregnancy center. Have children use a stocking pattern to cut out their paper stockings. Staple the two sides of each stocking together and decorate it with lace and fabric. Use appropriate fabric for all year long. Have children take their stockings home and fill them with small baby items such as baby soap, socks, diaper cream, and teething rings. Place the returned stockings in a large decorated box and deliver the box to a crisis pregnancy center. Young mothers will deeply appreciate the children’s gifts.