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A stable scene set up in a children's ministry classroom.
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Two Preschool Christmas Activities: Jesus’ Manger

Try these two fun preschool Christmas activities as part of your Sunday school lesson to help preschoolers relate to Jesus at Christmas.

Preschool Christmas Activity 1: Finger Fun

Lead children in the following finger play as you encourage them to mimic your actions.

First my fingers touch my nose. (Touch nose.)

Then my fingers touch my toes. (Touch toes.)

Next my fingers pat my head. (Pat head.)

Or they can help me clap instead. (Clap hands.)

Now my fingers wave at you. (Wave hands.)

Hide my eyes-they’ll also do. (Cover eyes with hands.)

And now my fingers help me pray. (Fold hands.)

Thank you, God, for a lovely day! (Lead child in saying these words.)

Bonnie Hanson
Santa Ana, California

Preschool Christmas Activity 2: Jesus’ Manger

Here’s an idea that helped my Cherub class (2- and 3-year-olds) relate to Jesus at Christmas. We built a simple manger and let them try it out. It helped them understand more about what Jesus’ birthday smelled and felt like.

To make a manger, spread out newspaper on the floor. Have the kids pile hay on the newspaper (buy small bales of guinea pig hay at a pet store). Drop dried leaves around the hay so it won’t look so clean. I put a small bowl of compost in a room corner to add authentic barnyard aroma. Add stuffed animals around the edges of the hay and put a blanket in the center.

Have children test the manger bed. Ask:

  • What does this bed smell like? feel like?
  • Is it softer than your bed?
  • What would you hear in a barn? smell? see?

Say: Jesus loved you so much that he was willing to come from heaven to be born in a barn. Jesus loves you very much.

(Caution: As parents drop off their children for class, check to see if any children have allergies to hay.)

Janette Plunkett
Issaquah, Washington

Check out all our Christmas posts, and for loads of great ideas all year long, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine!

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Two Preschool Christmas Activities: J...

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