Christmas at ABCJLMimage shared by suzy


As moms and teachers, our goal for Christmas is to keep Jesus the Reason for the Season.  The activities below help us reach our goal.  Use these ideas to create Christ-centered Christmas Traditions in your family and with other children.  Ideas are provided to host a Happy Birthday Jesus Party as well!

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Christmas Traditions

Lego Advent

Lego Christmas Activity Workbook

Using Legos or blocks, the Christmas Activity workbook provides daily activities to impress Christ in Christmas. Crafts, baking, and songs support the suggested learning.  Free of family Our Out-of-Sync Life blog and ABCJLM Newsletter subscribers, or to purchase here.  

Wordless Book Cake

Birthday Party for Jesus 

Several ideas to hold your very own birthday party for Jesus!  

Basket of Joy

Visit neighbors or a nursing home to deliver goodies and smiles.  Start the beginning of December planning times to visit.  Plan love on people with your time and attention.

paper chain

Christmas Countdown Activity List 

A list 25 activities to countdown to Christmas.  Great family tradition.

25 Promised from God

Christmas Promises from God 

Read daily promises from God and add a glass ornament on the tree stating the promise.  Print the 25 Promise verses or use your own.

Hay for Jesus

Hay for Jesus 

Idea shared by Nicolle: Growing up, our coffee table housed a little manger with hay under it.  During the time right after Thanksgiving until Christmas, every time we did something without being asked to do it, we got to place a piece of hay in the manger. The goal was to get enough hay in the manger by Christmas for baby Jesus. Since a bale of hay is not readily available to everyone, try using ornamental grass from your landscape.  You could also use artificial or dried decorative grass found at your local hobby store.

Jesus Stocking

Hang an extra stocking for Jesus and each time a family members does something to love on others write on a slip of paper the activity and place it in the stocking.  On Christmas Eve read the slips of paper together.  

 

Photos of Prayer

Turn Christmas cards into a time of prayer

Silver Dollar City

If you are near Branson, Missouri, take a trip to Silver Dollar City to celebrate an "Old Fashion Christmas"

Star Ribbon

Be Wise Men 

Without the child watching, hide several stars around the room.  Tell the child that he/she is to be like the Wise Men and find the star that led them to Baby Jesus.  Help the child dress the part with a robe and a towel around his/her head (use a belt, safety pin, or robe to hold the towel on).

Send Christmas Cards

Have your child assist you in the cards by helping to sign their name and telling you their address.  Demonstrate the proper way to address and stamp a card.

Gingerbread Houses

Make Gingerbread Houses to review shapes, sorting, and spatial relationships.  Purchase a Gingerbread House Kit or use these instructions to make your own.

Candy Cane Poem Attach

Candy Cane Poem and Printable

Print the coloring sheet or the poem on little cards and attach with a ribbon to real candy canes.  Add to any gift or use as favors at parties or Christmas gatherings.

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Christmas Books to Read

Scripture:  Luke 2, Matthew 1-2

The Beginner's Bible for Toddlers: pg 77-95
Read and Share Toddler Bible:  pg 126-143
The Beginner's Bible: pg 271
My Story Bible pg 60-67
Through the Bible in Felt:  pg 153-158

Countdown to Christmas Book List

View a list of over 55 Christmas children books to wrap and read one book per day as a countdown to Christmas or for Advent.

Why Do We Call it Christmas? 

A shortened version of the video by the same name, your child can read the real story behind Christmas to learn who Santa Claus is, why it's called Christmas, why stockings are hung, who St. Nicolas was, and how it all intertwines together.

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Crafts

Cinnamon Apple Sauce Ornaments

Cinnamon Ornaments 

Make for your own tree or to giveaway these simple and wonderful smelling ornaments.

Rectangle Christmas Tree

Rectangle Christmas Tree

Rectangle Christmas Tree.  This is a great activity to teach size, sorting, cutting, and gluing.  

Wrapping Paper

Homemade Wrapping Paper

Make homemade wrapping paper with a brown paper grocery sack or large piece of brown packing paper.  Paint, color, or stamp decorations.

Paper Plate Christmas Wreath

Paper Plate Christmas Wreath 

Cut out the inside of a paper plate and decorate with cut pieces of construction paper or tissue paper.  

Baby in a Manger

Baby Jesus in the Manger

Cut out the small Baby Jesus from the Baby Jesus template .  On a piece of construction paper, glue enough small pieces of brown and yellow yarn to form a bed.  Glue Baby Jesus into the bed.  Glue popsicle sticks around the baby to make a manger.

Handprint and Footprint Calendar

Hand and Footprint Calendar

Create a Handprint & Footprint Calendar to give as a gift to a loved one. The instructions include examples to make for each month as well as suggested Bible verses that correspond with the prints.

Christmas Trees

Craft Stick Christmas Trees

Using craft scissors, cut the craft sticks to the size needed.  Then glue them together with a hot glue gun and paint.  Decorate and glue a piece of string on the back of the ornament to hang.<

Macaroni Star

Macaroni Star

Place a few macaroni noodles in a zip-top plastic bag.  Add couple of drops of vinegar and 4-5 drops of food coloring.  Mix to distribute the color.  Dye more macaroni in separate bags.  Open the top of the bag and let dry.  Using the Star Template, place a thin layer of glue on the paper.  Add the colored macaroni to create a colorful macaroni star.

Handprint Christmas Tree

Handprint Christmas Tree

Create a handprint Christmas tree on a towel, bag, tablecloth, t-shirt, etc.  Could also be used as the "December" Handprint & Footprint Calendar page.

 

Baby in a Hankie

Fold a handkerchief in half, corner to corner.  Roll two of the corners of the triangle in towards each other until the rolls touch.  Without disturbing the rolls just created, very carefully separate the triangle point.  (If you pull too hard the entire thing will fall apart.)  Hold the one end while pulling back the other end around the rolls until a cradle is formed.  The rolls become a baby.  Let the child rock Baby Jesus during story time.

Cone Tree 4

Cone Christmas Trees

Make Cone Christmas Trees using a sugar ice cream cone, whipped frosting, and candies.

paper chain

Christmas Countdown Chain

Create a countdown chain to build excitement for Christmas.  Also check out this Idea for a classroom setting.

3D Star

Christmas Star 

Cut out the stars from the printable on cardstock paper and decorate.  Cut on the dotted lines.  Slide the cut portion of one star over the cut portion of the other to make a 3D Star.  Add a string to hang.

Salt Dough

Homemade Christmas Ornaments  (Recipe #1)

Salt Dough Ingredients:  1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup salt, 1/2 cups water

Directions:  Mix together the flour and salt.  Add in the water.  May add food coloring.  Knead until smooth.  Break off a small section and roll 1/8" thick.  Have the child press his foot or hand into the dough to make a print.  Let it dry for a few days by flipping periodically or bake at 200 degrees until hard.Make the ornament dough and allow the ornaments to reflect each personality or create a hand or footprint..  Start a tradition by dating the ornaments to look back at years of memories.   

Handprint Ornament

Homemade Christmas Ornaments  (Recipe #2)

Clay Dough  (This is my favorite option.)

1 cup Baking Soda, 1/2 cup Cornstarch, 3/4 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan. Add plain or tinted (food coloring works well) warm water and stir until dissolved. Cook over medium high heat until it resembles play dough. Remove from heat and cool to touch. Kneed on lightly cornstarched surface until smooth and soft.  Roll to the desired thickness. Cut with cookie cutters.  Add a hand or footprint if desired.  Use a straw to make a hole for hanging. Embellish, paint, emboss as desired.  Air dry for 24 hours turning one or twice to reduce curling.

Handprint Angel

Handprint and Footprint Angel

Create an angel with a foot for the body and the hands for the wings.  Draw a head and face.  Add this saying to the back or on the same side if framing: " This little angel is special you see; because she is a part of me. Her wings are my hands, her body my feet. And on the tree she'll look very sweet."  Thank you to Lesleigh for this idea.

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Christmas Printables

Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus Book

Decorate the "Happy Birthday, Jesus" title page with glitter, sequins, and stickers.  Staple or bind pages together to form a book.  Review the Bible stories as you look through the finished book . Here are some worksheets to fill the Happy Birthday Jesus Book or use the printable ideas below:  ShepherdsJesus is BornBowing to JesusThree Wise MenKnowing Jesus Activity BookShepherd Writing Worksheet

Glitter Angel

Angel

Color and cut out the angel on the Angel Coloring Sheet.  Glue to a piece of construction paper.  Outline the angel with glue and sprinkle on glitter.  Let dry.  Discuss how the angel told Mary and Joseph that baby Jesus was going to be born.

Wax Brown Shepherd

Shepherds

Trace the outlines of the Shepherds Coloring Sheet with a white crayon.  Paint over with water colors using q-tips.  Glue to a piece of construction paper.

3 Wise Men Color

Wise Men and Star Puppets

Using the Wise Men Puppets , cut and color each and place on craft sticks.  Show the Wise Men following the star.

Decorated Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Poster

Using craft supplies like sequins, pompoms, glitter, and stickers, decorate the tree poster.

Countdown Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Countdown

Print and decorate the tree poster. Add the countdown numbers to build excitement for Christmas Day.

Tissue Paper Angel

Tissue Paper Angel

Paint the Angel with watered-down glue.  Cover the angel with tissue paper.  Paint another layer of glue on top of the tissue paper.  Add glitter.  Let dry and then cut out.

 

Bell Angel

Cut out each piece of the template and glue together.

Paper Plate Baby

Swaddle Baby Jesus

Paint both sides of a paper plate brown.  Let dry.  Using the large baby from the baby Jesus template, cut out and glue the baby inside the paper plate.  Fold the sides of the plate in so as to swaddle the baby.

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Recipes

Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Christmas Pretzel Bites with the M&M Christmas Story 

Using pretzels, Hershey Kisses, and M&Ms is a less expensive option to the pretzel/Rolo/pecan bites.  Also, adding the M&M allows you to include the M&M Christmas story poem with a gift bag.

M&M Christmas Poem
Author: by Pam Ridenour
 
As you hold these candies in your hand,
And turn them you will see
The M becomes a W, and E and then a 3
They tell the Christmas story,
It's one I'm sure you know
It took place in a stable a long, long time ago
The E is for the East, where the star shone so bright
The M is for the manger where Baby Jesus slept that night
The 3 is for the wisemen, bearing gifts they say they came
W is for Worship, Hallelujah, Praise His Name
So as you eat these candies or share them with a friend
Remember the meaning of Christmas it's a Love Story that never ends

Tortilla Stars

Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Stars 

Spread margarine on flour tortillas.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut stars out of a flour tortilla.  Bake approx 10 minutes in 350 degree oven until crisp.

Christmas PB Balls

Christmas Peanut Butter Balls 

There are a few recipes that make my holiday time complete.   Christmas Balls are one of my Christmas musts. I always make a batch of these to include in our gift baskets for neighbors, teachers, and friends as well as some extras for us to eat.

Sugar Cookies

The Best Sugar Cookie Recipe 

I love sugar cookies but, in my opinion it is hard to find a good sugar cookie.  This is the best sugar cookie recipe ever.  And instead of being stingy and not sharing it with you, I am going to pass on this amazing cookie recipe so that you can eat them too!

Puppy Chow

Human Puppy Chow 

This stuff is so yummy that we have had neighbors call and ask for more!  And it is so simple to make that the kids can be actively involved in the process.

Wordless Book Cake

"Happy Birthday Jesus" Cake 

Make Jesus a chocolate birthday cake or cupcakes.  Allow the child to unwrap butter sticks or separate cupcake wrapper and help frost the cake or cupcakes.

Idea #1:  

Shared by Nicolle:  Each year we made two Christmas cakes. One for our family to have and one to give to someone else. My siblings and I took turns turns giving the cake to someone; it usually was one of our teachers. We also explained the cake's symbolism . When we'd eat our family cake, each of us children would take one of the three colors and tell what it meant.Start with a baked chocolate cake made in a tart or round pan.  (The round cake is a reminder that God's love for us has no end.  His love for us is so great that He sent His Son to earth. John 3:16)Dig a little well in the cake and fill with cherry pie filling topped with cool whip or white icing.  When we were a little older we sprinkled gold (for Heaven) and green (for new life) on top of the cool whip.The chocolate represented how dark our hearts are with sin before we know Jesus. (Romans 3:23 and Isaiah 53:6)The cherries represented the blood that He shed for our sins.  (Ephesians 1:7 and Hebrews 9:22)The cool whip or white icing represents how His blood washes our sins white as snow and He remembers our sin no more. (Romans 4:24 and Isaiah 61:10)

Idea #2: 

Chocolate cake and frosting represent the human condition
Red candle represents Christ's blood shed on the Cross
White candle stands for how Jesus washed away our sins
Green candle represents renewal and growth
Yellow candle stands for the golden streets of heaven.

Ideas #3:

Items Needed:
3 layered round cake - red, green, and chocolate layers
White frosting
Yellow frosting
Candles

To make the colored layers - mix a white cake according to the box/recipe directions. Divide the batter in half. Drop several drops of green food coloring in one half, and red food coloring in the other half. Pour each into 8" round cake pans and bake according to recipe directions.  Also bake one 8" round chocolate cake.

When cooled, stack the chocolate layer, red layer in the middle, ending with the green layer with white frosting in between. Frost the entire cake with white frosting. Add yellow decorations and candles to the top.

Symbolism:
The chocolate layer reminds us that our heart is full of sin.
The red layer reminds us that Jesus shed His blood for our sins.
The white frosting reminds us that Jesus will forgive our sins and give us a clean heart.
The green layer reminds us to grow in Christ through praying, reading the Bible, and worshiping.
The yellow decorations remind us of heaven.
The candles remind us Jesus is the Light of the world.

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Games

Nativity Memory Game (reprinted by permission) 

Purchase or use a Nativity set with individual pieces. Place them on a table and have the children close their eyes. Remove one of the pieces and have the children see if they can figure out which piece is missing. After the missing piece is discovered, talk about its significance in the Nativity. For instance, if you take away a Shepherd, explain to the children how an angel appeared to the shepherds in the fields to tell of Jesus' birth.

Dress Up as a Shepherd

Using a brown paper grocery sack, cut a hole in the bottom for the child's head and two holes on the sides for the child's arms.  Tie at the waist with a belt or rope.  Add a towel around the head held on by a belt or rope.  Add a staff made out of a wrapping paper roll.  Hide a sheep or star and let the child try to find it.

Christmas Computer Game

Play the Birth of a Savior Game and use the coloring sheets on the Charlie Church Mouse Kindergarten Cd-Rom .  Read more ...

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Songs

Silent Night

by Joseph Mohr

Silent night (one finger up to mouth making shh motion)
Holy night (left arm horizontal in front of body, and right arm starts vertical and closes down to the left arm so both arms on top of each other, like the sun going down on the horizon)
All is calm (palms up and cross in front of body at waist height and end with arms out to your sides)
All is bright (palms facing out cross hands in front of your face and swing them out to the sides of your face)
Round yon' virgin, mother and child (rock baby motion)
Holy infant (sign for holy with left palm up in front of body, touch right index finger to left palm and make a jazz hand facing kids and move it up from left palm, to in front of your face, and end up on the right side of your face at shoulder height)
So tender and mild (rock the baby)
Sleep in heavenly peace (sleep hands by face on left side)
Sleep in heavenly peace (sleep hands by face on right side)

First Noel 

Traditional
The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel

Christmas Bells

Tune:  Jingle Bells
Christmas Bells, Christmas Bells,
Ring them out today.
Christ was born in Bethlehem
To take our sins away.Christmas Bells, Christmas Bells,
Ring them out today.
Tell all the world of Jesus' love
This happy Christmas day.  

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Discuss how there is a Biblical meaning to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” as well.Mary – Jesus’ MotherLamb – JesusWhite as snow – Jesus was without sin

O Come All Ye Faithful 

Traditional
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Away in a Manger

Traditional
Away in a manger (rock baby in your arms)
No crib for a bed (shake head "no")
The little Lord Jesus (point up)
Laid down His sweet head (place hands beside head to "sleep")
The stars in the sky (flick fingers in the air)
Looked down where He lay (place hand on forehead and "look")
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay (place hands beside head to "sleep")

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Videos

 Free "12 Questions of Christmas" Videos on YouTube(From What's in the Bible?)

 What's In The Bible? Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call it Christmas? 

Fantastic video to explain the origin of our Christmas traditions.

The Toy That Saved Christmas

 Veggie Tales: The Toy That Saved Christmas 

The Star of Christmas

 Veggie Tales: The Star of Christmas 

Saint Nicholas

 Veggie Tales:  Saint Nicholas

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Telling the Christmas Story

Mary and the Angels

Introduction into Story of Jesus’ Birth 

Author and Source Unknown

Materials:  Box wrapped as a present containing a Nativity Scene

Adult:  (Holding the gift box)  Oh, my!  Look what I have found today!  Hmmm, I wonder how it got here?< wonder who put it here?  (Let child respond)What do you think it is?Who do you think it is for?Adult:  Well, it is December and I remember that there is a special Holiday this month.  Do you remember what holiday it is?Adult:  Can you tell me why we have Christmas?  (Answers:  Jesus’ birthday, to give presents, etc.)Adult:  God made a promise a long, long, long time ago of a very special gift.  He made the promise way back to Adam and Eve.  Do you remember when we talked about Adam and Eve?  (If the answer is no, spend just a moment reminding your child about the story of creation.)Adult:  God sent special messengers to tell people about a special gift.  What do you think we need to do with this gift?Should be open it?Adult:  (Slowly open the box and ask questions about each piece of the manger as you bring them out one at a time)Adult:  (When all of the items are on the table)  I am so glad that God gave us the best gift of all…Jesus.  Now let’s see what our Bible say about His special gift.

Play Dough Nativity

Using modeling clay or play dough, create your own nativity scene.  Have you child tell the story using their creations.  This would be a wonderful Family Night activity.

Innkeeper

 Story of Shepherds Visiting Jesus 

Author and Source Unknown

Materials:  Cupcake or birthday cake and candles

Adult:  Today we are celebrating a special occasion.  Can you guess what it might be?
Adult:  We are celebrating Jesus’ birthday!  Please sing Happy Birthday after I light the candle.  (Sing Happy Birthday together)
Adult:  On the count of three, I want you to blow really, really hard and we will blow the candle out together.  One…two…three…”
Adult:  (Looking concerned)  Oh no!  I forgot one important thing!  I forgot to send out the invitations to our birthday party!
Adult:  In our story today, we’ll learn that God sent the invitations for Jesus’ birthday through angels.  The shepherds came to visit and then they wanted everyone to know that Jesus was born.  Let’s find out what our Bible say about this.

Baby Jesus Born

The Christmas Story 

Author and Source Unknown

Materials:  Angel, Mary, Joseph, and Baby (puppets, pictures, or manger scene pieces)
Read the following story and pause after you read the underlines words to hold up the corresponding puppet

People had been waiting and waiting for a very long time.  As a matter of fact, people had been waiting ever since the first man and woman had to leave God’s special garden because they had disobeyed God.  Do you remember the name of the first man and women?  (Adam and Eve)  They were waiting for God to keep His promise.  God had promised to send them a Savior, someone who could make everything good and right again.  One day an angel spoke to a girl name Mary and told her she would have a baby.  Then the angel spoke to a man name Joseph, who was going to be Mary’s husband.  The angel told Joseph that Mary’s baby was special.  He was God’s son, Jesus!  While Mary and Joseph were waiting for Jesus to be born, they had to go on a long trip.  The ruler of the land had made a law that people had to go to their hometowns and write their names in a special book so that leaders could count how many people there were.  So Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem to be counted.  They had to walk all the way!  Finally, they arrived in Bethlehem.  Mary was ready to have her baby!  But Bethlehem was so crowded they couldn't find a place to stay!  Everywhere they were told, “There is no room!”  Finally a kind innkeeper said they could stay in his stable with his animals.  And just in time, too!  That night Jesus was born.  Mary wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid Him in a manger to sleep.  All the angels joined in and said, “Glory to God!  Peace on earth to those who love God!”

Shepherds

Shepherd’s Trip Activity - Going On a Long Trip

Author and Source Unknown

Have the children repeat each verse after you.

We’re going on a long trip. (pretend to ride a camel)
Do you see the shining star? (point to the sky)
Saddle up your camels.  (pretend to ride a camel)
Because we are going very far.  (place hand over head like looking off)We’re going on a long trip. (pretend to ride a camel)
Look!  The star is overhead.  (point to the sky)
I see the sweet, baby Jesus.  (pretend to hold a baby and rock back and forth)
In the manger in His bed.  (place hands together at side of head like asleep)We’ve come from a long trip.  (pretend to ride a camel)
The star shows us the way.  (point to the sky)
To worship our true Savior.  (make praying hands)
And, I’ll praise Him every day.  (hands lifted above head)

 

Wise Men Visit Jesus

 

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