Christmas is a time of joy and teaching small kids about the story of Jesus. Prepare kid-friendly activities that celebrate the liturgy of the Christmas season. It’s okay to look forward to the man in the red suit shimmying down the chimney, but let your little one know the deeper meaning of this special season and that it’s not all about shiny presents.
Good Deeds Chain
Do good deeds for others to honor the spirit of Jesus. Create a good deeds chain using strips of construction paper and glue. Each day, help your little one complete a small deed around the house or out in the neighborhood. Offering a piece of candy or cookie might be an incentive if your child doesn’t warm to the idea. Maybe he’ll make up his bed or hand the neighbor her newspaper.
Whatever it is, write each deed on a link in the chain and join the links together daily. After one or two weeks, discuss each deed and hang the chain on the Christmas tree. If your little one wishes to continue the deeds after the holiday, then he has internalized the true spirit of the season.
Welcoming Jesus Wrapping Paper
Create wrapping paper that tells a story. Draw images on a large sheet of butcher paper that represent Jesus coming into the world, like the Wise Men, the manger and a crown. Discuss the images with your little one and the symbolism of each. Give him a marker to color each one and you’ll have instant wrapping paper.
Get some tape and start wrapping. Be careful not to let him wrap his own presents. Keep those tucked away in their special hiding place until later.
Christmas Carol Puppets
Teach your child a simple Christmas carol like “Joy to the World.” Don’t worry if he jumbles some of the words. Just let him model you, no matter how it sounds. Draw images to represent the song on large craft sticks as puppets. The carol’s first line says, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her king.”
Draw a picture of the world and a crown for that line. Your little one holds up the stick each time he hears the words.
Gift Presentation at the Nativity
Create a modified role play to introduce the importance of the Nativity. Swaddle a small doll and lay it in a cradle or crib if you have one. Tell your little one that this represents Jesus as a baby. Tell him that you really want to visit the new baby, but want to take him some nice presents to welcome him into the world. Do a little search of the house for some gifts that you could present to the baby.
Your little one may want to present his Teddy bear or a favorite book. Make sure he knows he’s just loaning the gifts and you’ll put them back in his room before he goes night-night. Take the gifts and put them under the doll’s cradle as you present them.