Looking for a unique way of teaching kids the story of the birth of Jesus, our Savior? Here’s an idea we I am using tonight with our K-5th grades. They will learn about the most amazing gift ever given, our Savior. I wanted them to have something to take home to remember the story and I wanted it to be something they wanted to share with others. So what did I do? Story Stones!
“What are Story Stones?” you ask. These are simply stones with pictures that jog the memory to tell the story. I included a 2-sided page of backdrops to accompany the stones just for added fun. All that is needed is some smooth stones, 8 per person for this story, and permanent markers. I had some left over used for pumpkin drawing that worked perfectly. I have a page with all the super simple drawings for each stone so kids can copy onto their stones. They enjoy this part! If they mess up, tell them to flip the stone over. They get two chances. Once done, pass out the backdrops and begin telling the story in your most engaging story telling voice. Instruct kids to follow along placing their stones in the story as you go. (I had some glossy gray stones leftover that I used but would love to use the glow in the dark ones next time. I know the kids would eat this up telling the story in the dark with a black light!)
Click this link for the story, the backdrop and the stone drawings.
Do you find yourself in this position every year wondering what to get your volunteers for Christmas that is simple and meaningful while still affordable?
Here are my top picks:
#1 Christmas Music.
Give this gift early in the month so they can enjoy it all season long. Here’s a great option for under $5. If you order online through Amazon you can email it directly to them to download. Anthem Lights “Simple Little Christmas”
#2 Wrap It Up Package
I have given this gift before and it was a big hit! One roll of wrapping paper with one disposable tape/dispenser and you are set with a gift they are sure to use this year!
#3 Wipe Off Board
This gift can be customized for each volunteer if you’d like or keep it simple and make them all the same. All you need is a picture frame, decorative paper and a dry erase marker. Insert the decorative paper in the frame and give with a dry erase marker. (Before handing out leave a message or a verse.) In the card you can let them know this can be used for anything from menu’s, to do lists, grocery lists or a verse of the day/week.
#4 Poinsettia & Poem
Poinsettia’s are a bright and beautiful Christmas gift. Pair with this heartfelt poem and it’s perfect!
#5 Gift Card
A simple $5 – $10 gift card is always appreciated!
It’s Christmas time! I LOVE Christmas when so many hearts are receptive to Christ.
This is the time of year when so many people turn their focus to God, even those who do routinely attend worship. It is the prime time for outreach, for sharing the message of salvation. I like to host children’s events just for them while giving parents time to do some Christmas shopping. I also like to encourage events for the whole family to spend time together during the holiday season. This year’s theme… “Santa’s Workshop,” and it can be held either way. Regardless of which way you go, children’s party or family event, make sure to promote! Get the word out about your event.
I recommend having a feature “item” that is the main draw. This could be a play, concert, meal or unique craft. Gingerbread house building is a popular one. For our Santa’s workshop this year, kids were excited to use a hammer and nails to make there very own Christmas countdown. More on this in a minute.
What do we do at Santa’s workshop?
- Holiday Singing
- Snacking (of course!)
For family events, set up centers so families can come and go, participating in the different parts of the event at their own speed. Have a devotional center with times posted for when you start the story each time. You will want this area to be very comfortable and inviting, maybe even offer hot chocolate to sip on while listening. Set up a place for families to take their pictures. You could even have someone stationed at this spot to take the pictures and offer to email them the picture immediately. This way, you get their email address to follow up. Craft stations may be as simple as coloring a picture or gluing cotton balls to Santa’s beard. Go all out and make elf slime! Games? Oh the fun you can have! Check out Pinterest if you can’t think of anything.
Now for a children’t event, it will probably look a little different. They can’t really wonder around on their own. Here’s what my party looked like:
- As kids were arriving, we made elf slime. Kids can’t get enough of slime! (I made a few extra ahead of time for those that arrived late.)
- Make Christmas countdown trees
- Pass out snacks to eat during story
- Christmas story time
- Game: Word game (Stick one card with a holiday word or picture on it onto child’s forehead. Other kids give clues to help them guess the word.)
I was prepared! If we finished early, we were heading to the playground.
I didn’t forget! I told you I’d tell you about the Christmas countdown trees. Here’s a video showing you just how it’s done. They are easy and something kids will keep. I did not do this, but I wish I had given kids a sticker to put on the back with the church name and the year. You do want adults (or high school kids) to help. My older kids did great, but a few younger ones still needed help. (I had 2nd – 5th grades). Also, I did not end up giving my kids all the countdown numbers, instead, I just gave them two blank presents that I laminated along with a dry erase marker to easily change days left until Christmas. Here’s a link to the countdown presents if you want to use them.
Make sure to recruit plenty of help for your event. Kids always need help whether it is with cutting, tying knots, or getting snacks… This is one of the best times of the year for kids so as a church, we want to help make it memorable when it comes to God’s family. I’d love to hear what you have done for your parties each year. I’m always looking for new ideas.