* Christmas A–Z praise. The first person thanks God for something that starts with “A,” which has to do with Christmas. The next person thanks God for something that starts with “B,” etc. See how far into the alphabet the children can go with their praises.
* Wrap a scarf around your child’s eyes, so that he can’t see, and then have him draw something related to Christmas on a piece of paper (e.g., the manger scene, Joseph and Mary, the wise men, etc.). After each child finishes drawing his or her picture, have the other children guess what it is.
* Play “Who Am I?” using only Christmas-related people and/or objects. A person thinks of a character or thing related to Christmas, and other players ask questions which can only be answered with a “yes” or “no,” and tries to guess from the information gathered who or what the person or object is.
* Choose a Christmas word such as, “Christmas,” “caroling,” “nativity,” etc. Write the letters of the word you chose on little pieces of paper, then make two sets and put each word in an individual bag or bowl. Divide the children into teams. Give each team a set. The first team to decipher the word in the bag wins.
* Divide the children into two teams. Prepare a list of five Christmas song titles. Each team sends up a representative who is shown a piece of paper with the name of a Christmas carol on it. That person returns to the group and needs to illustrate the title of the Christmas carol. No talking, gestures, or alphabet letters are allowed.
As soon as a team has guessed the song, they must sing it as loud as they can. After singing, they send a new person for another song. Play continues until one group has guessed all five song titles. You will need pen and paper for each team. If your team is very large, you may need a white or blackboard, or a large piece of paper to draw on.
* Draw a simple, poster-size Christmas tree. Cut out circles and different shapes from colored construction paper to use as ornaments for the tree. The children can write short sentences of the things they enjoy about Christmas on the ornaments. Glue the ornaments on the tree and post it in a communal area.
* Get a large piece of cardstock, title it “[your child’s name]’s Christmas To-do List” (e.g., “Jane’s Christmas To-do List”). Have your child draw a series of pictures illustrating what he or she would like to do to bring happiness to others this Christmas. Glue these pictures on to your child’s “To-do List” cardstock. Once all the pictures are added to the poster, decorate the list however your child would like. Place it up on the wall somewhere so that your child can remember what he or she would like to do for others.
* Record the Christmas story. You could do this by reading the Christmas story out of the Bible (Luke 2), or dramatizing the Christmas story by creating your own script. You could even make it into a musical through using Christmas songs.
* Create decorated cookie bags to be filled with yummy Christmas cookies to be given as presents. You’ll need:
Have the children decorate the paper bags in a Christmassy fashion using cutouts, paint, glitter, etc. Pipe cleaners can be used as handles or accessories.
Some fun ideas to try out are:
Cut ears out of the sides of the bag and fold them down, make antlers out of the pipe cleaners and paint a deer face on the front of the bag.
Cut a Christmas tree out of green paper to cover the front of the bag. The children can decorate the tree with cut-out stars and baubles, add glitter, etc.
Cut out three circles out of white paper and glue them onto the front of the bag making it into a snowman. Cut out little circles for buttons and eyes, a carrot shape for the nose, hat, scarf, etc.
Cut out stars and glue them all over the bag, decorating them with glitter.
* Make salt-dough gift toppers, or to use as tree decorations. You’ll need:
Make dough out of the salt, flour, and water.
Knead the dough until it is smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with some more flour.
Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thickness using a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour.
Use cookie cutters to cut out as many trees, stars, and Christmas shapes as you like.
Use a toothpick to make a hole toward the top of the shape. Enlarge it a bit so it’s big enough to thread a small ribbon through.
Put all the shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place into the oven at a low temperature.
Bake for two hours.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Paint the trees green and the stars yellow, or with the color of your choice.
When paint is dry, add glitter or any other accessories on the trees and stars.
When dry, thread a ribbon through the hole and tie it in a knot in the back.
Put these on top of little gifts you give to your friends, or use as Christmas tree decorations.
* Create a pinecone Christmas tree. You’ll need:
Directions: Paint the pine cones green; paint the little pots gold. When the paint is dry, glue the pine cones in a conical fashion onto the top of the pots. Decorate the pine cones as you would a mini Christmas tree using glitter, sequins, etc., and place a star on the top.
Text © The Family International. Photo courtesy of First Baptist Nashville via Flickr.