Preparing Your Preschooler for Christmas: Week Two

Nathan began a series last week that explains what we are planning to do with our young kids to prepare them for Christmas. We had so much fun at breakfast playing with our “nativity set” (i.e. a mish-mosh of Little People sets) and acting out the journey to Bethlehem (see picture of our 2-year-old at left). Jack’s favorite game was hiding Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the donkey and having me find them. All of these activities provided opportunities to reinforce the first part of the Christmas story. This week, we’ll focus on the Shepherds. Below are a few ideas of things to do with your preschooler.

Read the story to your child:

– Luke 2:8-20 (paraphrase in your own words)
– “Shepherds” in The Rhyme Bible (p. 238)
– “The Light of the Whole World” in The Jesus Storybook Bible (p. 184) (best for older preschoolers)

Reinforcement and Application Activities:

– Place “baby Jesus” (or other nativity figures) somewhere in your house. Then, read Luke 2:10 (what the angels said to the shepherds). Have your child pretend to be a shepherd and run as fast as he can to find Jesus. Ask: What do you think the shepherds did or said when they saw baby Jesus? Who do you think they told about this good news? Have them act it out.

– Dress up as shepherds (i.e. a robe and sheet over head). Hide a plush sheep (if you have one) in the house and have your child try to find it. Talk about how shepherds walked around over fields, protecting their sheep, day and night.

– Sing and/or dance to a favorite Christmas song (one that praises God and/or speaks of Jesus, of course). Some song ideas: Joy to the World, Angels We Have Heard On High, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Away in a Manger. Talk about how the angels and shepherds sang to and praised God the night of Jesus’ birth.

– Color a picture of the shepherds and/or angels who came on Christmas. Here are a few coloring Sheet links:
http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/print/christmas-shepherds-coloring-page/
http://www.itmimg.org/images/youth/Shepherds.gif
http://www.teacherhelp.org/pdf/luke2-11niv.pdf

– Talk about how the shepherds shared the good news of Jesus’ birth with others. Ask: Who can you tell about Jesus’ birth this week? Perhaps your child can send or give one of their Christmas coloring sheets to a neighbor or family member. Or, have your child help you send out Christmas cards that “tell the good news”.

Next Sunday, I’ll post ideas for preparing your preschooler through the part of the Christmas story about the Wise Men.

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