Recently, Klista wrote a post giving you some great quick and easy ideas to use in the classroom during the Christmas season. Today I’m going to give you four more activities you can use with elementary kids in these weeks leading up to Christmas. Plug these activities in when you have a little extra time. These might make great options during Sunday School or Sunday morning programming, but some may also be great options to use on stage during a large-group environment, or even during a mid-week program. Simply adapt these to your environment and tweak as needed. It’s important to always connect activities back to the truths of Scripture, so make sure kids are hearing the great message of the Christmas story.
Guess the Gift
Gather 5-7 small gift boxes (per group) with gift wrapped items inside: shirts, shoes, shorts, ink pens, jewelry, money (1 item per gift box). Invite kids to sit near the wrapped presents. SAY: “Each present has something different inside. We’re going to play a game to find out what is inside each gift. But it’s going to be tricky because you cannot open the gift or tear it in any way to find out what’s inside. Do whatever will help you guess, but don’t open it.” Give each child a turn to select a gift from the pile, shake it, and try to guess what is inside. Give clues as needed and allow the children to guess until they get it right. Play until each gift has been correctly identified. Connect it to your Christmas lesson by discussing what an incredible gift God gave us when He sent Jesus to earth. Talk about what Jesus came, and why Jesus is the best gift ever.
Gift Wrap Me!
Gather wrapping paper, gift bows, scotch tape, and child scissors. Choose a volunteer to be gift-wrapped by his or her friends. Guide the remaining children to form a circle around the volunteer. Allow the group to wrap the child using wrapping paper, ribbons, tape, and bows. Caution children against wrapping the face and avoid putting tape or sticky bows in the child’s hair. Apply the activity by saying: “It’s fun to give and receive gifts. God gives us special gifts, too. He gave us parents who love us and take care of us. He gives us the things we need. But He also has a gift waiting for us that is not the kind of gift you can see, touch, or even unwrap! That gift is Jesus.” Discuss why Jesus is such a great gift.
Gather several strands of tinsel. Form a group around each strand of Christmas tinsel. Lead the kids to begin the activity by placing the strand of tinsel in a straight line on the ground. Explain that you will call out an item. The group must work together to form the tinsel into the shape of the item called out. As soon as the group makes the shape, the whole team will stand up. Call out items such as a Christmas tree, a candy cane, a present, an ornament, a bell, a poinsettia, a wreath, and so on. Invite the kids to work together to make the last shape, a star. Discuss the importance of the star in the Christmas story.
Gift Wrap Relay (Great for Preteens)
Gather gift wrap supplies (boxes, paper, tape, scissors, and a bow). Form relay teams with five or six children on each team. Teams may race each other, or different relay stations may be set up around the room. Explain the relay by saying: “Runners will take a journey from the starting line to their team’s ‘gift wrap center.’ A timekeeper will give each runner 10 seconds to wrap as much of the box as possible. At the end of 10 seconds, the runner must race back to the starting line and tag the next runner. The relay continues in this manner until each team’s box is completely wrapped with a bow.” Begin the game and encourage the kids to cheer on their teammates. Discuss how much time this game took, and what made it difficult. Talk about the difficult journey Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem. Discuss why the journey was so important, and how God used them as part of His great plan.