Nothing is more fun than welcoming in the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons with a preschooler. Joy abounds with this age-group, so it is the perfect opportunity for us as KidMin leaders and/or parents to use this special time as a way to teach preschoolers about Jesus. Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate the season with this age group:
1. Create a Thankful Tree.
Grab some twigs and small sticks from the yard and place them in a vase to create a “Thankful Tree.” Use construction paper to make simple leaf shapes, punch a hole in each, and then use yarn or string to make ornaments. Keep a basket of empty “leaves” ready to go and encourage preschoolers to write or draw something they are thankful for to hang on the Thankful Tree.
2. Make treats for others.
Kids of all ages love to work in the kitchen — especially preschoolers! Baking treats can be especially meaningful when you’re doing so for others. Perhaps a neighbor needs some cheer or a teacher would be blessed by a basket full of baked goods. Whatever it is, allow kids to be a part of blessing others.
3. Decorate with Christmas music.
When its time to decorate, play some Christmas music and sing about Jesus. Use this as an opportunity to show how to worship our God for sending His Son to us.
4. Participate in service projects.
There is no shortage of ways to serve the community during the holiday season. One idea is to find a ministry that needs toy donations and allow preschoolers to shop for someone else. Use this as a way to teach generosity and curb the appetite for consuming gifts.
5. Use Advent to tell the gospel.
There are multiple curriculums and teaching plans that show how to use the Advent season to tell the Gospel of Jesus from the very beginning. Allow your Thankful Tree to become an Advent tree (or Jesse tree) and create ornaments that tell the story of “the coming” of Christ.
I pray that you won’t miss one opportunity to help preschoolers celebrate the season and ultimately celebrate our Savior!
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Kids Ministry Publishing at LifeWay. Jana, her husband, and their three kids moved to Nashville from Austin, Texas where she served as the director of children’s ministry at the west campus of Austin Stone Community Church.