A few more Christmas ideas to toss into the mix




These are a handful of quick ideas you can use to explore the Christmas story with children. They accompany photographs that I took in Israel in 2011, but you can google your own images as well.

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Map it!  The places mentioned in the Christmas story were not well known in Jesus day. But they sure became famous! We know about Bethlehem, Nazareth and the hill country of Judea because they all feature in the biblical story of Christmas. It's helpful for children to know where these places are. That way they don't seem like a fairy tale. Bethlehem is not in a land far far away, but is a real place. 

Activities:
Print out black and white maps of Israel. Give the children gold star stickers to mark the places mentioned in the Christmas story. Provide an atlas or google maps to help you.   
Click here for a free black and white map. 
Click here for an interactive colour map. 

Israel photos:
These are photos I took when I visited Israel in 2011. I love showing children these photos as a way of starting a discussion. Click on the photo's name to download the photo from our dropbox file:



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Mould it!  Use play-dough to make a nativity scene.  Take photos of your scene and use them to make a book to tell the Christmas story.  If you want to, you can use salt dough and bake your nativity scene. That was you can keep it for another year. To make salt dough mix 1/2 cup of salt with 1/2 flour and add enough water to make a firm dough. Bake it in the oven at about 50°C until dry, or place them in a warm spot in the sun. 

A Christmas Angel
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Construct it!   The shepherds were not very important people in Jesus’ time. They lived out in the fields so they were a bit dirty and smelly. Nobody noticed them. But God did! God visited the shepherds with the great news about Jesus. I reckon the shepherds must have felt pretty special. 

Activity: 
Make a shepherd out of a fat wooden peg and scraps of fabric. Use a permanent marker pen to draw a face on the top of your peg.  Cut a square of cloth to wrap around the peg to make the shepherds cloths.  A pipe cleaner can be bent into a shepherds staff. You could make some sheep out of cotton wool balls.

Israel photos:
These are photos I took when I visited Israel in 2011. Click on the photo's name to download the photo from our dropbox file:


Artwork of the Shepherds (photo taken of the inside of the church in the Shepherd's field)

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More ideas to come!

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