Four ways to bring Christmas to life...


These are four quick ideas you can use to explore the Christmas story with children. They accompany photographs that I took in Israel in 2011. We want children to understand that the events of Christmas are not a fairytale. They happened in a real time and place, to real people. 
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Spot it!
Print out pictures of Bethlehem and Nazareth as they look today, or download copies of the photos mentioned below. As a small group, look at the photos. Count how many differences you can spot between Bethlehem or Nazareth today and what it would have been like in Jesus’ day.

Israel photos:

Click on the photo's name to download the photo from our dropbox file:

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Create it! 
In Israel, beautiful churches have been built in places where the Christmas story happened. They have amazing stained glass windows in them to help people to remember the stories of the Bible.  In those days many people didn't have a Bible to look at. 

Activity:
Create stain glass windows using cellophane and black paper. Choose a design that tells a part of the Christmas story, or like this one from Nazareth, shares an idea. This window pictures light bursting into the darkness, an image that reminds us that Jesus brought light into the world. Take your stain glass window home and hang it in a window somewhere to remind you that God sent Jesus to earth as a baby to show us how much he loved us. 
The Artful Parent: Here's a website of art activities to get you started. 

Israel photos: 
Click on the photo's name to download the photo from our dropbox file:




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Sculpt it!  
Mary had to travel a long way to visit Elizabeth. She had to travel into the hill country of Judea, a difficult landscape. Find a large roasting dish and line it with tinfoil.  Fill it with sand at least 2cm deep. Use rocks, small branches and foliage for trees and Lego blocks for houses. Create the scene of Mary arriving at Elizabeth’s house. 

Israel photos: 
Click on the photo's name to download the photo from our dropbox file:



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Dig it!  
Create a mini archaeological dig.  You will need a container. Start off by putting a layer of sand in the bottom. Add a couple of items (i.e. pottery pieces, shells or stones). Cover these with another layer of sand.  Add some more items and then another layer of sand.  Keep going till you reach the top. When the archaeologist comes to dig they must carefully dig away one layer at a time to see what they find. Talk together about what archaeologists have uncovered at Bethlehem. 
https://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/bethlehem.htm



 

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