This is a lesson for preschoolers that introduces the true meaning of Christmas. It looks at two of the prophecies about the birth of Jesus and also ties in John 3:16. I hope you are able to use this with your youngest kids this Christmas season!
Have a great Christmas, and keep serving Jesus!
Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:1-2, John 3:16
1. Beforehand, have a small Christmas tree set up in the corner of your room. As the kids arrive, give them different ornaments and decorations to help decorate the tree. Play Christmas music as they are doing this. Say: Christmas is coming soon! It is fun to decorate for Christmas and to celebrate Christmas, isn’t it? And it’s fun to get and give gifts on Christmas day! Today we are going to talk about the greatest gift of all! (If you don’t want to have a Christmas tree set up, you could do the same thing with a bulletin board. Draw a Christmas tree and have the kids draw/color/glue decorations on that tree.)
2. What gifts do you want to get for Christmas? What is the best present you’ve ever gotten? Give the kids a copy of the present from the end of this lesson. Help them draw a picture inside the present of something they think would be the best present ever. Talk about their drawings. Then say: Today we are going to talk about what really, truly was the best gift ever!
Needed: several stockings, each stuffed with a different “baby” item (examples include a diaper, baby bottle, can of baby food, a rattle, a onesie, etc), a wrapped present containing a cross for each child (the cross could be as simple as one cut out of paper), blocks or graham crackers & frosting (or any other type of “building” material).
Gather all the kids together and have them sit in a circle on the floor. Say: Today we are going to learn about a very special gift that God gave us. I wonder if you can guess what this gift was. Let’s play a game and see if you can guess!
Take out the first stocking. Have the kids pass the stocking around while you play music (Christmas music would be great). When the music stops, whoever is holding the stocking should reach inside and pull out the item. Put the item on the table where all the kids can see it and then play again until all the stockings have been opened and all the items are on the table.
Talk briefly about all the items. Say: Can anyone guess what the gift was that God gave? What do all these items remind you of? Let the kids guess. Say: A baby! God’s very special gift was a very special baby that was born many, many years ago. This baby was Jesus – God’s son. On Christmas, we celebrate the day that Jesus was born and we remember how God gave us the best gift of all when He gave us Jesus!
Hold up your Bible. This book tells us all about Jesus! Hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth as a baby, some people told exactly where He would be born and what He would be named. A man named Isaiah told that Jesus would be called Immanuel, which means God with us. Can you say Immanuel? Let kids repeat it. Clap the syllables with the kids. Say: Another man named Micah told that Jesus would be born in a town called Bethlehem. Can you say Bethlehem? Let kids repeat it. Clap the syllables.
Both of those happened! Jesus was Immanuel – God with us – and He was born in the town of Bethlehem! Let’s make our own town of Bethlehem! (Take out the blocks – or whatever materials you are using — and help the kids make buildings and other items that represent a town. You might also choose to use graham crackers and frosting and make an edible town. Have fun with this activity – and be sure to say, several times, that Jesus was born in the little town of Bethlehem – just like the prophet Micah said he would be!)
When you are finished making Bethlehem, gather the kids together again to finish the lesson.
Take out the presents. Jesus was a very special gift. He never did anything wrong! He lived a perfect life, and when He grew up, He gave us an even greater gift. Do you know what that gift was? There’s a hint in these presents. Let’s open them and see!
Give each child a present. Let them open it up to reveal the cross inside. Say: When Jesus was older, He took the punishment for every wrong thing we have ever done by dying on a cross. That’s what this cross is for! This cross can help us think about and remember that Jesus died for us!
Jesus died and was buried, but three days after He died, He rose from the dead! He was alive again and many people saw Him, talked to Him, and ate with Him! Jesus is alive today and He is getting heaven ready for us. One day, we can go to heaven and be with Jesus.
You see, Jesus truly was – and is – the greatest gift of all!
Read John 3:16 from your Bible.
1. Make your own gingerbread Bethlehem houses. (You could start this during the lesson by helping the kids make the outline of the house with the graham crackers and then after the lesson, bring out the rest of the candy and frosting and let them finish their Bethlehem house.)
2. Help the kids make a baby Jesus ornament using a paper plate for their Christmas trees. Help the kids make the faces themselves (as best they can – you can have the circles cut out and let them draw the faces on with a marker) and let the kids color the paper plates. Use Isaiah 7:14 or John 3:16 as the Bible verse. Help the kids add their ornaments to your class Christmas tree!
3. Make an “Emmanuel” God with us craft with your kids.