Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Traditions: Happy Birthday Jesus Party



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If this is your first visit to our blog, welcome!  You can find many other Christ-centered Christmas ideas like these on this blog and on our preschool curriculum website - ABC Jesus Loves Me.  We hope that you will visit a while and let us know what questions you have!

I just got off the phone with my friend and I am excited!  We are planning a Happy Birthday Jesus Party for our kiddos and two other families. 

Thought maybe you would like to see what we have planned!

Just to help you understand the number of kiddos and ages that we are planning for:  4 boys 1st-3rd Grade, 4 girls 1st through 5 years, 3 year old, 2 year old, and 1 year old


Supplies Needed:
Wide Popsicle Sticks (some precut to make the different sized branches for the tree)
Sandpaper
Glue (Hot glue would work well for the Christmas Trees)
Paint
Paint Brushes
Craft Items to Decorate the Trees
String
The Tale of Three Trees Book
Manger Scene (hidden around the room)
Bible
Playdough
3 layered round cake - red, green, and chocolate layers
White frosting
Yellow frosting
Candles

Christmas Tree Ornaments:



Since dry time is needed, begin the party with this fun craft from Little Sprouts.  Using craft scissors, cut the popsicle sticks to the size needed.  Then glue them together with a hot glue gun and paint.  While the glue and paint is drying, have fun with the other activities.  Return to the crafts, decorate and add a piece of string to the back of the ornament to make it able to be hung.
To tie the ornaments to Christmas, we will read:


Christmas Scavenger Hunt: 

Before beginning the party, hide manger scene pieces around the room or house.  Give the children hints of what piece they will be looking for. 

Or have the children hide the piece and allow one child to find it.  As they are looking give them clues to help them know how close they are to the hidden piece.  Use the standard hot/cold clues or do something geared toward Christmas.  Give them numbers between 1 and 25.  The closer they are to the piece, the closer the number is to 25.  Or, pat your legs like a donkey walking.  The closer the donkey gets to "Bethlehem" the faster the donkey walks.  

"I told Mary that she would give birth to a son.  He was to be named Jesus.  Who am I?"  (Angel)
"I loved Mary very much.  She and I had to travel to Bethlehem.  Who am I?"  (Joseph)
"Although I was frightened by the angel, I told God that I would do what He chose for me to do."  (Mary)
"I carried Mary to the inn.  Hee-haw!  What am I?"  (Donkey)
"We were watching our sheep and suddenly an angel stood before us saying, "Today, in the town of Bethlehem, a Savior has been born.  He is lying in a manger.  Who are we?"  (Shepherds)
"Baby Jesus was born in our stable.  Moo-moo!  What are we?"  (Cow)
"God put a special star in the sky as a sign that a new king had been born.  We followed the star to find Jesus.  Who are we?"  (Wise Men)
"I am the greatest gift at Christmas time.  My Father sent me to save the world from their sins.  Who am I?"  (Jesus)

Build a Nativity Scene

Older kids love to have team games.   Divide the kiddos into small teams.   Give each group of children a set of playdough.  Instruct them to create a manger scene just as it would have been at the first Christmas.  Do not give a lot of instructions as they just cramp the imagination of children.  These creations will be used for the next activity.

What Doesn't Belong?

Play the game of "What Doesn't Belong?".  Depending on how many teams were created, you may need to combine to make fewer teams.  Explain that they are to figure out what pieces of the manger scene were actually at the first Christmas.  Each team will take turns discussing and saying yes, no, or maybe (the Bible doesn't say).  If the team is correct, they get one point.  After the game is finished, read the Christmas story from Luke 2 or a children's Bible.  Return to the play dough nativity scenes that the children created.  Who had the most items correct?

Cows?  Maybe, the Bible doesn't say
Manger?  Yes, Luke 2:7
Mary?  Yes, Luke 2
Sheep?  Maybe, the Bible doesn't say
Joseph?  Yes, Luke 2
Jesus?  Yes, Luke 2
Shepherds?  Yes, Luke 2
Donkey?  Maybe, the Bible doesn't say
The Wise Men?  No, Matthew 2:11
Manger?  Yes, Luke 2
Angel?  No, Luke 2:15

Return to the Christmas Tree Ornaments and decorate. 

Happy Birthday, Jesus Cake

End with cake and drinks.  Have the cakes made but put together in front of the kids while explaining the symbolism.  Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and pray thanking God for "sending His only Son, the whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life."




To make the colored layers - mix a white cake according to the box/recipe directions. Divide the batter in half. Drop several drops of green food coloring in one half, and red food coloring in the other half. Pour each into 8" round cake pans and bake according to recipe directions.  Also, make a chocolate 8" round cake.

When cooled, stack the chocolate layer, red layer in the middle, ending with the green layer with white frosting in between. Frost the entire cake with white frosting. Add yellow decorations and candles to the top.

Symbolism:
The chocolate layer reminds us that our heart is full of sin.
The red layer reminds us that Jesus shed His blood for our sins.
The white frosting reminds us that Jesus will forgive our sins and give us a clean heart.
The green layer reminds us to grow in Christ through praying, reading the Bible, and worshipping.
The yellow decorations remind us of heaven.
The candles remind us Jesus is the Light of the world.


These activities are geared toward early elementary aged children but most of these activities can be dubbed down for preschool aged children.  Gather more ideas from the ABCJLM Christmas Ideas page or from the ABCJLM Christmas Traditions blog posts.



Are you hosting a Happy Birthday Jesus party?  What activities do you have planned?


All ideas, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and under the ownership of JLM Media, LLC.

1 comment :

  1. I love your Christmas scavenger hunt idea. We have a Happy Birthday Jesus party every year with several friends of my two children. I will definitely be stealing a few of your ideas.
    Thanks,
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete

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