I’m excited to welcome guest blogger, Rebecca Clay, to share with us about her fabulous idea for a Birthday Party for Jesus that your kids will never forget! If you are looking for a fun and unique way to celebrate the birth of Christ with your kids at home or at church, look no further. Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your creativity with us!
A Birthday Party for Jesus
Christmas is coming! Christmas is a time of year where we celebrate the most special birth that has ever taken place. JESUS came to Earth to walk among us and eventually would die for our sins. For JESUS’ birthday, we celebrate with the biggest birthday party of the year. Most people have the day off of work. We exchange gifts, sing songs, and have big family meals together.
Today we are going to have a birthday party for JESUS right here, give JESUS the gift of your listening ears as we go through the story of HIS very special birth and find out what games we are going to play to celebrate with HIM.
Mary was a young woman who loved GOD. An angel appeared to her one day to tell her that she was going to have a baby. Mary was confused because she wasn’t married yet. How was she going to have a baby? The Angel told her that this baby was very special. HE was going to be the Savior of the world. HIS name was to be called JESUS.
Mary was excited to be chosen by GOD, but she had to be afraid of what people would say and that she would be judged and stoned for having a baby before marriage. When Joseph was told about the baby, he was afraid to take Mary as his wife as well. An angel came to him and told him to marry her. She was still pure, and chosen by GOD.
It didn’t matter what others said or thought, the important thing was that they listened to the Angel to get the message from the source.
Game #1 – Telephone – Start with a phrase. You can supply them on strips of paper or you can allow the children to come up with them on their own. Line them up and only let the first child know the phrase. They whisper it to the child next to them and then go down the line until the last child hears it and announces to everyone what the message they heard was. The message is likely to have changed between children to draw your point about ‘getting news from the source’.
Caesar Augustus made a decree that it was time for them to travel to pay their taxes. Since Joseph was a descendant of David, he had to return to Bethlehem to pay his taxes. They left Galilee and traveled the long journey together.
Mary was very pregnant and the trip was long. It was not an easy time to travel with no vehicles or true way to cool down.
Game #2 – Spoon Relay – Get a small cup or bowl of something. Goldfish/Cereal/Play coins. Have the children take a spoon and get the items in them, carrying them one at a time across the room to a designated spot until all of their coins have been moved across the room. For older children you could have them carry the spoon in their mouth and try not to drop anything to add to the challenge.
Game #2 – Pin the Tail on Mary’s Donkey – Put up an image of a tail-less Donkey on the wall. Cut out multiple tails and allow each child to have one with tape on the back. Blindfold them one at a time and allow them to try to get the tail in the proper place on the donkey.
Everyone had to pay their taxes, and so the town was filled with people who had traveled on their own to pay the taxes they owed as well. Every Inn in town was filled and there were no rooms available for them to rent. They traveled from each place – searching for a bed to sleep in, exhausted from their long journey. Mary knew that the baby would be born soon and was looking for a place to have the baby while they stayed.
Game #3 – Musical Chairs – Group children by size. Set up clusters of chairs, one less than the amount of children that are in each group. As you play music, children march around the chairs. Once the music stops, the children race to find a seat before the others do. The person left standing is out. Take away one chair each time until you are left with only one chair. Whoever gets to the chair the last time is the winner.
Finally they found an Inn where they were offered a place to stay out in the stables where all of the animals of the lodgers were staying. It was dirty and cold and smelly, but it was a place with a roof and hay that they would be able to make their own beds to lay in out of. There in that stable, baby JESUS was born. Mary wrapped the baby up to keep him warm, and found a special place to lay him in a manger – the special trough that the animals would normally eat off of. There in the manger, the baby would be warm and safe for the night.
Game #4- Safe place – Gather blocks of different sizes and types. Allow children to build up some kind of contraption that they believe would work as a good bed for the baby. Then allow them to test it out by placing an egg on it to see if it can support the weight and keep it safe. (If you are not feeling so bold, you can use a small ball in place of the egg)
In the fields just outside of town, there were Shepherds taking care of their sheep. It was a quiet night as they watched over the animals to keep them safe. Suddenly an angel appeared in the sky in front of them. The angel said “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Then the sky filled with angels. They all began to sing; “Glory to GOD in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Once the angels left and the sky was back to normal, the shepherds decided to go into town and look for the baby that the angels told them about. They were excited to see the newborn king for themselves. They were eager to travel around and share the news of the birth throughout the town.
Game #5 – Pass the Good News – “Hot Potato” with a toy star. The children passed a toy star around in a circle as we played some more Christmas music. When the music stopped, whichever child was holding the star would announce “JESUS is born!” We allowed the children to stay in the game and just made sure to stop on each of the children.You can have each of the children who get to call it out sit out of the game while it continues.
Above the stable where JESUS was born, a new star appeared in the sky. There were wise men from the Far East who studied the skies. They saw the star and recognized it as a sign of the great gift that was given to the Earth. They decided to follow the star to find the newborn king. Their journey was long and took them years to complete, but they kept their eyes trained on the star and followed it all the way to Jerusalem.
Game #6 – Follow the Star – The children each take a turn being “the leader”. They get to be at the front of the group and moves around the area in whatever way they want to (skip, zig zag, pretend to swim, jump, wiggle..) the others mimic the actions. We typically allow each child thirty seconds to a minute of being the leader and then “the leader” moves to the back of the line and the next person becomes the new leader and takes over.
While the Wise men traveled across the land to find JESUS, HE continued to grow older. Just like any other baby, HE depended on HIS mother for food and care. HE had to learn how to walk and crawl and talk just like all of you did.
Game #7 – Baby Crawl Race – Designate a Starting line and a finish line and have children race on their hands and knees in a crawl like a baby. Make it a relay by placing a baby toy at the “finish” line and having them pick it up and carry it back to the starting line. Whoever gets there first in each race wins.
When the Wise Men got to Jeruselem, they went to the palace to ask the King where they could find the new King of the Jews. Herod found scribes and biblical scholars to tell him where he could find baby JESUS. He told the Wise Men that he had been born in Bethelham to find him, asking them to return to him so that he could return to worship the baby as well. Herod did not plan to worship the baby but to kill him, because he was worried that JESUS was a threat to him as the king.
The Wise Men found Baby JESUS and brought him special gifts of gold and expensive spices and oils. But the angel came to them and warned them to return to their own land in a different path to avoid going to Herod again, because he had evil plans for the baby. That left Herod angry as he searched on his own for the baby.
Game #8 – Four Corners – Label four corners of the room with numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. Pick “Herod” to stand in the middle and cover their eyes. The rest of the children pick corners to stand in and Herod calls out a number. Everyone standing in that corner is out. (If Herod says “three” everyone in the corner labeled three is out). The game continues until there is only one child left.
Herod was left guessing, but the angel told Joseph in a dream that they were in danger and led him to Egypt to hide in safety until king Herod died and the angel came back to tell them that it was safe to return to their home. Because of this protection, JESUS was able to grow into an adult who healed and ministered to people. People learned that when they followed JESUS’ lead and did what HE told them to, that miracles would happen.
Game #9 – Jesus Says – One child is selected to be “Jesus”. They give simple orders for others to follow. If an order is prefaced with “Jesus says” the children should do the action. If they omit the “Jesus says” and just give an action, the children should ignore it.
About the Guest Blogger: Rebecca Clay is a stay at home mom of three children who has been serving in children’s ministry for nine years. As a student she was an Early Childhood Education major, she is passionate about reaching children where they live through kinesthetic lessons, puppet and movement ministry and fervent prayer. She blogs about her personal blessings from her experiences serving and working with children at AsAChild.freeblog.site.
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About the author
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com