Welcome to the Christmas Toddler Bible Lesson Series at Bible Basics! I'm glad you stopped by. If you're wondering what we're up to in this ongoing series, check out this introductory post. For a growing list of toddler and preschool Bible lessons you can take a look at the Bible Basics page.
Since Christmas is right around the corner I wanted to share with you the ways in which we have taught our toddlers and preschoolers about the birth of Jesus. This is a perfect time to focus on the reason for all of the Christmas holiday hype and to help your young child understand what it’s all about. Plus, Christmas lessons are fun for everyone!
Today we are finishing up a four-part lesson series focusing on Jesus’ birth. You can find the first three lessons here, here, and here. This is another fun activity that I always enjoy doing with toddlers and preschoolers. They get a kick out of the different items to feel and smell and I enjoy explaining the significance of the gifts Jesus received.
WISE MEN GIVE GIFTS TO JESUS
Memory Verse: Choose one that fits your child’s age and ability.
“The angel said to Mary, ‘You will have a son. You will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God.” -Luke 1:31-32
“Today…a Savior has been born. He is Christ the Lord.” -Luke 2:10-11 (simplified)
Wise men gave special gifts to Jesus.
Wise men gave special gifts to Jesus.
Sensory Gift Bags
- Small gift bags (I usually use paper lunch bags but have sometimes found gift bags in dollar bins at various stores.)
- Pennies or other coins (Although I have never had a child at home or in the classroom put these in their mouths, you can replace this with aluminum foil or construction paper cut into circles if you are concerned about choking.)
- Tea bag
- Perfume or cologne
- Fabric scrap
1. Give your child a small gift bag.
2. Give your child a few pennies or other coins. Explain that this is the “gold” that was brought for Jesus. Talk to your child about how gold is a valuable gift that was given to kings. Tell him that Jesus is the King of kings. Place the pennies in the gift bag.
3. Give your child a tea bag. Let her smell it and tell her that this represents “frankincense” that was given to Jesus by the wise men. You can explain how frankincense was the sap taken from a certain tree. It was used for healing and the Israelites burned it in the Tabernacle at the place where God promised to meet with them. It is a special incense that reminds us that Jesus became our Emmanuel: God with us. Place the tea bag in the gift bag.
4. Finally, give your child a piece of fabric. Place a small drop of perfume or cologne onto the fabric. Ask him to smell it. Explain that this perfume represents “myrrh” which was given to Jesus by the wise men. Myrrh was more costly than gold. It was used when people died to prepare their bodies for burial. The myrrh reminds us that Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins. Place the fabric scrap in the gift bag.
5. Use the gift bag to talk more about Jesus’ birth and the ways that the gifts the wise men gave point to the purpose God gave Him in coming to earth.
How We Go Through the Lesson
1. Recite or sing memory verse.
2. Read Bible story. We use the Beginner's Bible, but you can choose a children's story Bible or "grown-up" translation that suits you and your family.
3. Recite or sing memory verse.
4. Craft or project. Depending on the day of the week this may be a project like the one above or it could be a coloring page or something completely different.
*Repeat the lesson almost every day. This could mean doing it on weekdays or taking one day to work on the project, saying the memory verse together throughout the day, and reading the Bible story before bed each night. It doesn't matter when or how, but the repetition is key for toddlers to retain the lessons presented to them.
When you give your children gifts at Christmas, what significance do they have? Do they direct your child’s attention to Jesus? How?