This is something we hear a lot at this time of year… “The pastor just asked us to do something for the kids that’s Christmas related. What do you have that’s easy to do and I need it yesterday!” No matter how hard we try, there always seems to be some last-minute call for a Christmas lesson or performance. Here are a few of our favorite Christmas “quickies” that you may want to have on hand for this holiday season.
This follow-up to the popular “Minute Manna” collection of skits is like it’s predecessor in that all of the skits are about a minute long, and convey great messages through a unique sense of humor. All of the skits in this collection focus on holidays. There are 26 skits in all, six of them are for Christmas. Other holidays featured include Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and more. Since these skits are so short, they are easy to put together quickly.
Story bags are great tools to have around. There is a special story that the teacher tells while using the bag. Each time they turn the bag inside out it displays a different color or pattern that represents and aspect of the story. The last part of the bag also features a zipper pouch where another object lesson can be kept. Lots of different Bible stories are available, but the Christmas one makes for a quick, easy and memorable object less that’s perfect for the Holiday season.
Puppets can be made out of just about anything. A favorite technique of ours is turning household items like mops and brooms into puppets. These puppets can be made in a way that allows kids from the audience to not only be the puppeteers, but also help design the look of the puppets they will use. Since the kids are being the performers, the lesson will be even more memorable to them. This technique is outlined in a book called “Creative Puppetry with Mops and Brooms.” The book also features several plays, including two Christmas plays.
Shadow Puppet Nativity:
One of the simplest Christmas presentations I ever did was to simply read the Christmas story right out of the scripture while acting out the story with shadow puppets. The book “Sensational Shadows” gives tons of advice for making and performing with shadow puppets. You can put a lot of work into your characters, or they can be very simple. Making simple shadow puppets out paper or poster board can even be a great art project for kids and get them even more involved in your presentation.
Songs can be presented in a simple or complex way…it all depends on the creativity of your team. It’s fun to do big elaborate pieces, but when you’re short on time, there’s nothing wrong with simple. When I need a quick Christmas song, there are four CD’s I would look to first: Happenin’ Christmas Carols 1 & 2, and Righteous Pop Music Christmas 1 & Righteous Pop Music 2. The Happenin’ albums feature classic Christmas carols done in unique musical styles, like “We Three Kings” as a rap song. The Righteous Pop Music albums feature familiar pop songs, redone with Christmas lyrics.
Happy last minute lesson planning!