We have had a great week as Christmas Detectives with the mission of finding out the truth about Christmas, that being the birth of Jesus and his fulfilment of God’s promises. We’ve used these activities as an opportunity to talk about Jesus, his birth and its implications for us and to read passages in the Bible and Christmas stories.
– Mini explosions. We made wise men bon bons (crackers) and talked about worshipping Jesus, even when he was a baby.
We make bon bons each year and usually include the snap, a toy, a chocolate, a bauble and a joke. Simply wrap a cardboard tube in some paper, place or tape the snap inside and tie up one end with some ribbon. Fill the tube with the rest of your treasures and tie the other end. Add details with cut up paper and a pen to make them resemble wise men.
– laser maze (inspired by this spider web). The little men used tweezers to remove the stars without touching the string. We also collected larger stars using a life-size laser maze made of string. The stars gave us a chance to talk about following Jesus just as the wise men followed a star to find him.
– bauble eye spy. The little men looked for the item(s) inside each bauble and then matched them to a meaning/reminder:
- a candle for Jesus as the light of the world
- a gold coin to remind us to worship Jesus
- stars to remind us to follow Jesus
- a bell to remind us to share the news about Jesus
- a tree to celebrate Jesus
– footprint analysis. We matched footprints to the type of animal that may have left them (and that may have possibly been near the manger). Then the little men made footprints with plastic animals.
We read two books along with this activity: Lloyd-Jones, S & Jay, A. (2011). Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz. and Wiersum, G & Morgan, A. (2007). The Animals’ Christmas Eve. New York: Golden Books.
– bauble target practice
– matching Christmas shapes
– detective kits (read more here)
– painting with combs
– chocolate angel spoons
– decoding Christmas words (reading while looking for certain words and then defining those words). We read passages in Luke and Matthew and also Poole, S. (2014). A Christmas Journey. Nashville, TN: B&H Kids.
– fingerprint match and disguise. We lifted fingerprints using these instructions and then we stamped our own fingerprints and disguised them as angels, shepherds, sheep and wise men.
– candy cone search and decode. We had a hunt for the candy canes and then put them in order to make the verse from Matthew 1:21: “[Mary] will have a son, and you will name him Jesus – because he will save his people from their sins.”
– Christmas secret messages. The little men wrote messages and pictures about Christmas using invisible inks (baking soda and water; lemon juice).
– traditions of Christmas investigation. Matching up traditions with their origins.
– carol clues. Listening to sections of songs and guessing which carol it is.