Your toddler knows that Christmas is a time when he gets gifts, but he might not remember that the tradition began because the Magi brought gifts to Jesus or that God’s gift to man was Jesus. Your home Bible class with your toddler can include activities and crafts that remind your child why you celebrate Christmas. He could even insist on having a birthday party for baby Jesus.
At the Manger
If you have a creche, also called a nativity scene, sit down with your toddler and explore who came to see Jesus in the manger. Explain to your tot, “Mary and Joseph were in the stable because there wasn’t a room in the hotel. Would you let Jesus have your room?” Your toddler could use dolls and a box full of Easter grass to create her own creche. You and your little one could dramatize the nativity story for family and friends with Dad playing the donkey, or Joseph, if he won’t let you or your child ride on his back.
You tell your tot, “Shepherds were on the hillside with their sheep when Jesus was born. The angels sent them to find the baby and his parents.” He could create a baby lamb using a cardboard roll covered in cotton balls with pipe cleaner legs and a tail and a paper head. He can wear one of Dad’s T-shirts as a shepherd’s robe and a kitchen towel for a head covering. Take your tot outside one clear evening when you can see the stars. Talk about what it was like for the shepherds to sit on the hillside with their sheep and suddenly hear angels singing.
The Wise Men, known as Magi, followed a star to find Baby Jesus. Let your tot create a beautiful star using cardboard, glue and glitter. You could hang the star on your Christmas tree or hang it in your tot’s room. Give your little one a small box to decorate. She can put a small gold item in the box to represent one of the gifts the Magi brought. Talk about why King Herod wanted the Magi to tell him where to find the baby. Practice leaving the manger area to go home using a different path.
The angels came to announce the birth of the Savior. Your tot can make an angel ornament using a cardboard tube, paper angel wings and a polystyrene head. Yarn can create hair for his angel. Use a second cardboard tube to create a trumpet your tot can use to shout the news.