Ideas for Keeping Our Focus on the Nativity of Christ

We are now well on our way to the end of the Nativity Fast. Very soon we will be celebrating the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord. In the cultural “hustle and bustle” of Christmas, it is easy for us to be overcome by busyness and we can lose sight of what we are celebrating: the coming of Christ to earth, God incarnate! Let us find ways to focus on that, and prepare to celebrate it with great joy! Here are a few ideas that will help us to keep the Nativity of Christ at the forefront of our celebration. Most can be easily used in the Sunday Church School setting. 

Educational ideas:

Teachers of young students may want to use this printable pdf, full of Nativity-themed coloring pages and practice words (free for personal use, so ask permission before using it in your SCS classroom) : http://www.mamaslearningcorner.com/nativity-coloring-pages/

Make your own Nativity coloring book for your students! Print these 24 coloring pictures with quotes from the gospels that work together to tell the story of the Nativity: http://www.dltk-bible.com/advent/index.htm

Find other Nativity-themed coloring pages here: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/nativity-colouring-pages

Teachers of young students will be glad to find action rhymes and finger plays related to the Nativity (among others) here: http://www.theholidayzone.com/christmas/action.html

Find a Nativity-themed word search geared at upper elementary students here: http://www.theholidayzone.com/christmas/puzzles/The_First_Christmas.html

Older students and adults will enjoy reading and pondering the poems in this collection which are Nativity themed: http://www.theholidayzone.com/christmas/christmas-poetry.html

Print this Nativity-themed word scramble to challenge your students: http://www.theholidayzone.com/christmas/puzzles/One_Night_In_Bethlehem.pdf

Craft/play ideas:

Make these simple popsicle stick puppets for young children to use in their play: http://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com/2011/03/play-friendly-nativity.html

Print this charming Nativity set on cardstock for your children to color, cut, and play with: http://madebyjoel.com/2012/12/paper-city-nativity-scene.html. Or, if you prefer, this one: http://media.focusonthefamily.com/clubhouse/pdf/MyNativity.pdf

Need a tiny gift idea? Print and cut apart this tiny Nativity set, tuck it into an empty mints tin, then wrap the tin with some narrow markers or colored pencils, and give it to your Sunday Church School students: http://madebyjoel.com/2013/12/travel-size-paper-city-nativity-scene.html

Challenge any lego builders in your class to try their hand at this basic Nativity set: a stable with star, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, manger, shepherd, and sheep: http://frugalfun4boys.com/2015/11/16/lego-nativity-set-instructions/ 

They could also make this tiny Nativity (“Project #4”) found here: http://frugalfun4boys.com/2014/12/05/lego-christmas-projects-instructions/

Create a basic wooden Nativity for your classroom that will be played with and last for years to come: http://little-inspirations.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/wooden-doll-nativity.html

12 Days of Christmas Celebration Ideas:

Read from the devotional book “Celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas: a Family Devotional in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition”  by Wigglesworth, and gather ideas of things that can be done in your Sunday School class when it meets during the 12 days of Christmas. Read more about the book here: ”https://orthodoxchristianparenting.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/gleanings-from-a-book-celebrating-the-twelve-days-of-christmas-a-family-devotional-in-the-eastern-orthodox-tradition-by-amandaeve-wigglesworth/

Older children will benefit from studying and discussing the sermons/quotes/writings that can be found here: http://www.antiochian.org/nativity/great-feast

To prepare your own heart and gain further ideas of how to help your students, listen to Fr. Andrew George (Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Cranston, RI) as he talks about how Orthodox Christians should be preparing for Christmas and then celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas: http://myocn.net/12-days-christmas/ (about 25 minutes)

Find several brief articles offering great ideas and encouragement for Orthodox families and teachers on ways to prepare for the Nativity with children: http://www.goarch.org/special/advent/pfn_nativity_articles.pdf

Gather more ideas from this blog post: http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/family/articles/offering

 

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2 thoughts on “Ideas for Keeping Our Focus on the Nativity of Christ

  1. Pingback: On the Liturgical Year for Teachers: The Time of Advent (part 2 of 7) | Orthodox Christian Sunday Church School Teachers

  2. Pingback: On the Liturgical Year for Teachers: Christmas and Epiphany (part 3 of 7) | Orthodox Christian Sunday Church School Teachers

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