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If you have toddlers, preschool age children or school age kids, this list of Advent activities to teach children about Jesus at Christmas (or any time) is one you can start using today! My children are at an age where they believe the most important part of Christmas is getting gifts. As we decorated our house together, the kids were finally old enough to be careful with the delicate decorations. I often think, we need more decorations. The house is not fully decked out. That mindset is the problem-when we keep focusing on the decorations and pomp of Christmas rather than the real reason for the season that was Jesus’ birth, we miss the important lessons that Christmas teaches.
I gathered a few resources that can help us teach our children about Jesus. We can learn a few things too as parents!
As my children grow, I know getting gifts will always be exciting for them-as it should be. I just don’t want them to be so self-focused. The “I want” mentality is one I want them to balance with embracing a mindset focused on “I can give.” Nothing teaches that focus better than the birth and life story of Jesus.
Advent Activities for Kids: Teaching Children about Jesus at Christmas
Books and Activities that Teach about Jesus
Christmas! The whole story of the God who loves was recently reviewed by Marissa over at All in Good Twine. She is actually a fellow MOPS mom, and shares some illustrations of Christmas! We get a sneak peek into the book.
The devotional for children includes one minute stories each day to explore all of the times Jesus’ birth is referenced in the Bible-even in the Old Testament. It looks like a really great way to teach toddlers and preschoolers about the importance of Jesus’ birth.
Children are naturally excited when they are the focus, and this storybook Bible teaches children about how God’s gift of Jesus is about them. A book appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers, this Bible storybook is written at a level that allows us moms to teach about the importance of Jesus throughout all of God’s creation-including our children.
My husband sent us this biography about Jesus’ life and ministry while he was deployed. I read a chapter to the kids each night before bed-along with our other books. It is written for school age kids. I could tell that my 7 year old could grasp the story, but this book is a bit too advanced for my toddlers and preschooler. It’s a great book for diving into each major stage of Jesus’ life to explore his importance in our own lives.
This is an interactive Advent calendar that involves opening 7 boxes-1 per night-with the final box providing a great lesson (and surprise)! The suggested ages for this activity-in-a-box is 6 and up, so it will be perfect for school age kids.
The shortened Advent calendar format of one lesson per night allows you to go through each lesson in the week just before Christmas, or start it anytime. Children can handle the figures and engage in discussion about Jesus’ significance and how it impacts our own life.
Gifts for Jesus
This activity idea for teaching children about Jesus at Christmas was shared by a mentor mom in my MOPS group. It is awesome!
When her kids were young, she had them write one kind thing they did each day leading up to Christmas. Everyone writes their kind action on a piece of paper and slides it into a box. (You can cut a slot in the top of a shoe box for this.) Each kind act is called a “gift for Jesus”. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, you can read the notes to recall all of the kind things your family did in Jesus’ name during Advent. What a great activity to continue throughout the year and even turn into a New Year’s Eve celebration as well to look back on all the good that everyone did in the past year.
I absolutely love the lessons taught by this simple self-check each day. It is our duty to love and do kind things for Jesus and because of Him. This activity teaches that fundamental Christian calling in a way that even young children can grasp and use to feel empowered. The reason for the season is emphasized with this simple activity that has a big impact on what our children take away from the Christmas season.
Sensory Activity to Learn About Jesus
Children appreciate using their senses. During Christmas, with the emphasis on gifts, I like to remind my children that Jesus only received three gifts-gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. I actually use Frankincense and Myrrh regularly at home and decided to let my children explore these two essential oils to really dive into a sensory activity to learn about Jesus.
As far back as Biblical times, people used essential oils to heal and protect their bodies. The assumption in Healing Oils of the Bible is this is why giving Jesus Frankincense and Myrrh was so important. Myrrh and Frankincense are helpful for supporting the skin. Jesus would need to be healthy and focused on His mission during the path that His life was going to take. We placed a few drops of Frankincense and a few drops of Myrrh into our home diffuser and smelled what Jesus may have smelled like.
I know this sounds a little silly, but scents are huge triggers for memories and feelings of security. Smelling the oils that Jesus may have used on His skin is a unique sensory experience for kids. It makes the discussions of Jesus a little more tangible for kids.
If you’d like to order Frankincense and Myrrh (either or both), you can sign up as a retail or wholesale customer where I buy my essential oils. (Wholesale members receive 24% off retail price.) You could have these two essential oils in your home before Christmas to explore the real scents of the season. Read more about essential oils here.
We do not wait to teach about Jesus until we get to Christmas, but the time of year is a prime motivator for getting some Advent activities about Jesus started in our homes. I really like the variety of options that these resources offer and that they are great for multiple ages of children-toddlers, preschool or school age kids can take away important lessons with simple advent activities for kids.
What is your favorite activity to teach and talk about Jesus with your children?
Enjoy your time at home!