Have a "Happy Birthday Jesus" Party for your Sunday School Children!

Christmas is a great time for a Sunday School party! The birthday of our King is the Best. Day. Ever!  There are so many fun crafts and games you can do with your children starting in Advent all the way through Epiphany!  OR have one grand party!  Here are some of the ideas I've used with my class which is mixed age group of Kindergarten through 3rd grade.  You can certainly adapt any of them to your age group.

First, you might want an invitation to share the details of your party  I made this sweet little postcard I can customize for you to print:

Jesus Birthday Party Invite

Next, you will need to decorate!  Here is a darling printable Christmas banner in two sizes to hang in your classroom or hallway.
Christmas Nativity Banner Garland
Mix and match with some gold star paper garlands like the ones here

Paper Star Garland from HoopsyDaisies

Of course, you will need a Birthday cake!  I adore this one!  While the children eat their cake, be sure and read the Nativity Story in Luke 2!
Happy Birthday Jesus Cake from Little Pumpkin Grace

Don't forget games for your party.  I LOVE Nativity Picture Bingo because it's good for ALL ages to play together!  Even the youngest children can participate with the help of an older child.  Older children can help lead the activity, too!  Be sure to have on hand some fun little prizes for the winners, like stickers, religious coloring books, even little sweet treats!

Nativity Bingo Game

You can also set up some activity tables with smaller group games and individual activites.  This set of nativity playing cards can be used for games like Matching, Old Maid & Go Fish!  Each card has a Bible verse.

Christmas Card Game

For a more active game with lots of laughs and rowdiness, this Candy Cane Race looks like great fun!!  You  have to move candy canes from the pile to a bowl using only a candy cane in your mouth! 
Candy Cane Game from Ministry to Children

Children love to wear costumes at parties, and these felt wise men crowns are perfection!
Felt wise man crowns from Little Folks Lane

Or make your own from paper plates!
Paper Plate Crown from DLTK's

Of course, you won't forget craft time!  I like to have a group craft and also set out coloring sheets to for children who are finished with other things and need to be kept busy.  Coloring pages are also great for early arrivals!

Nativity coloring pages

Nativity ornament keepsakes ALWAYS win at a Christmas party.  We made an ornament similar to this one last year that turned out so cute! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture it ..but I didn't use a blue background.  For Jesus we wrapped a wooden peg with a painted face in a little piece of flannel for  and cradled it in a pinch of Spanish moss.  Instead of the paper that says "the greatest Gift of all" we wrote  a Bible verse around the bottom edge of the cup with a gold sharpie.

Lastly, you might want to send the children home with a little goodie bag! You can fill it with sweets or non-candy treats like these Nativity play dough cans:

Christmas play doh cans

Top your bags with these matching toppers.  Just print on cardstock, cut, fold over the bag and staple in place.
Christmas Treat Bag toppers

Another favorite "take home" treat is the M & M poem.  We used it one year and attached it to a plastic candy filled candy cane like this instead of a glass jar like the picture below.
You can get a free printable for the poem like this here:

M & M poem download 

There are so many other adorable things you can do for your nativity party, but I hope these will get you started!

What are some of YOUR favorite Nativity or Sunday School Christmas activities?  I'd love to try them!  Please comment below!

Have a blessed Birthday party!

Weekend Workshop--Nativity Playset Mini Lunchbox

Several years ago, I wrote a blog tutorial for the digital art website, Aimee Asher that showed you how to turn a little dollar store lunchbox into a cute nativity play set for children.

Nativity Lunchbox Printable in my Etsy store

We made them with all of our Sunday School children and it was one of my most popular posts ever! Unfortunately, that blog is no longer online, so I've decided to repost it here. 

It truly is a very inexpensive gift that is fun for the children to help make!

Here's what it looks like inside and on the back:

Of course, if your lunchbox is a different size than mine, you will need to change the size of the background pieces or use it for a pattern for your own papers. You can do this by changing your printer settings OR you can print then enlarge or reduce on a copy machine for personal use.

SUPPLIES NEEDED (see photos below)
  • Nativity Lunchbox Printable available in my Etsy Store (click here)
  • Tin lunchbox approx. 5" x 4", any color available at dollar stores and craft stores
  • Spray Paint--only if you want to change the color of your lunchbox.
  • 12+  items to glue to the backs of the figures to make them stand up.  I used a plastic chess set from the dollar store.  Or you can use a pony bead glued on a button.  You could even use paper clips.  (See photos below.)
  • hot glue gun, scissors, corner rounder punch (optional)
  • Ribbons and Tag to embellish

Prepare Lunchbox
I liked the dark blue on this box, so I left it alone.  You can use spray paint to get any color you wish! 
My lunchbox "lid" has a bevel (indentation) on it, but the back doesn't so I had to make the background pieces to fit both. 

Prepare Nativity Printable 
  • Print figures on a bright white, high quality card stock or thick photo paper. You could also laminate the figures for durability, but keep in mind the glue won't stick as well to lamination.
  • Print background pieces on bright white, high quality photo paper.  You could laminate these, but ONLY one side because they won't stay on the lunchbox if they are double laminated.
  • Round the corners of the background pieces to better fit the lunchbox.  You can do this with a corner round punch or scissors.  Glue to lunchbox with hotglue.

corner rounder punch
  • Cut out figures.  To make cutting easier, leave a white border around them.  Also on pieces like the camel, you will need to leave enough white area for the stand to be glued to on the back.

  • Assemble the figures by hot gluing whatever items you choose to make your pieces stand up.  Here are some examples:

Pony bead and button.

Dollar store chess pieces

Plastic coated paper clips

  • Embellish lunchbox as desired.  We tied ribbons and a hang tag with the child's name on it to the handle.

I hope you feel inspired to create this set for your little ones to play with!

And now that that's done, would you like me to start publishing more Weekend Workshops? 
Let me know what you would like to see instructions for!

Feliz Navidad!

Writing a "Picture Bingo" Lesson Plan!

Yes, you can!
Tuesday I shared a post on how Christmas Picture Bingo can be used as a teaching tool and not just a party game.  It got me to thinking about many other ways you can build a complete lesson plan for several academic subjects around a picture Bingo game.

Here are some of my teaching ideas based on my Ho, Ho, Ho Bingo Game printable.
Just adapt them for the age group you are teaching or entertaining!

Spelling, Vocabulary & Handwriting

First, identify the objects in the picture bingo game to build your word list.  Choose words that are age appropriate. For example:

Once you have a word list, try these creative ways to integrate the bingo game with your word list: