Matthew 2:1-12 tells the story of The Three Kings, also known as the Three Wise Men. Enjoy the season and this part of the Christmas story with some fun Christmas activities, even if you think you don't have time. Put hectic demands aside for now, and enjoy your time, and gaze into those bright little eyes of your biggest joy of the season.
The Big Star
Play a follow-the-leader game with your little traveler. Tape a large yellow star shape onto a cardboard wrapping paper core. He can hold the star up high while you or the whole family follows him around. Make star luminaries for the porch or driveway. Use a star-shaped paper punch to make several holes in more paper bags. Let your holiday helper color the bags, then pour some sand into the bottom of each bag. Stick a battery-operated candle light inside each bag. And, don't forget a great craft for the family tree. Cut two same-sized stars from waxed paper. Give him an eyedropper to squirt droplets of yellow paint onto one of the star shapes. Place the second star over the first. Use a warm iron to seal the two star shapes together.
Focus on the reason the Three Kings were traveling, to find the newborn King, Baby Jesus. Your 2-to-5 year old sees herself as a "big kid." She will love traveling across the street or across town to take some gifts to a real infant. Tell or read the story of the Three Kings searching for Jesus and delivering gifts. Help her relate to the truth that Jesus came to earth as a newborn baby. Make a scrapbook page together, including Christmas card cutouts of Baby Jesus and some real pictures of your own precious one. Frame the picture for her room, if you want. Provide a cardboard box for her to decorate with paints or markers to look like a manger. She can put a doll or stuffed toy into the "manger" for the Three Wise Men to Visit.
Good King, Bad King
Explain the actions of King Herod to demonstrate that he was a bad king and wanted to hurt Baby Jesus. Connect the Bible truth by calling Jesus the Good King, the Son of God. Have your little Bible learner make some crowns for himself and the entire family, or for his teddy bears. He can cut simple crown shapes from construction paper and decorate them with glue pens. Have him make a black crown and put no decorations on it to represent the bad King Herod, but put it on an empty chair, saying that we want to celebrate Jesus the Good King, not Herod the bad king. Play Checkers together, but start out the game with each of you having stacked checkers (kings). Discuss the good and bad kings while playing.
Create a mural together and let your child draw some camels and other animals that would have been a source of transportation when Jesus was born. Then have him add some drawings of types of travel today. Pack a lunch for a trip to see some airplanes, trains, buses or cars. Give your "wise man" the choice of what to put in the lunch. Go together to purchase a toy camel or donkey, and perhaps a book of the Christmas story that tells the part of the Three Kings. He can hold the toy while you read the story to him several times around Christmastime.
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