We started out with a couple of stories. I read this Nativity book (I like it because it has specific details from the story, but few words and it's a sturdy board book). As I read, I had the kids put these stickers up on the Nativity background for me to help me tell the story.
Then, we read J is for Jesus. (Our big Christmas giveaway includes this book and you can enter until Midnight tonight!). Jen introduced me to this book and I REALLY, really like it! I gave each child a candy cane and they acted out the story with me. In one part they pretended to lick the candy cane. In one part they turned it to make it look like a "J" and then in another to look like a shepherd's staff. They pointed out the red and white stripes and we talked about each one. I just love that the book is so fun and easy to listen to and ties the story of Christmas into the gospel!
After that it was time to do a few activities. I got a ton of printables and ideas from these 3 FREE preschool Nativity packs:
This one from Over the Big Moon was my favorite because it had the most stuff that met Isaac where he's at academically right now:
|Over the Big Moon|
These both had great stuff too!
|Confessions of a Homeschooler|
We also had this puzzle which Isaac will do over and over and over again. (I got it at Hobby Lobby during their after-Christmas sale last year and was pleasantly surprised by the quality. The pieces are thick and durable and fit together well.) We gave it to the boys as one of their Day After Thanksgiving Gifts. They still carry it this year if you're interested or you can get it online here!
We did a patterning activity with red and white pony beads and pipe cleaners. They strung them on in a pattern and when their little fingers got tired of doing it, we cut the pipe cleaner and bent it into the shape of a candy cane to correspond with J is for Jesus.
Jen brought a baby doll over for our pretend play center. I had a basket, an old white t-shirt cut to be used as a swaddling cloth, a "Bible costume" made my Matt's dear grandmother, hand towels and cloth headbands to hold them on, and a shepherd's staff. The shepherd's staff kind of got used as a weapon a lot... I didn't realize it, but I could have made it much shorter...I think this would have gone over a lot better one on one or with a group of kids a little older than ours. :)
|An adorable shepherd taking care of Baby Jesus|
And in the name of keeping it real around here...
Royal flop of the day:
I found this idea for a snack on Pinterest and was so excited to try it out. Instead of making a gingerbread house, you make an edible Nativity! I got all the supplies, but since this is a photography website, there was no tutorial. I figured it couldn't really be that hard... Ha! Well, after building one ridiculously frustrating stable, I decided we should do a group Nativity and that each child could just add a figure or two to the scene. Ha again! I'm not sure how this talented lady got hers to look like this, but we were unsuccessful. (Maybe hot glue instead of icing?!? And I did find this tutorial AFTER the fact... though I'm still not sure that it would have gone much better.) Oh well! Everyone gave it their best shot and enjoyed munching on the yummy ingredients. :)
|Jen's sweet Lauren making a sheep!|
All in all though, I think the party was a huge success though! Why? Because the kids heard God's Word and the gospel and had fun bonding with their mommies and friends. I don't know how much more you need to have a successful Christmas playdate!
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