Advent and Christmas Resources
Creative Ideas for Advent & Christmas contains a wealth of inspirational easy-to-do ideas for the busy weeks in the lead-up to Christmas. All the ideas use readily available materials and have instant appeal. The activities are ideal for children aged 4-11, but will be enjoyed equally by people of all ages. There are 80 ideas in total, many of which could become part of traditional family, church and community celebrations each year.
The No-Rehearsal Nativity enables churches to put on a nativity play that families can simply join in with on the day. Ideal for service leaders who lack the time or confidence to organise a rehearsed nativity play, it also provides a way to involve families who do not normally attend church or are visiting over Christmas. Includes full script, advice on preparation, publicity and staging, and options to set the play within a Christingle or crib service. A 'no-sew nativity' appendix provides instructions and templates for making simple costumes on a budget.
Seasonal Activities for Christmas Festivities ideal for children's leaders looking for lively, thought-provoking session material in the run-up to Christmas. It provides three years' worth of exciting programme ideas designed to unpack the true meaning of Christmas with 7-11s. Each programme contains five sessions that fit readily into the autumn half-term leading up to Christmas, and includes an optional short presentation for a Christmas service or related event. Choose from three stand-alone but inter-related themes, each unpacked through icebreakers, discussions, games, crafts, dramatised Bible stories, prayers and take-home activities.
Advent Christmas and Epiphany Resources
The Church of England's 'Going for Growth' pages contain lots of ideas for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
Barnabas in Churches offer loads of downloadable resources including an All-Age Advent Service, an Advent Fun Day plus ideas for Christmas activities. They have also added Messy Nativity and Messy Christmas to their MC series.
The Bible Society has a wealth of resources under the title The Well Good News of Christmas which includes a free to download "no rehearsal" nativity, a booklet that churches can give away plus a free video.
Christian Aid's campaign Light the Way offers prayer sheets, a nativity sketch, service suggestions, and a how to guide for organising a Walk of Witness, as well as publicity materials to advertise your event.
CWR 'Pens' Series for Children - The Pens characters are planning to put on a Nativity play to celebrate a very special birthday -- Jesus’ birthday! In all the excitement, Sharpy learns what Christmas is all about as Pens act out the true story of God sending His Son into the world so that we could know what God is like and become friends with Him. This short story is followed by five days of Bible readings, thoughts and prayers, based on the birth of Jesus, to help young children discover the meaning of Christmas. Ideal for children aged 3-6.
Eikon Bible Art has a wealth of art and craft resources for work with children and young people, including a comic book entitled Legends of Faith, activity packs, a short film explaining the real meaning of Christmas called Becky's Christmas, downloadable Bible stories related to the Christmas story with memory verses, teaching guides, puzzles and drawing pages and DVD's of Christmas related Bible stories.
Scripture Union have produced a series of 'Bauble Books' in the format of Christmas decorations and books in one! The artwork makes the books attractive as Christmas tree baubles as well as a great read for children under 8. Each book comes with a thread to hang it on a Christmas tree.
The stories are age appropriate for under-8s and stick closely to the Bible in their retelling. It is ideal for use with all children, but is good to introduce the real Christmas story to those with little or no church background.
The Children's Society Advent Calendar has a focus on mental health and well-being. Behind each of the 28 online doors, you will find a wide variety of creative things to do to increase well-being for yourself and for others. Each window offers you the chance to reflect and work to ensure your own wellbeing – if we’re not right, how can we reach out to children or young people to ensure their healthy well-being? This will be available online from 27th November.
The Society's Christingle resources also offer a wealth of lesson plans, prayers, hymns and other activities available online to provide everything leaders will need to plan assemblies and services to engage with families, parish and the wider community.