3-5 JESUS WANTS TO BE MY FRIEND FOREVER USER AGREEMENT CREATIVE TEAM CEO DIRECTOR OF MESSAGING DIRECTOR OF PRESCHOOL STRATEGY WRITERS

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1 JESUS WANTS TO BE MY FRIEND FOREVER SMALL GROUP CEO Reggie Joiner DIRECTOR OF MESSAGING Kristen Ivy DIRECTOR OF PRESCHOOL STRATEGY Brittany Compton Robertson DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM Kathy Hill DESIGN AND BRAND MANAGER Sharon van Rossum TEAM CREATIVE TEAM Brittany Compton Robertson Kathy Hill Autumn Ward Ashley Hiers Donna High Sharon van Rossum Deb Springer McKenzie Causey WRITERS Donna High Emily Meredith Autumn Ward USER AGREEMENT Scripture quotations marked GNT are taken from the Good News Bible, Second Edition, Today s English Version, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. These resources are intended to be downloaded and printed for use by the subscribing entity only and may not be electronically transferred to or duplicated by other non-subscribing entities. Any unauthorized reproduction of this material or incorporation into a new work is a direct violation of US copyright laws The rethink Group. All rights reserved. First Look and the First Look logo are trademarks of The rethink Group. STATEMENT OF FAITH USER AGREEMENT Orange gladly grants permission to churches, schools, and other licensees to tailor First Look materials to fit their unique leadership requirements, locale and format preferences, and physical environment needs. However, if you wish to edit the content substantively, including Bible stories, learning activities, scripts, and any other content in which biblical principles and concepts are presented, you are obligated to do so within the doctrinal guidelines we ve expressed in our Statement of Faith The ReThink Group. All rights reserved.

2 PRELUDE: Setting the tone for the experience For Leaders Only Monthly Overview Create the Environment 15 MIN 10 MIN 10 MIN 25 MIN SOCIAL: Providing time for fun interaction Offer one or more of these activities as preschoolers arrive. Little People Search Light a Candle Birthday Bash WORSHIP: Inviting people to respond to God Christmas Party Special Delivery STORY: Communicating God s truth in engaging ways Introductory Sketch Bible Story Prayer GROUPS: Creating a safe place to connect Offer as many of these activities as your time, facilities, resources, and leadership allow. Memory Verse Gifting Christmas Banners Birthday Cake Stack Silly Celebrations Birthday Bash Hats Journal and Prayer HOME: Prompting action beyond the experience Going Home Parent Cue 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 2

3 15 MINUTES 1. LITTLE PEOPLE SEARCH WHAT YOU NEED: Little People Nativity Set MOVE an activity that uses a preschooler s natural desire to move to help them learn BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Place the stable in the middle of the activity area. Scatter the people and animals around the room in plain sight. DURING THE ACTIVITY: Direct the children to find all of the pieces of the nativity set. Ask them to work together to bring the pieces back to the stable. AFTER THE ACTIVITY: Encourage the children to play with the nativity set. BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: We get to play with the nativity playset today! (Point to stable.) OH, NO! The pieces are everywhere! DURING THE ACTIVITY: Let s work together to find all of the pieces. I see some over there. (Point.) Let s be sure to find all of them! (Do activity.) AFTER THE ACTIVITY: WOW! That was close! I am so glad that you found all of the pieces. Now we can play with the nativity set together. (Finish activity.) We are going to hear the ENTIRE Christmas story from the Bible today. I am so excited! TRANSITION: Move to Worship and Story by chanting, God gave us Jesus, as you move to the story area The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 3

4 15 MINUTES PLAY an activity that encourages preschoolers to follow guidelines while having fun and learning new concepts 2. LIGHT A CANDLE WHAT YOU NEED: Paper towel tubes (one per child) and a clear plastic ball ornament DURING THE ACTIVITY: Give each child a paper towel tube. Have the children circle up holding their candles (paper towel tubes). Explain that they will pass the ornament around the circle, place it on top of their paper towel tube to light their candle, and celebrate Jesus birthday. Another option is to line up the children with their paper towel tube candles. Instruct the first child in line to place the ornament (flame) on top of his tube and walk to one side of the classroom and then back to the line to pass the flame to the next child. Repeat until every child has had a turn. BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: When you celebrate a birthday, what do you light on the cake so you can blow them out? (Pause for responses.) Yes, candles. Let s pretend that these paper towel tubes are candles, and we can use this ornament as our flame. AFTER THE ACTIVITY: That was fun, wasn t it? I love to celebrate birthdays. But Jesus birth is the biggest, most important Birthday Bash ever! I LOVE celebrating Jesus birthday with you. We ll hear all about the night Jesus was born in our Bible story today. I can t wait! TRANSITION: Move to Worship and Story by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and then blowing out the candles The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 4

5 15 MINUTES EXPLORE an activity that channels a preschooler s innate curiosity into a discussion of the week s crucial concepts 3. BIRTHDAY BASH WHAT YOU NEED: Streamers, birthday decorations, and wall tape BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Lay all of the decorations and streamers in the activity area. DURING THE ACTIVITY: Encourage the children to use the decorations to decorate the activity area. Be sure to have an adult nearby to help with tape and any other frustrations. Be sure every child has a turn to help decorate. BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Christmas is Jesus birthday! Let s celebrate! DURING THE ACTIVITY: We have really cool decorations for our Birthday Bash. (Point.) Let s work together to decorate for the celebration! AFTER THE ACTIVITY: Nice work! It looks great! We are ready for our BIRTHDAY BASH. We are going to hear the Christmas story from the Bible today. Merry Christmas! TRANSITION: Move to Worship and Story by telling everyone that they see, Merry Christmas! as they walk to the story area The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 5

6 HEAR FROM GOD REVIEW CREATE an activity that allows preschoolers to review the Bible story, bottom line, or memory verse by creating a craft to take home 1. GIFTING WHAT YOU NEED: Memory Verse Strips Activity Page, white cardstock, small gift bags (one per child), washable markers, and stickers (Optional: Happy Birthday Jesus tattoos or other small preschool-safe party favors) BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Copy Memory Verse Strips onto cardstock and cut on dotted lines. Provide one strip per child. Place a gift bag at each child s spot at the table. Set the markers and stickers in the center of the table. DURING THE ACTIVITY: Give each child a memory verse strip to color or decorate with stickers. Encourage the children to decorate their gift bag as well. Point out the words on the strips of paper and read the verse aloud for review. Instruct the children to place their memory verse strips inside their gift bags. If providing tattoos or other party favors, pass those out for the children to add to their bags as well. DURING THE ACTIVITY: Everyone hold up your strip of paper. (Pause.) This is our memory verse, which says: God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, John 3:16. Use the markers and stickers to decorate your bags and your memory verse strips any way you choose. AFTER THE ACTIVITY: Your bags are beautiful. Take these strips home as a reminder that God showed His love for you by sending Jesus. It s our BIG BIRTHDAY BASH! Happy birthday, Jesus! Jesus is God s Son! 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 6

7 TALK ABOUT GOD REVIEW CREATE an activity that allows preschoolers to review the Bible story, bottom line, or memory verse by creating a craft to take home 2. CHRISTMAS BANNERS WHAT YOU NEED: Big Banner and Little Banner Activity Pages, white cardstock, scissors, yarn, hole punch, and wall tape BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Copy the Big Banner Activity Page onto the cardstock and cut on the dotted lines. You will only need one copy of this Activity Page per class. Copy the Little Banner Activity Page onto the cardstock and cut on the dotted lines. You will need a copy of this Activity Page for each child. Use the hole punch to punch two holes on the bold dots at the top of each piece in both Activity Pages. Cut one five-foot section of yarn. Cut a three-foot section of yarn for each child. DURING THE ACTIVITY: Lay the pennants from the Big Banner Activity Page on the floor face up in the activity area. Identify each picture. Ask the children to choose the picture that came first in the Bible story. When the children identify the first picture, string that picture onto the yarn and move it all the way to the left side of the yarn. Ask the children to choose the picture that comes next in the Bible story. String that picture next to the first one. Continue the activity until all of the pieces are on the banner. Retell the Bible story as you make the banner. Hang the finished banner on a wall in the activity area. AFTER THE ACTIVITY: Give each child a set of Little Banner pieces and a small section of yarn. Help the children string their banners in the correct order just like the big one. Send the small banners home with the children. BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: We are going to make a BIG banner of our Bible story to hang for our Birthday Bash! We are also going to make a small banner that you can take home and hang at your house for Christmas. DURING THE ACTIVITY: (Point to the Big Banner pictures.) These are pictures of the Christmas story from the Bible. We are going to string them on our banner. Let s work together to make sure they are in the correct order. The pictures are the angel and Mary (point), Jesus born in a stable (point), the angel and shepherds (point), and our Birthday Bash sign (point). Which picture came first in our Bible story? (Pause.) Yes! The angel and Mary! The angel 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 7

8 TALK ABOUT GOD REVIEW CREATE an activity that allows preschoolers to review the Bible story, bottom line, or memory verse by creating a craft to take home came to Mary and told her that she would have a baby and He would be God s Son. (String the picture of the angel and Mary.) Awesome! Now which picture do you think should come next? (Pause.) Yes! Jesus being born in the stable is next. Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem and Mary had Jesus in a stable where the animals lived. (String the second picture onto the yarn.) Who knows what is next? (Pause.) Way to go! The picture of the angels in the sky above the shepherds is next. The shepherds did not know that Jesus was God s Son. The angels told the shepherds the wonderful news that Jesus was born. (String third picture onto the yarn.) Now we can add the BIRTHDAY BASH picture. (String fourth picture onto the yarn.) Now we have our banner to hang for our BIRTHDAY BASH. (Hang the banner.) AFTER THE ACTIVITY: Now we can make a banner to take home and hang at your house. (Finish activity.) Great job! Now let s have a BIRTHDAY BASH! Let s celebrate that God gave us Jesus. Jesus is God s Son! 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 8

9 LIVE FOR GOD APPLICATION ACTIVITY THINK an advanced activity specifically designed for older preschoolers 3. BIRTHDAY CAKE STACK WHAT YOU NEED: Several boxes of varying sizes and widths, paint or solid wrapping paper, crepe paper, tape, dot markers, crayons, and pom-poms or other craft items BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Gather several boxes and stack them up from largest in width to the smallest like a birthday cake. Paint or wrap each box with gift wrap. Stack the boxes and secure them in place with tape between each box. DURING THE ACTIVITY: Gather the children around the cake with the materials provided to decorate the cake. They can decorate each layer with different items. For instance, they could tape strips of crepe paper along the sides to mimic icing or create a garland pattern across the side of the cake with the dot markers, etc. Encourage the children to be creative but careful with the items provided. Once finished, gather the children around the decorated cake to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. DURING THE ACTIVITY: What do these boxes look like? (Pause for responses.) Right now they might look like a tower, but I want us to decorate them to look like a birthday cake. I have lots of different things you can use to decorate our cake. Let s decorate! AFTER THE ACTIVITY: This cake is too pretty to eat! Well, I guess that wouldn t be a good idea anyway. Let s all gather around the cake. Whose birthday are we celebrating? (Pause for responses.) Jesus! Let s sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. (Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.) Beautiful singing, friends. I love Christmas because Christmas is about the best gift ever: Jesus. Why is Jesus special? Happy birthday, Jesus! 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 9

10 LIVE FOR GOD APPLICATION ACTIVITY MOVE an activity that uses a preschooler s natural desire to move to help them learn 4. SILLY CELEBRATIONS WHAT YOU NEED: Music player, the monthly song, and Christmas tissue paper (one piece per child) BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Turn the music on. DURING THE ACTIVITY: Give each child a piece of tissue paper, and encourage them to place it on their heads. Challenge the children to dance with the paper on their heads and try to keep it from falling off. Repeat several times. BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Let s be SILLY! DURING THE ACTIVITY: We are going to celebrate and dance. Let s dance with tissue paper on our heads. (Demonstrate.) See if you can dance without the paper falling off! (Do activity.) AFTER THE ACTIVITY: That was so much fun! Sometimes it is good to be SILLY. Dancing is a great way to celebrate that God gave us Jesus. Why is Jesus special? Jesus is God s Son! 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 10

11 LIVE FOR GOD APPLICATION ACTIVITY CREATE an activity that allows preschoolers to review the Bible story, bottom line, or memory verse by creating a craft to take home 5. BIRTHDAY BASH HATS WHAT YOU NEED: Birthday Bash Party Hat and Party Hat Labels Activity Pages, white cardstock, Avery #5160 labels or equivalent, sentence strips (one per child), stickers, washable markers, a stapler, and glue sticks BEFORE THE ACTIVITY: Copy the Birthday Bash Party Hat onto cardstock and cut out one per child. Copy the Party Hat Labels onto the labels so each child will have one label. Staple each hat to the middle of a sentence strip. Set out the supplies so the children can reach them. DURING THE ACTIVITY: Pass out a sentence strip hat to each child to decorate. Encourage the children to add a label to the sentence strip. AFTER THE ACTIVITY: Help each child wrap the sentence strip around his/ her head so you can size it appropriately. Then staple the ends of the sentence strip together and hand the hat back to the child. DURING THE ACTIVITY: We re going to create a special birthday hat to help us celebrate Jesus birthday. AFTER THE ACTIVITY: Let s all put on our special party hats and say, Happy birthday, Jesus! (Pause as children follow directions.) What a fun Birthday Bash. I ve had so much fun celebrating Jesus birthday with you. Why is Jesus special? 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 11

12 PRAY TO GOD PRAYER ACTIVITY REFLECT an activity that encourages personal application and prayer 6. JOURNAL AND PRAYER WHAT YOU NEED: Paperclip Memory Verse Card in your Bible at John 3:16. Provide a journal and a fun-shaped pen for each Small Group. You will also need the following stickers for the month: heart, baby, sheep, balloon, and star (two of each per child) as well as your reward stickers or hand stamp. SMALL GROUP LEADER (SGL): It s Small Group time. Today we re going to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus while we walk to our Small Group spot. This is going to be fun! Everyone ready? Here we go! (Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus while you walk to your spot.) (Clap) Yay Jesus! Woo-hoo! Let s sit down and talk about today s Bible story now. One, two, three, sit down with me! (Open the Bible and lay it open in front of the children.) Our Bible story today was about God s Son and our good friend, Jesus. The angel told Mary she was going to have God s Son, Jesus. Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem and that s where Jesus was born in a stable. Angels told shepherds the good news that Jesus was born, and they ran to see Him. Then the shepherds went and told everyone about Jesus. Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds knew Jesus is special, because God sent angels to tell them that CHILDREN AND SGL: Jesus is God s Son! SGL: And we know Jesus is special because people have told us Jesus is God s Son and the Bible tells us CHILDREN AND SGL: Jesus is God s Son! SGL: AND God gave us Jesus because He loves us and wants Jesus to be our Who wants to be your friend forever? CHILDREN AND SGL: 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 12

13 PRAY TO GOD PRAYER ACTIVITY REFLECT an activity that encourages personal application and prayer SGL: That s a lot to celebrate! And that is why we re having a party today. We want to celebrate Jesus and how much God loves us. (Turn the pages of your Bible to the Memory Verse Card.) The Bible verse we ve been learning says: God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, John 3:16. (Close Bible and lay it down.) That s a lot of love! Now, we ve been learning this verse all month. I want us to stand up and say it one time together with the motions. Then anyone who wants to try and say it can have a turn. I have my stickers/hand stamp ready! (Hold up your reward stickers or hand stamp.) CHILDREN AND SGL: God (point up) loved (hug yourself) the world (raise arms overhead to form a circle) so much (stretch arms out as far as possible) that he gave (place hands together with palms up in front as if offering something) his only (point up) Son (hold arms as if cradling and rocking a baby), John 3:16. (Hold hands open like a book.) SGL: You sound ready to me! I want everyone to sit back down. When it s your turn to say the verse you can stand up. Who wants to try and say the verse first? (Give each child the opportunity to say the verse on his own. Have your stickers/hand stamp ready to give when they say it.) Hearing you say that verse is a wonderful way to celebrate Jesus birthday! Wow! I am so proud of you! (Give each child a high five.) Let s sit back down and write in our prayer journal. (Hold journal and fun-shaped pen.) 2018 The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 13

14 PRAY TO GOD PRAYER ACTIVITY REFLECT an activity that encourages personal application and prayer I m looking in our prayer journal, and we have a heart sticker to remind us how much God loves us, a baby sticker to remind us God gave us Jesus, and a sheep sticker to remind us to tell everyone the good news that Jesus is God s Son. (Note: Add any new names you may have and give them a heart, baby, and sheep sticker to go by their name.) Today we are going to add a balloon sticker by our names. When I say your name, I will give you two balloon stickers one to put by your name in our journal and one to put on your shirt to wear home. The balloon sticker will remind us that Christmas is all about Jesus birthday! So, when you put the balloon sticker by your name, I want you to say, Happy birthday, Jesus! Get ready and listen for your name. (Say, Happy birthday, Jesus each time you give a child two balloon stickers one to put by their name in the journal and one to put on their shirt.) It s fun telling Jesus happy birthday. Now let s talk to God and ask Him to help us remember that Christmas is all about Jesus birthday. Would anyone like to pray before I pray? (Give each child who wants to pray the opportunity to do so.) PRAYER SGL: Dear God, there are so many wonderful things happening this month. There are Christmas lights and yummy food and lots of presents. Please help my friends (name each child) and me remember that Christmas is all about Jesus birthday. Help us love others enough to tell them the good news about Jesus. We love You, God! In Jesus name, amen The ReThink Group. All rights reserved. 14