The Baby is Born: Let s Worship Him. Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

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1 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me, one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. -Micah 5:2 Day One Day Two Day Three Day Four Day Five Daily Theme The Prophets Predicted: We re Ready for a Savior. The Angels Announce: Do Not Be Afraid. The Baby is Born: Let s Worship Him. The Shepherds Share: The Savior has Come! The Giving of Gifts: Wise Men Celebrate. Theme Verse The days are coming, when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. -Jeremiah 23:5 But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. -Luke 2:10 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. -Psalm 95:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. -2 Thessalonians 3:1 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God s grace in its various forms. -1 Peter 4:10 Bible Story Malachi the Prophet Malachi 4 Hagar and Ishmael Genesis 21:8-20 Simeon Luke 2:21-40 The Jailor in Philippi Acts 16:22-36 Wise Men Give Gifts Matthew 2:1-12

2 Crafts: Day One Daily Theme: The Prophets Predicted: We re Ready for a Savior. Theme Verse: The days are coming, when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. Jeremiah 23:5 Bible Story: Prophet Malachi Simple Truth: The world needs a Savior. The prophets made it clear that he was coming. We can see how much we need him. Advent Wreath Quick Overview: Campers will make an Advent wreath. Supplies needed for 10 children: 10 green pipe-cleaners 20 yellow pipe-cleaners 240 purple and 80 pink plastic pony beads Green tulle (you could substitute ribbon, fabric scraps, or evergreen) Preparation: Cut all of the yellow pipe-cleaners in half. Make a sample, specifically so you can decide how best to wrap the tulle around the pipe-cleaners. Prepare the tulle, by cutting to appropriate lengths. Lesson before the craft: As we prepare for Christmas there are some different decorations in church. We see a Christmas tree, special flowers, and other Christmas decorations. But the advent wreath is

3 one of the things that we use during the church services to remind us of the coming of Christmas. Craft: Start by making your green pipe cleaner into a circle, and twisting it together. Put 7 more pony beads on, so 8 total for each candle. Push all the beads down firmly, then open the pipe cleaner ends to hold them on. Take a yellow pipe cleaner half, fold it in half again, and pinch it over your green circle. This will be your first candle. Then shape the top like a flame on a candle, bring the 2 ends together, and give them a twist. Take a pony bead, and put it over both ends of the yellow pipe cleaner. Push it down firmly. The force of the beads will hold your candle upright. Repeat until you have an Advent wreath with 3 purple candles, and 1 pink one.

4 Now add greenery around your wreath. The way to do this is by tying strips of tulle all the way around the green circle. To do this, I d say you need to cut your tulle in pieces about 3 inches long. If you use wider strips, the wreath gets full faster. The effect will be better if you use several shades of tulle to do this. You can either get tulle from the fabric section (it s very cheap per yard) or you can get it in rolls in the wedding section of craft stores. It does take some patience to tie on enough pieces of tulle to make a full wreath, so for younger campers, you may give them one long piece of tulle and let them wrap it around and around the wreath instead. Like this: This worked very well. When you get all the way around the wreath, just tie or tuck in the ends. It s a very fast alternative to all the tying. You could definitely substitute cheap green garland, evergreen, fabric scraps, green ribbons, or whatever else you can think of for the wreath. Lesson after the craft: The lighting of an advent wreath is one of the rituals of advent. Each week there is another candle lit to remind us that we are getting closer to Christmas. Many churches spend time each week considering a different character or event during the time leading up to the holiday. But the main idea of advent is to get ready. Our theme today is that The Prophets Predicted: We re Ready for a Savior. What are some of the ways that you and your family get ready for Christmas?

5 Christmas Around the World: Day Two Daily Theme: The Angels Announce: Do Not Be Afraid. Theme Verse: But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you god news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10 Bible Story: Hagar and Ishmael Simple Truth: The Angels have come to share great news. We need not fear. We can trust God s promises. The Netherlands Trust Walk Overview: Campers will learn about Christmas traditions in the Netherlands; they will go on a trust walk to remind them that God wants us to trust him always. Supplies needed: Blindfolds (one for every two campers) Objects to hide Passports Country flag stickers The Netherlands Map of the world/globe Preparation: Gather small objects and make sure you have blindfolds. Lesson before the activity: Let s get out our passports and see where we will travel today! Today we are going to the Netherlands! Has anyone ever been to the Netherlands? What language do they speak? (Dutch) How do people say Merry Christmas' in the Netherlands? (Vrolijk Kerstfeest) Where are the Netherlands on the map/globe? Christmas Day is actually a very quiet day in the Netherlands. People will go to church and visit with their families. They do not exchange gifts on Christmas rather, the biggest day of gift-giving for the holiday season is St. Nicholas Day (December 6).

6 On December 5, Dutch children leave out their shoes to be filled with gifts. They also believe that if they leave hay and carrots in their shoes for St. Nicholas horse, they will be given sweets! St. Nicholas and his servant Black Peter arrive on St. Nicholas Day to give gifts. Parties are often held on St. Nicholas Eve, where treasure hunt games are played. Kids have to figure out clues and riddles in order to find their presents! They also eat cinnamon cookies and cakes. Dutch children believe that their clues will lead them to gifts. They trust that St. Nicholas will lead them to find each present. God also wants us to trust him to always lead us the right way! Sometimes we may not understand or it may not make sense, but if we trust in God he will lead us in the right direction. Activity: 1. Pair up the campers and blindfold one person in each pair. 2. Have the unblindfolded camper pick an object and hide it somewhere in the room. 3. The blindfolded camper needs to follow directions from his/her partner (left, right, straight, etc.) until he/she finds the object. 4. Switch places and repeat if you have time. Lesson after the activity: Children in the Netherlands go on treasure hunts at Christmas to receive gifts. They trust in clues to lead them in the right direction. In our lives, sometimes things go wrong and we might not understand why God is leading us where he is, and we may even be scared. But, his love is always with us! We can trust that God s is always leading us in the right direction. We can remember his promises that he will do what is best for us. Remember to stamp each camper s passport before they leave the activity. Collect the passports so they are easily accessible tomorrow.

7 Snack: Day Three Daily Theme: The Baby is Born: Let s Worship Him. Theme Verse: Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1 Bible Story: Simeon Simple Truth: The Savior has come. Let us worship him with enthusiasm like Simeon. Christmas Cookies Overview: Campers will decorate Christmas cookies to help remind them of the Christmas story. Supplies for 10 children: 10 plastic knives Ingredients for 10 children: *At least 60 Christmas cookies* Frosting Food Coloring Sprinkles or other candy to decorate *You can decide how many cookies you think is an appropriate snack. Then, for Friday s craft, the campers are making gift boxes. So, you should plan to make enough cookies today so that they can put five or six in each camper s gift box.

8 Preparation: Make the Christmas cookies ahead of time. You can cut them into any shape you want but a variety of types would be fun to choose from. Make the frosting or buy it premade. Divide the frosting into different bowls. Add food coloring to the different bowls so campers can use different colored frosting on their cookies. Place any candies you have into bowls. so that they are easily accessible during the snack section. Lesson before the snack: How many of you like cookies? How many of you like making cookies? Well today we are going to decorate Christmas cookies. There are many different symbols used at Christmas time and each one represents a different thing. Explain what each of the symbols you used for your cookies stands for. For instance, the star showed the wise men where Jesus was. The angels proclaimed the birth of Christ. The shepherds came to honor Jesus. You can use whatever shapes you have made. Then allow each camper to pick which cookie they want, or you can distribute them as you see fit. Now that you have learned about some of the different symbols of Christmas, you can decorate your favorite one. You will get to design it however you d like! Directions: 1. Allow each camper to pick a Christmas cookie 2. Distribute the knives and frosting and allow them to decorate Lesson after the snack: There are many different symbols and many different designs today. None of you made your cookies look the same. But the story behind the cookies is always the same. We all know the story of the birth of Jesus, and it is our job to share that story with as many people as we can. Maybe when you get home you can tell your parents about the different symbols you learned. Or you can invite your neighbor to come to Day Camp tomorrow. It doesn t matter how you tell them, it s the actual message that is important. Note: The craft on Friday is a gift box. It would be helpful if the campers could decorate all the cookies for that activity during the snack today. You can decide how many cookies they can eat today and decorate the rest for Friday. Plan for at least five or six in the gift box. Talk to the craft leader about coordinating this.

9 Story: Day Four Daily Theme: The Shepherds Share: The Savior has Come! Theme Verse: Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 Thessalonians 3:1 Bible Story: Jailor in Philippi Simple Truth: We have such great news! Let s find a way to share it with everyone that we can. Jailor s News Quick Overview: Campers will learn the story of Paul and Silas in prison and talk about what the jailor may have said to his family. Supplies needed for 10 children: None Preparation: Read through Acts 16:22-36 and have it marked in your Bible. Read through this lesson. Lesson before the story: In the Christmas story, which people told others about what they had seen and heard about Jesus? Yes, the shepherds did. Can you think of more people from the Bible who told others about Jesus? Sure, there are lots. Today we are going to learn more about some men who spoke about Jesus. They were not telling other people in their own town, though, like the shepherds. Listen to hear where the men were when they were sharing the Good News of Jesus.

10 Story: I m going to read to you right from the Bible today, so listen closely to what God is saying to us. If you have any questions about what was happening raise your hand and I will explain it to you. Read Acts 16:22-36 aloud. If children are young or you have reason to believe they don t understand what is happening, feel free to explain using your own words. Emphasize that you are reading God s words to us. Lesson after the story: Paul and Silas had exciting news to share with everyone they met, even the people in prison with them! The Holy Spirit worked in the jailor s heart and he believed that Jesus was his Savior. We have some evidence of the jailor s faith, like his baptism and how he treated Paul and Silas. Imagine you are the jailor and you have just seen all of the miracles and heard Paul and Silas singing about Jesus. What would you tell your family when you got home that night? Divide the children into pairs and have them pretend to be the jailor telling his wife and/or children about what happened that night. Don t forget to include the good news of Jesus! Let each child take a turn being the jailor. If time allows, you may let a few groups act out their scene in front of everyone. When we have good news to share it is hard to keep it quiet. Today we heard how Paul and Silas told the good news to the prisoners and the jailor and how the jailor shared it with his family. Let s pray. Dear Lord, please let your good news make us so excited that we have to tell others about the way to heaven! Amen. Have a great rest of the day! See you tomorrow!

11 Adventure: Day Five Daily Theme: The Giving of Gifts: Wise Men Celebrate Theme Verse: Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 Bible Story: Wise Men Give Gifts Simple Truth: We can be wise by using our gifts to serve our God. Alaskan Pipeline Quick Overview: Campers will work together to transport a marble from a starting point into a cup simply using the pipes. Supplies needed: One piece of pvc piping for each camper. Preferable use different lengths Preparation: No preparation needed Lesson before the adventure: Today you are going to be able to transport gifts to the baby Jesus. The wise men traveled a long way on camels to bring these gifts to a toddler Jesus. We are going to deliver them in the shape of a marble. We will leave the gift in the cup for Jesus. It s a little tricky because you can t touch the marble at any time. You will each be given a pipe to help you transport the marble into the cup. However, the marble must travel through everyone s pipe. You also can t touch anyone else s pipe. You can stand in any order you would like. If the marble falls out at any time it will go back to the start. I will now give everyone their pipes. If you would like to discuss a plan for your team you can do that now. Tell me when you are ready to begin and we will place the marble in the trail you prepared.

12 Adventure directions: The job of the campers is to get the marble into the cup. They can only hold their own pipe, not anyone else s or the marble. If the marble falls out it goes back to the beginning. The campers can move in any order they like, but they have to keep their pipe. For older campers it will be good to set the cup far away from them. Then they will have to stop the marble part of the way there, and adjust their lineup after the marble goes through their pipe the first time. Reflections after the adventure: What was something that made this challenging? How did the sizes of the pipes affect the challenge? It s true that it could be hard to transport the marble from a big pipe into a little one. Or maybe it was challenging to have one with a curve at the beginning. But how were each of these pipes helpful? Probably they should have ideas that a curved pipe or one with a bend could help hold the marble if you have to adjust the line. The smaller pipes can be very helpful at the beginning to keep the movement smooth. Each of the pipes was important. They all had roles so that as a team we could get the marble into the cup. The wise men brought gifts to Jesus when he was born and Jesus has given each and everyone one of us gifts to use. Some of us may be really good at art, or math, or basketball, or singing, or public speaking. No matter what your talents are, they are important to God. They can all be used to serve him. We all have different gifts, but they are all necessary to serve God. Let s think of some ways that we can serve with these talents. Variation: You could give them an assigned order to make it harder. That way they will have to transport the marble through different sized pipes each time. You could also have them stand in a circle and continually transport the marble all the way around it without having it fall out. You could also make a progression of lines or cones at different distances away for them to get a progressively more difficult challenge. To make this activity easier for younger campers, allow them to touch other people s pipes.

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