This is the first of a 3-part series on The Birth of Christ. This lesson plan is designed to teach preschool aged children about the Christmas Story based on the details of being born in a stable. It could be used in any setting with children age 2-5 at church, including a preschool Sunday School class or a preschool children’s church class. As always, consider your own ministry context and modify it as needed. Please leave any feedback or suggestions for improvement in the comment box at the bottom of this page.
Bible Story: The birth of Jesus Christ – The Stable – Luke 2:1-2
Printable Booklet: Birth of Christ, Stable Booklet PDF
Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate an understanding of Jesus’ birth by answering questions.
Target Age: 2 year olds – 5 year olds
- Print this less plan
- Bible, Luke 2:1-7
- “The Birth of Christ – The Stable” Booklet (This can be printed out here “The Birth of Christ – The Stable” Booklet
- Plastic animals
- 1 piece of construction paper per child, picture of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and the star (1 each per child), 4 craft sticks per child, glue, crayons, marker
- Felt board, the following pictures with felt on the back: Jesus, boy and girl, burst or star, hospital, clothes, car, people, church, career man and woman
Worship: You can print off these Christmas Preschool Songs to use to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.
Teaching Plan: The Birth of Christ – The Stable
Bible Lesson Introduction
Have some plastic animals for the children to play with. Talk with them, while they are playing, that there were animals where Jesus was born.
Bible Lesson: Use the following notes as a guide, but be sure to tell the Bible story in your own words. If possible memorize your key points and just teach as you read the relevant verses directly out of the Bible.
Read Luke 2:1-7 aloud to the children. There is also a book that you can print out that has the story along with simple pictures to help the children understand what is being read.
In those days, Caesar Augustus made a law. It required that a list be made of everyone in the whole Roman world. It was the first time a list was made of the people while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be listed.
So Joseph went also. He went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. That is where Bethlehem, the town of David, was. Joseph went there because he belonged to the family line of David. He went there with Mary to be listed. Mary was engaged to him. She was expecting a baby.
While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born. She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy. She wrapped him in large strips of cloth. Then she placed him in a manger. There was no room for them in the inn.
Read the verses (story) to the children. If you are using the print out story, point to the pictures as you read the story so that the children can better understand what you are saying.
Read the verses (story) again, but this time have the children do the following hand motions when you say the words:
list or listed – making an imaginary list
Joseph – stand tall
Mary – smile
baby or boy– rock a baby
Discuss the Bible Reading
When you are finished reading the story the second time, ask the children the following questions so that you can know they understood it.
“Who was in the story?” Mary, Joseph, Jesus
“Why did Joseph have to go to Bethlehem?” To be counted on the list
“What did Mary lay Baby Jesus in?” A Manger
“Why were they in a stable?” There was no room in the inn
Bible Lesson Craft / Activity
Use the following activities to reinforce the learning goals. If time is short, move on to the evaluation portion of the lesson plan.
Activity: The Nativity
“What was our story about today? (allow for responses) Jesus was born in our story today. Jesus was born in a stable. Does anyone know what a stable is? (allow for responses) A stable is like a barn. It’s a place where animals, like sheep, cows, and horses are kept safe and warm. The city was so busy and full that no one had a room for Mary and Joseph to be in, so they had to give birth to Jesus in a stable. We are going to make a stable today for you to take home. Let’s get started.”
- Give each child a piece of construction paper
- Demonstrate to the children how to glue their 4 craft sticks for the stable walls and roof.
- Let the children color their star, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus
- While the children are coloring, go around and write each child’s name on their paper
- When each child is finished coloring, help them glue their pieces onto their background.
- While the children are waiting for everyone else to be finished, they can draw in animals around their stable.
Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 (New International Reader’s Version)
Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:
She gave birth to her first born, a son: act like you are rocking a baby
She wrapped him in clothes: wrap a pretend baby in a blanket
And placed him in a manger: pretend to gently lay the baby down
Because there was no room: shake head side to side as though saying, “no”
For them in the inn: make the shape of a house with your arms
Luke 2: hold up 2 fingers
7: hold up 7 fingers
Do this a few times with the children. Make it fun for them to do the motions and say the words. Involving them in active learning is essential for memorization at this age.
Bible Verse Activity: Jesus and Me
“In our Bible story and in our Bible Verse today, we learned about Jesus being born. You all were born. Let’s talk about when you were born. I am going to ask you some questions and I want you to answer them about when you were born.”
Put the felt board up with the picture of Jesus on one side and the picture of the boy and girl on the other side.
They may not know the answer to some of the questions. Guide their answers, but take whatever answer they give you. The pictures should help them.
* The city I was born in was…. (burst or star)
* I was born in a…. (hospital)
* When I was born, my mother dressed me in…. (clothes)
* If my family had to travel someplace 50 miles away, we would…. (car)
* After I was born, I was visited by…. (people)
* On most Sunday mornings you will find me…. (church)
* When I grow up, I will…. (career man and woman)
Ask the following question about Jesus’ birth this time.
* What city was Jesus born in? Bethlehem
* What was Jesus born in? Stable
* When Jesus was born, his mother dressed him in what? Swaddling clothes
* How did Jesus’ mother get to Bethlehem? On a donkey
* Who visited Jesus after He was born? Shepherds and wise men
* What did Jesus become when He grew up? The savior of the world