This is the final preschool lesson in a 3-part series on The Birth of Christ. It is designed to teach preschooler about the Christmas Story based on the details of the Wise Mens’ visit to see the Jesus.
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 – Matthew 2:1-12
Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate an understanding of the wise men’s visit by acting out the story.
Target Age: 2 year olds – 5 year olds
- Print this lesson plan
- Bible, Matthew 2:1-12
- “The Birth of Christ – The Wise Men” Booklet
- 1 paper lunch bag per child, decorating supplies – stamps, stickers, markers, etc.
- 5 craft sticks per child, glue, 1 yarn circle per child, glitter, marker to write their names on their project
- Tissue paper, wrapping supplies
- 1 Large piece of paper labeled “Our Gifts to Jesus”, crayons
- Use the “Christmas Songs” (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.
- Sing the Wise Men & Baby Jesus Song
Teaching Plan: The Birth of Christ – The Wise Men
Welcome activities are things to have out for the children to do as they are arriving for class. These activities will get them engaged as soon as they arrive and will help the transition from their parents.
Have stamps, stickers, markers and other decorating supplies available for the children to decorate a lunch bag for their parents. Make sure that each child puts their name on their bag. We will use these bags later in the lesson.
Worship: Christmas Songs above
Bible Lesson Introduction
“We are going to do a craft a little early today because it needs to be able to dry. We are going to make a star today. This has a lot to do with our story today. There is a very special star that we are going to learn about during the Bible story.”
- Give each child 2 craft sticks and demonstrate to them how to glue them to each other so that it makes one long stick
- Have the children glue their yarn “circle” onto the top of their sticks (this will be so that they can hang it on their tree at home)
- Give each child 2 more craft sticks and have them glue them in an “x” onto the previously glued sticks
- Give each child 1 craft stick and have them glue this one across the center of the “x”
- Have each child write their name on the back of their star
- Have the children glue the yarn circle onto the back of their “star” to make it an ornament
- Let the children use the glitter and glue to decorate their star
- Lay off to the side to dry (you will be wrapping them later)
Read Matthew 2:1-12 (NIRV) 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.
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.
1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. This happened while Herod was king of Judea.
After Jesus’ birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. 2 They asked, “Where is the child who has been born to be king of the Jews? When we were in the east, we saw his star. Now we have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard about it, he was very upset. Everyone in Jerusalem was troubled too. 4 So Herod called together all the chief priests of the people. He also called the teachers of the law. He asked them where the Christ was going to be born.
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied. “This is what the prophet has written. He said,
6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are certainly not the least important among the towns of Judah.
A ruler will come out of you.
He will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ” —(Micah 5:2)
7 Then Herod called for the Wise Men secretly. He found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem. He said, “Go! Make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, bring me a report. Then I can go and worship him too.”
9 After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when they were in the east went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy.
11 The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh.
12 But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road.
Read the verses (story) again, but this time have the children have the children act like they are the wise men by doing the following motions:
Jesus’ birth or born – rock a pretend baby in your arms
Star – make blinking motions with fingers in the sky
Joy – smile big
House – make the shape of a house with your fingers
Bowed down – bow down
Gave him – show a giving motion with your arms
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?” baby Jesus, Mary, wise men
“What did the wise men follow?” a star
“Who were the wise men trying to find?” Jesus
“What did the wise men give to baby Jesus?” gifts: gold, incense and myrrh
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: Wrap Gift for Parents
“The wise men brought Jesus gifts to show that they love Him. You all made a star earlier in class today. That is going to be a gift from you to your parents.”
Let the children wrap their stars, put them in their decorated bag.
Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“The Wise Men went to the house. They bowed down and worshiped him. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11 (NIRV)
Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:
The Wise Men: point to your forehead
Went to the house: make the shape of a house with your hands
They bowed down: bow
And worshipped him: raise your hands in the sky
They gave him: hold out your hands as though you are giving something
Gold: move your fingers around as though something is twinkling
Incense and myrrh: make a sniffing sound
Matthew 2: hold up 2 fingers
11: hold up all 10 fingers and then 1
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: Gift for Jesus
“In our Bible Verse today, we learned that the wise men brought Jesus gifts after He was born. I want you to think what you would give to Jesus. We are going to make Him a big class gift.”
- Have the children take turns drawing pictures of their gifts for Jesus.
Ask the children what their gift would be and write that, with their name, next to their drawing.
Evaluation: Have the children (as a class) retell the story of the shepherds’ visit in their own words. Prompt them if they get stuck on a part.