Many children’s ministry leaders plan to read Luke 2 at least once during the Christmas season. I love story and so do my kids but it’s fun to make set up too. This year we’re going to play reading game the hopes of keeping kids more engaged in the story. Before you read the text together have children take their seats or sit on the floor near you. You can’t randomly assigned parts were right the names of the characters on slips of paper and put those in a jar. Also include some action to go with the name and include that on your slips of paper. If children are too young to read go over the actions with them. Have plenty of volunteers to help you with this reading game.
If you go with the second option allow children to select their characters and then said quietly as you tell the story. When children hear their characters they read aloud they must stand and do whatever action has been given to them.
Characters should include: baby (holding a baby in your arms), shepherd (pretend to hold the staff), Angel (flutter your wings), peace (raised both hands high in the air), Mary (make prayer hands), the Lord (points to the heavens). I use the NIV version of Luke 2: 1-20. For convenience’s sake, I have included it here.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Have fun with this active reading game.
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.