Our world does a pretty great job of making the story of Santa exciting and magical for children. We hang stockings and put out cookies and milk and take photos with Santa at the mall. We watch movies about him while drinking hot cocoa and writing Wish Lists. In light of these things, sometimes the true Christmas story can end up seeming… boring.
Today I want to help you discover how you can show your children that the truth of Jesus is greater than the story of Santa.
Here are my top 3 ways to share the Christmas story with preschoolers!
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Start with What They Already Know
The story of Jesus’ birth has many parts that are relatable for little ones. Take what they already know and naturally connect it to the Christmas story.
Kids easily understand the concepts of a Mommy (Mary) and Daddy (Joseph) and baby (Jesus). Children also love birthdays! I love asking preschoolers if they know who’s birthday is on Christmas. Our family always makes a Happy Birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas. You can see some amazing Happy Birthday Jesus cake ideas HERE.
Birthday celebrations also have presents. What child does not love presents?! Whenever there is discussion of Christmas gifts and/or wish lists, we talk about how the 3 kings brought Jesus gifts. We give gifts to the people we love. The kings wanted to show Jesus how much they loved him. And God wanted to show how much He loved us by giving us Jesus – the greatest gift of all.
Stars are another part of the Christmas story that children easily grasp. Take your little ones outside at night and wonder at the twinkling sky. Tell them that God made a special star in the sky to tell everyone that Jesus had been born. Put precious emphasis on placing a star on top of your Christmas tree.
Kids are naturally very curious about God’s creatures. How fun to be able to tell your child that Jesus was born where the animals stayed. I like to ask children what they think the stable smelled and sounded like. This always makes them giggle! Sometimes we will discover a local live nativity that has real animals. The kids love seeing the story come to life!
Kids learn best through play. They want to be delighted and to imagine. Capitalize on this! We love taking out our Fisher-Price Little People Nativity each year. We act out the Christmas story with the Little People. We play games such as What Is Missing From the Nativity? and Follow That Star.
We also make crafts together that celebrate the Christmas story. I love THESE Christ-centered Christmas crafts.
During the month of December we look forward to our Shepherd on the Search moving around the house each morning on his way to find the baby Jesus in the manger.
One other favorite thing we do is print THESE Advent Bible verse cards for kids and countdown each day in December leading up to Jesus’ birthday. The anticipation of opening a verse each day is so much fun!
Another wonderful way to engage with the true spirit of Christmas is to celebrate giving together as a family. Emphasize God’s gift to us in Christ and how when we give, we are a reflection of Him to the world. Choose some simple acts of kindness that you can do throughout the month for others, and/or make a list of people who your family can make gifts or cards for.
Use Kid-Friendly Storybooks
One of the best ways to help little ones fall in love with the Christmas story is to read about it. Our family absolutely loves The Beginner’s Bible and the products they offer to help preschoolers hear about the Good News of Christmas.
Our favorite Christmas products from The Beginner’s Bible are The Christmas Activity Sticker Book, The Very First Christmas Picture Book, and Little Lamb’s Christmas.
A Christmas Celebration Sticker and Activity Book has puzzles, activity pages, and simply written stories that celebrate Jesus’ birth.
This is one I love to give to my kids while we are driving to and from school during the month of December. It is such a fun and festive way to keep their hearts and minds focused on Christ.
The The Very First Christmas Picture Book has the entire story of Jesus’ miraculous arrival in one place.
This little book is super inexpensive (only $2.99!) and would make a great gift to all of the little ones in your neighborhood or child’s class.
Little Lamb’s Christmas: A Finger Puppet Board Book is the sweetest little interactive storybook with a finger puppet that makes Zion laugh every time we read it. It’s all about a little lamb who witnesses Jesus’ birth. This book is a great stocking stuffer!
And if you are looking for a great Bible for preschoolers, we love The Beginner’s Bible.
It’s on Amazon for $7.47 right now! The perfect Christmas gift idea!
Finally, the best way to share the Christmas story with your little ones is to simply love it yourself. The story of Christ is truly the most precious and beautiful picture of God’s great, redeeming love for His people. It speaks of His greatness and power and humility and gentleness. There is nothing more exciting than giving your life to Him and receiving the eternal gift of His presence with us. Our Emmanuel.
The more you love Jesus above all, the more your little ones will grasp the significance of that wondrous night.
Looking for even more great Christ-centered Christmas gift ideas?
**You can find all of The Beginner’s Bible products HERE!**
How do you share the Christmas story with your preschoolers?