“Christmas is Coming”

I have decided that I have to face the fact that Christmas is coming and I need to get organised once again for a busy lead up to Christmas Day with children’s programs to be prepared. I have added a new category to this blog where I will post Christmas ideas and resources over the next month.
To get started today let me tell you about a project I began a couple of years ago when I produced a PDF booklet titled “Christmas is Coming.” The booklet contains four original Christmas puppet skits, three original Christmas stories and three chants to use in children’s programs. I have also included some Christmas clip art which also comes in handy when preparing worksheets or coloring books. The booklet is available online for download and it costs $10 USD through PayPal. I’ve had very positive feedback from people who have used the material in the US, UK and in Australia.

You may like to read the story I wrote for a program last year titled : ‘Christmas@PoohCorner’

Here is the link to check out : “Christmas is Coming”


Trailer for new The Nativity Story Movie

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Gifts of the Magi

“Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were significant gifts considering the role of Jesus for the world. Gold was the most precious metal at the time of Jesus birth was a symbol for royalty. Frankincense was an expensive fragrance which played a special role in worship (Lev.2.2). And Myrrh was an embalming substance ( a surprising gift for a newborn baby). Together they describe Jesus as a Saviour for the world (Myrrh- for the blood sacrifice), that would receive ultimate ruling authority (Gold-Kingship) and worship (Incense).”

Ralph O. Muncaster, First Christmas

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Have a subtle Christmas

A letter appeared in our local newspaper “The Age”  here (in Melbourne, Australia) some time ago  which made me smile.

” It mustn’t be easy for local councils, preschools and retailers to decide on religious decorations in a secular and pluralistic society in these days of political correctness. However, Christmas references don’t have to be emptied of all Christian meaning. There are ways to do it subtly: CHRISTmas THE seaSON OF peace and GoODwill.”

Perhaps the greeting above could be turned into a children’s talk or all- age sermon?

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Christmas Carol

A little boy and girl were singing their favourite Christmas carol, “Silent Night”. The boy concluded the rendition with the words, “Sleep in heavenly beans.” His sister quickly corrected him: “It’s not beans, it’s peas.”

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My Christmas Pillow

I have  posted my new Christmas story called “My Christmas Pillow”. I intend to use it at our family Christmas Eve Service. You’re welcome to use it and perhaps give me some suggestions for improvements.

“My Christmas Pillow” link

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Just Joking

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons Kevin, 5 and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.

“If Jesus were here, He would say, “Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait. “Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus.”

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Wasting time

There are four ways of wasting ones’s time

> doing nothing

> not doing what one ought

> doing it badly

> doing it at the wrong moment

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Reflection on Childhood

Reverend Francis Kilvert

Diary : 16th January 1875

“In the Common Field in front of the cottages I found two little figures in the dusk. One tiny urchin was carefully binding a handkerchief round the face of an urchin even more tiny than himself. It was Fred and Jerry Savine. ‘What are you doing to him? ‘ I asked Fred. ‘Please Sir,’ said the child solemnley; ‘Please, Sir, we’m gwine to play at blindsman buff.’ The two children wer quite alone. The strip of dusky meadow was like a marsh and every footstep trod the water out of the soaked land, but the two little images went solemnly on with their game as if they were in a magnificent playground with a hundred children to play with.

Oh, the wealth of a child’s imagination and capacity for enjoyment of trifles!”

(“Childhood“, an anthology edited by Kate Figes, J.M. Dent, London. p.94)

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Resources for Children’s Ministry List

Video Resources
BluefishTV.com  low cost Christian video clips
HollywoodJesus.com  pop culture from a spiritual point of view

Picture Resources
freebibleimages.org or distantshoresmedia.org
imagebank.org.uk free Christian photos and Power point backgrounds
heartlight.org free Power point backgrounds
eBibleTeacher.com free Power point backgrounds

lambsongs.co.nz/Mission  Bible picture booklets
art of Henry Martin Bible story art work
burningwell.org  public domain image source
morguefile.com SundayGraphx.blogspot.com.au  Power Point backgrounds

Assembly or Chapel programs
Bible Resources
LaughingBird.net  scripture paraphrase for Australians
Craft ideas
Christian crafts -Pinterest.com

Making Games and Puzzles



online free quiz makers

Tagxedo.com or Wordle.net

Puppet scripts
Jeremiah project  Stories for Children Teaching Biblical Values

Gracethrufaith.com   the Bible through the eyes of it’s writers 
Children’s Ministry
ScriptureUnion.org.uk Schools Live resources

Max7.org open source ministry resource library






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Nutty Head Challenge

Nutty Head Challenge

How To Play –

You need a packet of gingernut biscuits or other hard baked biscuits. One person in each team kneels on the floor, puts their head back and keeps very still. On the word “go” the other team members stack one biscuit at a time on the forehead of the “kneeler”. Each team gets one minute. The most biscuits still stacked on the forehead at the end of a minute gets top marks.

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Love that doll.

There is a story about a little girl who had a large collection of dolls, of every description. It was obvious that her dolls brought her much pleasure. A visitor asked her which of her dolls was her favorite.

“Just a moment,” she said as she rushed into another room.

In a moment she was back with a doll that would have been rejected by any charity. One of the eyes was off, the cloth hair was hanging by a single thread, the dress was worn and dirty, one shoe was missing.

The visitor was surprised. “Why do you love this doll so much?” she asked.

The little girl answered shyly, “Because if I didn’t, nobody else would.”

Wherever we go, we are to show the grace and love of Jesus.

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3 Big Lions

Daniel and the Lions Den.

Here’s a new short song I’ve written for younger  children titled. “3 Big Lions”. The song uses the tune “5 Little Ducks”

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Sticky pairs- warm up game

You can use this very flexible game to introduce your teaching/Bible theme for the day.

Devise matching pairs of words related to your theme for the day and write them on individual sticky labels which can be stuck to children’s backs. For example, for a discussion on attitudes and behaviour you could choose the words good/bad; love/hate; generous/selfish etc. First show children the word, then stick them on their backs, then challenge them to find their opposite or matching pair by looking at the words on the other children’s backs, without talking. When the children are all paired off gather them and talk about each pair of words as it relates to your theme.

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Make a 12 sided calender

I saved this link some time ago after I made my own calender. I thought that the PDF template could be copied and adapted as a craft activity with older children to make a 12 sided memory verse reminder or possibly photos.


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Photo Prayers and Praise

I just had this worship idea which is untried as yet. For those churches which have a data projector. Early in your worship service ask for some volunteers- adults, children or family groups. Two or three groups. Send each group of 2-3 people out of the service with a digital camera and ask them to return within 10-15 minutes. They are charged with taking photos of “God’s beautiful creation”, shots of the local community: shops, school, street names … or photos which evoke praise and thanksgiving. The people may even like to be in the photos themselves. When the groups return plug the cameras into a PC USB port and display them on the screen as part of a prayer response, bible reading or play some music as a background and invite people to pray silently or out loud.

  • Perhaps someone out there in ‘Blogland’ could try this idea and give us some feedback?
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Share Prayer Ideas

  • Share teaspoon prayers… Give everyone a teaspoon and explain that a short way (abbreviation) of teaspoon is TSP.

TSP prayers include Thanks God , Sorry God , Please God

  • Hand of prayer…

Pointer finger- reminds us that our lives should point to God to thank and praise Him.
Tall man (finger ) -The biggest finger reminds us to pray for people
who are leaders …ministers, Sunday school teachers, teachers, Prime Minister/President…
Ring finger – reminds us to pray for people you know who need prayer…parents, family, friends, missionaries, sick people.
Little finger- reminds us to pray for ourselves, to ask God to be with us , to help us and to give us what we need to love and obey Him.

  • Silent hands confession

With short silences and closed eyes move through this three-part confession.
Fists should be clenched to help bring to mind wrong things we hold on tightly to .
Turn fists downwards and open hands as a sign of letting go the things we are sorry for and repent of.
Turn hands upward, with palms open, as a mark of receiving God’s forgiveness.

  • Arrow Prayers ( You will need cardboard arrow-shapes; pens)

Sometimes when you’re in a difficult situation, feeling frightened or nervous, there’s no time to kneel and pray or to wait for a quiet time at the end of the day; you simply have to shoot an arrow prayer to God right away. Try to give your group some examples of when they might want to pray instant on-the-spot prayers. For example: whe you’re facing a fierce dog, when you’re nervous about reading something out loud. Talk about Nehemiah’s short prayer in Nehemiah 2:4-5 before he spoke to the king. Give all the children a cardboard arrow shape and encourage them to write the words of Psalm 31:22 along the shaft as a take home reminder that God hears even the shortest prayers.

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Bible Verse Bookmarks

I was  involved in a mission to a large school with children aged 5-12 years. As part of that mission week one of  the Christian teachers devised a series of bookmarks (in PDF format) with Bible verses on to be given to children. These are available to be downloaded  here. Bible Verse Bookmarks

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Rich man Poor man

Rich man Poor man   based on Mark 10:17-31You could have a narrator (or chorus), Jesus, & a Rich man to read the various parts.As Jesus was starting out on his way

A man ran up and called out “hey

Good teacher tell me what must I do

To receive eternal life that’s true ?”


“No one is good ‘cept God alone..

Keep the commandments that you’ve known.

“Teacher, I’ve tried since I was small

To obey the Law. I’ve kept it all !”


Jesus looked him in the eye.

With love he said, “Now you must try,

Sell all you have; support the poor

Your rich reward’s in heaven stored.

Sell all you have. Come follow me.

But rich man turned reluctantly.


The kingdom of God is hard to attain

Wealthy people will grapple to gain.

Can’t push a camel through a needle’s eye,

Many first will be last when they die.

Who can be saved ? Can you see ?

“Sell all you have. Come follow Me !”


Don Stott, Feb 2003, http://eliab.com

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Peter’s Denial Puppet Script

I have just written a short children’s puppet script based on Peter’s denial  of Jesus (based on John 18). It involves a rooster puppet and an interviewer or ventriloquist. Peter’s Denial Puppet Script  I used it today with a group of boys in a chapel service a long with a video and short talk and it went down well. Feel free to adapt it to your setting if you find it helpful.

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More Easter resources for children’s ministry

A Glorious Easter

Probably one of the best list of Easter resources for children’s ministry online.


See also my other websites – http://easterplus.blogspot.com and http://eliab.com

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Easter Message – Bible Theatre

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Olympic Games Resource for children’s program

If you’re looking for some ideas for a christian children’s program on the Olympic Games then check out this free resource for a children’s holiday program titled “Champions” – Discovering the heart of a champion (written by Liz Campbell). There are loads of ideas, scripts, games and Bible resources to use.

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Willing to die

A story to share at Easter

He died for another

Over two hundred years ago, the French Revolution brought fear and terror to France. Rich and powerful people – even the king and queen -were killed by the revolutionaries. Every day, hundreds of people were arrested, dragged from their homes and flung into horrible prisons. They were given hardly any chance to defend themselves, but were sent off to the guillotine to be killed.

Some of those who died probably deserved to be punished, for they had been cruelly thoughtless of the poor and hungry peasants and city workers. But in those terrible days, many good and honest people suffered, too.

Francois-Simon Liozerolles was a young man of twenty two when he and his father, General Loizerolles, were arrested.

First, young Liozerolles was tried. The case went against him and every morning he wondered if it would be his last.

One afternoon, tired and miserable, he flung himself on a couch to rest. His father sat beside him and talked calmly till he fell asleep. When he awoke he looked around for his father and excitedly asked some friends what had become of him. They told him.

While he slept, the tumbrils* had arrived and the warder entered with the list of those who were to die. The name of Francois-Simon Loizerolles was called. The General promptly stepped forward, saying, “I am Loizerolles”. He walked out and climbed in to the cart and was carried away to die.

It was then too late to correct the error. Within a week the reign of terror came to an end and young Loizerolles walked out free!

But he was a changed man and for him the world was a changed world. Everything seemed different after that awakening. He went to sleep, unwilling to die and longing to live. We awoke to love life less and understand it more, because by dying in his place, his father had shown him how to live. All his days he lives as a man for whom another gave his life.

(*Tumbrils were carts used to take prisoners to be executed.)

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Easter Chant

Easter Chant

Hosanna ! Hosanna !

Hear the people cry.

Riding on a donkey

The King is passing by.

Riding to Jerusalem

Wave those palms and cheer -

Jesus the Messiah

The “promised one” is here.


Crucify ! Crucify !

Hear the people shout !

Tell governor Pilate

To bring Jesus out.

Crucify ! Crucify !

Hear the people cry -

“He claimed to be our king,

Now he must die !”


“Forgive them ! Forgive them !

They don’t know what they do

I’m willing to die

On this cross for you.

I’m your king, Lord, Messiah.

It is finished ! I cry -

For your sins to be forgiven

God’s Son must die “


He’s risen ! He’s risen !

See the joy on Mary’s face.

She came to the tomb

And now she must race

To tell the disciples -

“We don’t need to fear,

Jesus has been raised to life .

He’s alive ! He’s here ! “

(c) Don Stott, Feb 2002

See more Easter Chants, stories and Easter Puppet skits at http://eliab.com

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The carpenter’s cradle

The background for this poem is Matthew 1:18-25 . It was used as part of a sermon on this passage and was read with an improvised piano backing.

The Carpenter’s Cradle

Timber now fashioned, and rough sanded down

With piles of fresh shavings strewn on the ground.

The carpenter ponders each joint and straight edge

Puts down his tools upon the work ledge.

With things to ‘consider’ he returns to ‘his wood’

And enquires of the Lord, ‘What’s for the good?’

The angel commanded him,”Mary must stay”.

It’s now clear his fear shouldn’t stand in his way.

With each hammer and join, things start to take shape

He’s resolved to move forward, he can’t hesitate.

Shifting his stool, he then starts to plane.

Sometimes it’s hard to go ‘gainst the grain.

Finally he smiles, ‘It’s all God’s design.’

His weathered hand feels what’s smoothed, now fine.

This small baby Jesus, a gift to mankind

Will no longer rest in a meagre old manger

But will peacefully rock in this carpenter’s cradle.

© Don Stott, 2005, http://eliab.com

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Christmas Quotes

I have just added some Christmas quotes and thoughts on my other website Christmasplus.blogspot.com

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Celebrate Christmas photo


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Put CHRIST back in CHRISTmas

Santa rides in a sleigh…

JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year…

JESUS is an ever present help in trouble.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies…

Jesus supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited…

JESUS stands at the door of your life and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa…

JESUS is as close as the mention of HIS name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap…

JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girls, what’s your name?”…

JESUS knew our name before we did.

Not only does he know our name,

He knows our address too.

He knows our history and future and

He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly…

JESUS offers a heart full of love.

All Santa offers is HO HO HO…

JESUS offers healing, help and hope.

Santa says “You better not cry”…

JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”

Santa’s little helpers make toys…

JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but…

JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree…

JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.

Yes, Jesus is better, he is even better than Santa Claus.

It’s obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.

(author unknown)

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The legend of the first Christmas tree

Christmas trees originated in Germany. The story is told of St. Boniface who travelled from England centuries ago to tell the good news about Jesus to the German people. One dark night he and some of his monks carrying candles, came across some people deep in the forest. They had tied a boy to a bare oak tree ready to sacrifice him to their god, Odin. Boniface freed the boy and chopped down the tree. Then he showed them a fir tree pointing up to the sky. His followers put their candles on the branches and the people gathered around the tree and listened as Boniface explained how God had sent his son Jesus to bring light to the world.

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Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star

I’ve just posted a reworking of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with Christmas words


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