3 Shepherds Activities for Preschoolers: Starting Blocks Playbook for December 21st

I love getting to think about the Christmas story through the eyes of a child. They are much more appropriately awed by the amazing facts of the story: the appearance of angels, shepherds who leave their sheep to find the baby in a manger, God come to rescue humans from sin. The wonderful thing is that this is not a fairytale – it is true! As you do these activities this week with your kids, remind yourself of the wonder of the story and worship Him because it is true.

HIGHLIGHTS from Sunday…

This week your child learned there were shepherds in a field watching their sheep the night Jesus was born. They were the first to hear the good news when an angel appeared to them to tell them the wonderful news that Jesus had been born. At first, they were afraid, but then many angels appeared and sang “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to all men on whom His favor rests.” When the angels disappeared the shepherds hurried into Bethlehem to see the baby lying in a manger. After they met Jesus they weren’t quiet. They told many people the good new that God had kept His promise. The one who would save us from our sins had arrived!

Teaching Truth

  • Jesus is the promised One who rescues us from sin.

Memory Verse:

“For God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

Here’s a simple song to help your child (and you) memorize this week’s memory verse!

3 Activities that remind us Jesus is the promised one:

1. Spreading the Good News

This game might work best in a larger setting, perhaps with your community group. One person, probably an adult, will tell one child a piece of “good news.” The child will have to tell everyone in the game as fast as they can. After they finish, check and make sure that everyone heard the “news” correctly. A fun way to do this is to repeat what you told the child and everyone can “celebrate” (raise hands, clap, sing). You can repeat with different news and have each child get a turn. Reinforce the idea that the shepherds heard the good news, rejoiced, told everyone about Jesus and worshipped Him.

2. Find the Baby

Take a baby doll, or something that can represent Jesus, and hide it in your house. Gather everyone together and proclaim “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Then, have everyone go and look for him. Whoever finds him must go and tell all the others that they found him…not in a bragging way, but in the way the shepherds went and told everyone about Jesus.

3. Snack Time

During snack time, help your child create the shepherds, sheep, angels and baby Jesus. For the shepherds use gingerbread boys and mini candy canes, use peanut butter or icing and help your child attach the candy cane to the gingerbread boy. For the sheep use a large marshmallow, mini marshmallow and stick pretzels. Use the large marshmallow as the body and stick the pretzels into the marshmallow for the legs. Attach the mini marshmallow to the large marshmallow with another stick pretzel for the head. For the angel, turn a cone shaped ice-cream cone upside down so the point is up. Attach a cookie such as a vanilla wafer to the front top of the cone with peanut butter or something else sticky for the face. For the wings, attach two pretzel twists to the back of the cone with peanut butter. Last, help your child create a manger and baby Jesus. Grab a small bowl and tear apart a few squares of shredded wheat to be the hay for baby Jesus. Lay a teddy graham into the hay for baby Jesus. Using the items your child made, act out the story. As your child eats his snack, talk with your child about the shepherds by using these questions:

  1. Were the shepherds afraid?
  2. What did the angels say?
  3. What did the shepherds do after the angels appeared?
  4. What did the shepherds do after they saw baby Jesus?
  5. How can we be like the shepherds?


Dear God, what wonderful news that Jesus has arrived and will save us from our sins! Thank you for choosing to tell the world in such a special way. Now that we know who Jesus is will you help us go and tell others, just like the shepherd did? Amen

Image via Flickr Creative Commons

Looking for a place to serve this Christmas season with your family? Check out the Holiday Service Guide on our website!

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