Joseph is a wonderfully underplayed character, his actions are only noted twice, both prompted by dreams, both effectively save Jesus’ life. This lesson tries to bring forward his fatherhood as a gift and a blessing and bring him out from the shadow of Mary.
Picture Sticks – This is a really simple game that can be adapted for a large space or played on a table, it can be used like a treasure hunt, a puzzle, or a reward for comprehension questions. For instructions follow see this post. link to idea that Joseph was a carpenter, skilled at putting wooden pieces together.
Nail it – Hone you carpenter skills by recreating a picture with nails . You need a pile of small nails, a basic line drawing, and a pin-board (could use a thick piece of packing cardboard). Set up the pin boards and pins in a separate place to the drawing so that they can not be viewed at the same time. Kids can work as teams or individually to complete the challenge. Examples of pictures : very young – star, young – house, older group – bicycle, teens – horse.
Angel move – A combination of musical statues and ‘stuck in the mud’ this game should be easy to get started. Have the children dance to the music until it stops, when it stops shout out a characteristic the angels have, the angels then can begin dancing again but everyone else remains stuck. Angels can release people from being stuck be whispering hallelujah in their ears. Link to the idea that the angel told Joseph his son would come to save people.
Mary, Jo, Angel – Kids each get a partner. They put their backs to each other on the count of three they turn and face each of with a poise. (This is kind of like the rock,paper,scissor game) The poises are Mary – a girl poise hand on hip and head, Joseph – muscle man poise, flexing both arms, Angel – flap arms like wings. This is who wins who, Mary wins Joseph, Joseph wins Angel, Angel wins Mary. Keep playing until one is left standing. A special prize for the winner is great! If there is someone who doesn’t have a partner they get a free pass to the next round of play. ( from Children’s Ministry Vault – original source)
Dream messages – A game for the older kids, this involves deciphering a message with the use of yes no questions. Choose two or more dreamers and heave them ‘go to sleep’ (leave the room) while the children are given a one word message to relay, eg Christmas, Joseph, Brown, Wood etc. the dreamers. The dreamers then need to come back into the room and start asking questions. The group can only respond with yes or no answers. The first child to guess gets to choose the next word and the three people to send to sleep. If a child wants a hint they need to forfeit a question and instead kneel down and pray for an angel.
Grandma has put together an advent calendar that has cue words for the nativity figures.
When you pass Joseph you say, “The adopting father.”
When you pass the sheep you say, “A willing servant.”
The calendar is currently available to print out in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese.
Additional games and lessons are also available to print out.