What better way to celebrate Christmas with your kids than with a birthday party? Use some of these ideas to throw a bash your kids will never forget!
Buy or print birthday party invitations and hand out to kids prior to the service. If you plan several days before your party, sending these invitations through the mail could be a great way to get kids excited! You could also send them to kids who have visited in the past or who haven’t come in a while as a means of outreach.
Basic streamers and balloons make for an quick setup. Cover the tables with plastic tablecloths from the dollar store and cleanup will be a breeze. Purchase a roll of white paper to make a “Happy Birthday Jesus” banner (tip: a roll of wrapping paper works great if you use the white back side). Before the kids leave, let each of them sign their name on the banner. You can display this even after the party if you’d like.
Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and use cookie cutters to cut them into shapes (a large star is a good one to use). Kids also love veggies and dip. Try to keep the food fairly healthy to counteract the cake they’ll have later (or parents are going to have some very hyped up kids!). Individual water bottles make serving drinks a breeze.
The cake. Every birthday party needs a cake!
While cupcakes are easier to serve than cake, cakes have surface area for writing “Happy Birthday Jesus” in decorative frosting. Don’t forget to light candles and sing Happy Birthday!
Pin the tail on the donkey:
I recommend playing this classic birthday game one of two ways: either the traditional way where you hang up the donkey and give each kid a tail (use tape instead of tacks to protect little fingers and save the walls)–except this time when you hang the donkey on the wall print out of a picture of Mary and have her sitting on the donkey. For an extra touch you could also print a Joseph leading the donkey. Even a “Bethlehem 50miles ->” sign would be neat. These little extras really drive home the Christmas story. Images can easily be found with Google image search.
Another way you can play is by changing the game to “Pin baby Jesus in the manger”. Simply hang out a picture of a manger, give each child a baby cutout and get to playing!
A great time to tell the Christmas story is right before this game. Have all of the kids sit and listen to you tell the story while a volunteer passes out the tails or baby cutouts and tape. Remember that some of the kids may not know the story of Jesus’ birth and, if they don’t, the game won’t make much sense as far as the pictures go. While this lesson is primarily the fun of a birthday party, we want to use every opportunity possible to reach kids with the gospel!
Here are two ideas (though the possibilities are endless!):
- Let the kids make cards for Jesus and explain to them that the best gift they can give Him is their love (I recommend talking about this no matter which route you go).
- If you announce the party ahead of time, you can let parents know that each child can bring a birthday present which will be donated to a local children’s shelter after the party (or they can be donated to the children’s ministry). I really like this option because it gives kids the excitement of picking a gift for someone else, they learn the concept that giving to others is a way of serving Jesus, and lastly, shelters will take gently used toys, so kids can even choose one of their own toys or items to give if they cannot afford to purchase one.
You can give out traditional party favors, make your own, or purchase “Happy Birthday Jesus” favors from places like Hobby Lobby and Oriental Trading.