Identify the doctrine (repeating an activity verse): Repeat the following activity verse several times with the children:
Heavenly Father sent His Son to earth.
He came as a baby. (cradle arms)
He grew up like you and me. (bend at waist and slowly stand up)
Because He loved us, (hands over heart) He died for us. (sit down)
Because He was resurrected, we will live again! (stand again)
Explain that in the scriptures, Jesus tells us that He is the Son of God. Read Doctrine and Covenants 11:28 out loud together. (You could invite younger children to just say “the Son of God” when you read that part of the scripture.)
Encourage understanding (drawing and listening to a story): Have each child draw a scene or a person from the story of the birth of Jesus Christ (for example, Mary, Joseph, or the shepherds). Retell the account from Luke 2:4–17 and Matthew 2:1–12. Invite the children to hold up their pictures at the appropriate times during the story. You may want to sing Christmas songs from the Children’s Songbook during this activity (see pages 34–54). For suggestions about using music in teaching, see TNGC, 172–75.
Identify the doctrine (singing a song and memorizing a scripture): Display pictures showing Christ’s progression from infant to child to adult. Sing together “Jesus Once Was a Little Child” (CS, 55), and ask the children to explain what the song teaches about Jesus. Help the children memorize Luke 2:52 by using simple actions to represent the ways Jesus grew: in wisdom (point to head), in stature (flex muscles), and in favor with God (fold arms) and man (wave to a friend).
Encourage application (reading scriptures and participating in activities): Divide the room into four areas, and place one of the following signs in each area: Jesus grew in wisdom—D&C 88:118; Jesus grew in stature—D&C 89:20; Jesus grew in favor with God—D&C 88:63; Jesus grew in favor with man—Proverbs 18:24. Prepare a simple activity for each area, such as age-appropriate questions about Heavenly Father and His commandments (“wisdom”), a measuring tape to record each child’s height and paper to draw pictures of healthy food (“stature”), and stories from the Friend or Liahona about testimony and friendship (“in favor with God” and “in favor with man”). Explain that we all grow in the same ways that Jesus did—“in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Divide the children into four groups, and ask an adult to lead each group to one of the signs, where they will read the scripture together and participate in the activity. Play quiet music when it is time for the children to move to a different sign.
Identify the doctrine (doing a scripture activity): Place pictures of Christ’s birth and death on opposite sides of the room. Tell the children that you will read some scriptures that are either about signs of Jesus’s birth or signs of His death. Ask the children to turn and face the picture that goes with the scriptures you read. (If your Primary is small, you may want to have the children walk to the pictures.) Read 3 Nephi 1:15, 19, 21; 8:20, 22–23. Discuss how Jesus Christ brought light to the world. Ask the children to cover their eyes and imagine some challenges they might face if they had to live with no light. Compare these challenges to those we would face if we did not have the gospel of Jesus Christ. Read John 8:12, and invite the children to listen for what we must do to not walk in darkness.
Encourage understanding (playing a guessing game): Explain that many symbols help us remember that Jesus is the light of the world; some of the symbols are used at Christmas. Put some of these symbols (such as candles, a paper star, or lights) in a bag. Ask a child to reach into the bag, feel one of the objects without looking at it, guess what it is, and then show it to the other children. Ask the child to share something Jesus Christ did to bring light to our lives. Repeat with the other objects.
Encourage application (drawing a picture): Give each child a paper sun. Have them write or draw a picture of one way they will follow the light of Jesus Christ. Encourage them to share their papers with their families.
Encourage understanding (opening gifts): Wrap a picture of the First Vision as a gift. Explain that many people give gifts to celebrate birthdays. Ask whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas. Explain that another important person has a birthday in December. Invite a child to open the gift to discover who that person is. Tell the children that December 23 is Joseph Smith’s birthday. Discuss the First Vision, and explain that we were given important gifts because Joseph Smith saw and testified of Jesus Christ. On the board write, “Gifts we have been given because Joseph Smith saw and testified of Jesus Christ.” Prepare four large pieces of paper, with one of the following gifts written on each: “We have the Book of Mormon.” “We have the true Church on the earth today.” “We have the priesthood.” “We know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers.”
Divide the children into four groups. Give each group one of the papers, and ask them to draw a picture of that gift. Ask them to give their picture as a gift to another group. Invite each group to show and explain their gift to the other children and put the picture on the board.
Encourage application (testifying of Jesus Christ): Have the children close their eyes and think of someone with whom they could share the gift of the gospel. Tell them that they can be like Joseph Smith and testify of Jesus Christ.