Make a paper lantern craft to celebrate the Christmas story with your kids. And, grab a paper lantern craft printable template!
One way to help your family think about the Christmas story–that special time in history when God became man as a part of his great plan for salvation–is to help them create crafts about it.
Kids are concrete-thinkers, and they will remember what they’ve learned as they use their hands to make a paper lantern craft about the Christmas story. Kids will remember the story, too, as they look at the lantern they’ve made, glowing in their room or on the dining room table.
Christmas Story for Kids
Read Matthew 1:18-25 together, then Luke 2:1-21.
There are a number of things you’ll want to ask your kids about the Christmas story before beginning the craft:
- Who was Jesus’ father? (Matthew 1:18, 20)
- What did the angel tell Joseph about what Jesus was going to do? (Matthew 1:21)
- What does Immanuel mean? (Matthew 1:23)
- Where was Jesus born?
- Jesus is the Son of God and God the Son. He is the King of the whole universe! Was he born in a way you would expect a king to be born?
- Listen to what Philippians 2:3-11, ESV, says about the humble way Jesus was born and lived:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
- Who was the good news of great joy for? (Luke 2:10)
- Who celebrated the coming of Jesus? (Luke 2:13-20)
- Jesus’ birth is important for you and for me as well! We are all sinners, which means we are far from God, who has no sin in him at all. God wants to be near us, so he made a way for us to be saved from our sin. Jesus, God the Son, became fully God and fully human–born to Mary in a stable. Jesus died to take the punishment for our sins, then rose again. To be forgiven and to live with God forever, we just have to call on the name of Jesus, confess Jesus is Lord, and trust him for salvation. We are saved and God enables us to confess our sins! (Want more help teaching the gospel to your kids? Grab this free poster and verse cards here.)
Make a Paper Lantern Craft
Check out this fun video of the Christmas Story for kids craft!
Tips for Making Bible Crafts with Kids
Doing art projects with kids can be a challenge. For that reason, many parents forgo this valuable time altogether. As an art major and a parent who has done frequent art projects with my four children, I have a few suggestions for you.
- Cover your space. Use painting drop cloths and plastic to keep your furniture and flooring protected.
- Cover your kids. Grab a couple of your old T-shirts and throw them over your kids, buy them painting aprons, or designate clothes specifically for crafting.
- Do the prep work in advance. Do as much prep work for a project as you can before you get the kids involved. Not everything on the page needs to be their work. It’s OK to help.
- Schedule several short sessions for one project. Children need several days to be able to create larger projects. Art is time-consuming and requires energy.
- Encourage your kids. Children are likely to be frustrated by the disconnect in the artwork they envision and the art they actually create. Remind your kids that they improve every time they create, and tell them how much you love their work (even if you don’t know what it is!). Also, stick figures are fabulous.
- Operate the hot glue gun and X-ACTO knife. Hot glue burns are terrible and X-ACTO knives are razor sharp. Until your kids are old enough to cook, I’d advise you do the hot gluing and razor cutting. For this project, you may want to pre-cut the Nativity Scene.
Paper Lantern Craft Printable
- Sometimes readers are concerned about using colored ink. If this is the case for you, there should be a setting on your printer that allows you to print in black and white. Printing in grayscale will still use some color, but it will come out prettier than black and white
- I recommend printing on white cardstock so the cards will be more durable and the back won’t show through on the front. This is my very favorite cardstock: Neenah Premium Cardstock.
- You’ll need to cut them out and glue them onto toothpicks. You can choose the black and white flags for your kids to color in, or the already colorful set.
Supplies Needed to Make a Paper Lantern Craft
You’ll need a few supplies to make your project. You may have a few of these items already. If not, these are all fairly inexpensive and will serve you well for multiple projects.
- Black Cardstock
- Colored Tissue Paper
- X-ACTO Knife
- Electric Votive Candle
Make a Paper Lantern Craft about the Christmas Story for Kids
Here are the steps for your Nativity Bible craft assembly:
1) Print Your Christmas Story for Kids Paper Lantern Template.
Cut out the rectangular template for your paper lantern. Be sure to cut only the outside edges–the inner vertical lines are for folds.
2) Fold a Black Piece of Cardstock to Make the Paper Lantern Body.
Lay your paper lantern template over a black piece of cardstock and trace it with a pencil. Cut around the edges so the sizes match, then fold your cardstock as shown above on the inner vertical lines.
3) Trace Your Christmas Lantern Craft Nativity Scene.
First, use and X-ACTO knife (you’ll want to do this for younger kids!) to cut out the white pieces of the template. Next, lay your template over your lamp and trace the outline of the Nativity with a pencil.
4) Cut Out Your Christmas Story Scene.
Use your X-ACTO knife to cut out the star shape on your lamp as shown.
5) Add the Tissue Paper.
Choose light colored tissue papers. Cut the tissue to fit the sizes of the individual patterns on the cardstock lantern base. One option is to use one for the star, one color for the thin triangles above the Nativity scene, and a third color for the main Nativity scene.
Cut out the tissue papers to sufficiently cover each cut-out pattern space. Then, glue the edges of the tissue paper to the inner side of the lantern, covering the open area with tissue to create a stained glass effect.
5) Form Your Christmas Lantern.
Fold your Christmas Story lantern along the creases you’ve already made and glue the flap to the rectangle on the other side to create a triangle.
6) Light Up Your Christmas Lantern Craft.
Put an electric votive candle in the bottom and display!
Talk to your kids about how God became man so they could be saved!
Great Books about Jesus, the Reason for Christmas
30 Prophecies: One Story: How God’s Word Points to JesusThe History of Christmas: 2,000 Years of Faith, Fable and FestivityI Spy At Christmas: Jesus is More Important than Crackers and TinselThe Christmas Story: The Bible VersionThe Very First ChristmasThe Very First Christmas
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