Sharing the Edible Christmas Story with groups of children in 7 steps
I have used this edible story with groups of primary children who already have had the Christmas story told to them, for example a Sunday school class or a kids’ club, and so this is a way of clarifying their knowledge and understanding of the story and exploring it as a group, then sharing it at home.
Give each child a noodle box and some Christmas stickers and explain that we are going to be sharing an edible Christmas story.
- Rocky Road
- Baby in a manger
God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not be lost but have eternal life. JOHN 3:16
Give each child a copy of the main points and begin with the rocky road. Ask the children to think about the rocky road in the Christmas story… usually they will identify the road to Bethlehem that Mary and Joseph took, but you could also remind them that the shepherds and wise men also took a rocky road into Bethlehem. Ask them if there are rocky roads in their lives, things that can be hard to get through, and while they are thinking about this do step 3.
Into melted chocolate and copha, ask the children to add some large marshmallows and talk about the big rocks that sometimes can block our way, then add small marshmallows and say sometimes it is the smaller things, or gravel that cause us to slip, and then add some ripe raspberries and say sometimes it is the hard things that hurt us. I usually ask if they have ever had a stone in their shoe and how even a small hard thing can cause so much discomfort and make it hard to keep walking. By this time the rocky road is mixed but make sure everyone has a stir of it. Then it can go into a freezer for about 10 – 15 minutes to set while the rest of the story is told.
The next point is angels, so ask the children how many angels there are in the Christmas story. Of course there are countless angels who appeared to the shepherds, but there are several other key points where angels deliver news to people. Ask the children what’s the first thing angels say to people? It is “Don’t be afraid!” so that tells us angels can be quite scary. I usually make the point that angels are not fairies and not human, but are God’s messengers. While this discussion is going on I give out a shortbread in the shape of an angel to each child and invite them to decorate it. The easiest way is to use the coloured icing in little tubes from the supermarket, but small bowls of icing and pop sticks can also work. Silver and gold cachous, and sprinkles can be provided. Children will often take some time to decorate a biscuit – it is like edible art, so don’t rush and use the time to talk about angels. When the biscuit is finished, it can be placed in the noodle box.
The next point is a star, and all children know the star in the Christmas story. I again ask the group to think about the star and the wisemen and ask exploratory questions like who follows stars today? While talking each child is given a star shaped biscuit (I usually use gingerbread for this one) and again can decorate it, or if time is short you can give them stars that already have rainbow choc chips or cachous on top. Then the finished biscuit is placed in the noodle box.
The last point is the baby in a manger. I ask the children what a manger is, and what is kept in it. I give each child a small patty pan, explaining this can be the manger. Then each child is given a few mini shredded wheats to crush and make straw for the manger. Then I ask about putting a little baby on straw and what would be needed to keep it warm and protected. Each child is given a strip of fruit roll up for a baby blanket and a jelly baby and shown how to wrap up the baby and place it in the manger. During this process we talk about how it must have been for Mary and Joseph away from home, in a stable with a new baby. This is then placed in the noodle box.
By now the rocky road should be ready, so get that, cut it into squares which are then placed in a foil patty pan or square of alfoil and also placed in the noodle box. Each child can then roll up the story points and put that in the box before closing it. I ask each child to share the story with someone before eating it, so they take it home and share it with their families and friends.
Note: Always ensure children have clean hands before beginning. Also check for food allergies. It is hard for young children to wait to eat while handling food, so I always have extras and permit them to have a nibble as the story is told.
Recipes for shortbread, gingerbread and rocky road below
Mix together 4 tablespoons margarine and 1/4 cup sugar, then add 1 egg and a few drops of vanilla essence. Add 1 1/2 cups plain flour and 1/2 cup SR flour. Knead and then place in fridge for a few hours. Roll out on a floured board and cut out shapes about 1/2 cm thick. Bake in a moderate oven 10 -15 minutes.
This mixture must be made the day before it is needed and can be kept in the fridge for weeks.
Melt together 2 tablespoons margarine with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 4 tablespoons golden syrup in a microwave.
In a large bowl put 2 cups plain flour, 1 teaspoon bicarb soda, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon mixed spice. Add melted mixture and 2 tablespoons milk and stir until combined. Put in the fridge until needed. Then roll out on floured board, cut out shapes about 1/2 cm thick and bake for 15 minutes in a moderate oven. These can be decorated before cooking with cachous or rainbow choc chips.
In a large bowl put 1 tablespoon copha and 2/3 family block of plain milk chocolate and melt in a microwave, stirring to avoid burning.
Add half a large packet of marshmallows and half a packet of small marshmallows and about half a packet of ripe raspberries. Stir until everything is chocolate coated. Put in a shallow tray and place in freezer to set. Cut into squares and wrap in alfoil or cellophane bags.
Advent Water Prayers
Pray for those around the world without safe water to drink.
Choose a word from the bottom of the water bottle and use it as a prayer thought.
Touch the star and remember the magi who followed the star to find Jesus.
Pray that you too will be wise enough to find Jesus in Christmas.
Note: Aqua Pura spring water bottles are embossed with the star and the words “Thankyou”, “Peace”, “Trust” and “Love”. This brand is available from major supermarkets.