This past weekend was our annual Children’s Christmas Worship and Pageant (You can see some of the pictures over at Our Saviour’s Web Site). This is my third year in charge of this and while some aspects of it have gotten easier, every year brings up challenges. In this post, I’d like to share quick fixes and ideas that have come in handy for the pageant, but could easily be in other activities (especially if you have a drama ministry or do role playing in Sunday School). Many of them are reusing household objects and are meant to be used year after year, so even if this post is too late for this year’s Pageant, hopefully it will come in handy in the future.
Gifts for Baby Jesus
Find three containers or jars (I used things like a jar from Ikea and a plastic spice jar). For the gift of gold, I used glitter in water tinted with yellow food coloring. For Frankincense, I used multi-colored sequins in water and blue food coloring. For Myrrh, you can use round beads in a jar. To secure it, I sealed each jar with hot glue. Once dry, I covered the top with a piece of fabric tied with a string. You can also use beads or balls of tissue paper enclosed in two plastic cups.
Crowns for Royal Guests
Save 3 plastic gallon milk jugs (or something similar). Wash them out thoroughly and cut the bottom and top off. Next, cut crown shapes out of the top. Use spray paint to coat the crowns with gold or another metallic color. You can further decorate the crowns with gems or paint.
In college I had one of these star lanterns. I used masking tape to reinforce and strengthen the edges and then spray painted it a solid gold (use multiple coats or a base coat of yellow paint). Once dry I carefully cut a hole in the bottom and attached it to the top of a pole that was covered with ribbon. The size of the star is really nice because it can be seen from everywhere in the church. As you can tell from the link, if you don’t have one laying around, you can also buy one new for a reasonable price that may not even require painting.
This is a super simple idea that was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Sheep Costume (Pictured at left). I salvaged a white fleece scarf and a black fleece scarf to make the hats rather than purchasing hats. Then I sewed fleece into tunics. The kids then wore all black on the day of the pageant.
I have found some of the most important props are the ones that hide the kid’s lines. Even when they memorize things, it is a good safety blanket. For the angels, they have harps made of foam board and ribbon with the lines pasted on the back. Another year we had a scroll that I made by soaking canvas in tea and letting the edges fray. Then I hot glued two thick dowel rods at each end and pasted the words inside.
These are just a few quick fixes and tips — there are many, many more. What is your most helpful piece of advice when it comes to Christmas Pageants?