1) Select a Script that will be a Good Fit
for your Children
. . . If you have a lot of young children, purchase or
write a narrated program.
With a narrated program, your children will get to do a little acting &
wear a costume & carry a prop - but they won't have to memorize lines.
. . .
If you have a lot of 3rd-6th graders that enjoy a speaking part,
purchase or write a program with lots
of speaking parts. Speaking parts should be short
and conversational - no long monologues! Kids speak memorized
lines better than they read them. Encourage them to memorize their
parts & have a prompter ready to help out if they get stuck on a line.
. . .
If you have a lot of preschoolers, purchase or write a
program with rhymes.
Use your older children or an adult to read the rhymes as your
preschoolers add fingerplays & motions.
. . . Use
PowerPoint or videos with a narrated script. All of the
pictures and videos are taken in October and November. On the day
of the program, all your kids have to do is stand up front and sing!
. . . If you don't
have many children, consider inviting the
parents to do the program with their children.
It will be fun for the whole family! And if your parents aren't up
for it, invite the choir!
. . . Everyone likes to do a little
something in the program, so be sure in include parts for
children who are shy or in need of extra support. Carrying the
baby to the manger, holding up a candle or flag, pulling the donkey or
camel on wheels up the aisle, holding a stuffed animal at the manger,
moving the props . . . . the list goes on and on.
Click here for a
complete list of Christmas programs available from Cathy's Music.
Click here to
read script excerpts from the Christmas programs available from Cathy's
2) Pick Music your Kids will Sing
. . . Select songs with a vocal range that is accessible.
Middle C-D is a good
range for most children. Avoid songs that are really high . . .
you want your 5th grade boys to sing, too!
. . . Select songs that are packed with
hand rhythms & sign language and lots of extras. It gives
your non-singers a way to participate.
. . .
Include lots of styles of music. Be
sure to include 50's, blues, island, waltzes, 6/8, country, marches,
rag-time, rap, rock, contemplative and the list goes on and on.
. . .
New music is a must, but be sure to sing some familiar songs, too.
Familiar Christmas carols work well and you can invite
the audience to sing along.
. . . Feature duets and trios
on the verses of the songs. A solo can be frightening for many
children, but they love to sing with a partner or two. When they
finish the verse, all the rest of the children
can join in on the refrain.
Click here for a list of pre-school Christmas songs available from
Click here for a list of children's Christmas songs available from
3) Add a little something "extra" to your Christmas Songs
. . . Play
for a verse.
. . . Add
glasses to your kids' blues number.
. . . Add bandanas and cowboy
hats to the children's country-western number.
. . . Hum a verse.
. . . Whistle a verse.
. . . Use scarves or streamer sticks and make sure you have lots of
room for large arm movements. (See the Instructions
page for details on making your own streamer sticks.)
. . . Teach
for the refrain of a song.
. . . If a children's song includes motions,
invite the children to do one verse with motions only - no singing.
. . Dust off those rhythm instruments and let the children play and
. . . Change claps in a song to snaps or stomps or leg pats.
. . . Add
. . Invite the congregation to sing along on those
familiar Christmas carols . . . it takes the performance pressure off
. . .
Distribute white gloves for the children to wear when they do sign
language or a 50's number.
. . . Split your choir. Invite side
one to sing the first phrase of the song and then side two will sing the
second phrase of the song.
. . . Instead of clapping, use
. . .
Invite children to create their own motions or hand rhythms for a song.
4) Get Organized
. . . Christmas programs
are a lot of work, but you don't have to do everything!
Surround yourself with adult volunteers who will handle the
details for you! Teenagers are great helpers, too!
. . .
Make a prop list. Recruit a volunteer to
purchase, make or round up all the props you need for the program.
. . .
Make a costume list. Recruit
a volunteer or two to measure and fit your characters in costumes &
accessories (head pieces, belts, sandals, halos, crowns, etc).
Necessary supplies include: iron, masking tape to tape up hemlines
& sleeves, needle and thread, hangers & markers, full-length mirror.
Each character should have a hanger that holds their costume &
accessories. Using a piece of masking tape, tape the name of the
character & the child's name at the top of a hanger so each child has a
hanger with their costume & accessories!
. . Set your rehearsal times. Use e-mail,
letters, hand-outs, the church newsletter and weekly bulletins to
communicate rehearsal times. The more communication, the more
informed everyone will be.
. . . Keep your accompanist in the
loop. If you have an accompanist, you are blessed!
Get copies of the music & script & rehearsal schedule to your
accompanist as soon as you have the program written or purchased.
If you use accompaniment tracks, recruit an adult to play those for you.
If you are the director, you will have plenty of other things on your
mind. Let someone else run the sound tracks.
. . .
Select an assistant director. Recruit someone you
can count on to help run lines, give direction to your volunteers, help
with crowd control AND take over if you are sick.
. . .
Include the parents. If you need snacks, help with crowd
control, help hauling the risers, help cleaning up or setting up . . .
ask your parents to give you a hand. People love to be asked.
. . If you are using a sound system, be sure to get the script &
rehearsal schedule to the sound person.
. . Pray! It won't fix everything but it will
remind you that God is with you every step of the way.
I will always remember
the Christmas story because, as a child, I got to tell it to the
congregation every year when we did our
Christmas program. God's blessings as you
teach children the Christmas story and create memories for the children in your church!
Click here for more
information about Christian children's songs & collections & musicals available
from Cathy's Music.
Click here for information on plugging your kids into your worship
services with these Skit-With-a-Song for Kids