"Can Do" Christmas Program Tips

Cathy's Music
Preschool & Children's Christmas Musicals
Preschool Praise Songs & Musicals
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Christian songs
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                               "Pick a musical that will work for YOUR kids, get organized, surround yourself with lots of helpers and the rest is just cheerleading!"       Cathy

Children who are ready to sing songs.   Children playing bells as they sing a song.   Children who are going to sing songs.
A Christmas program (or a program at any time of the year)
gives your kids a chance to lead the community in worship.
Set your kids up for success by picking a musical that works for them.

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 Music.

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 motions & 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 Cathy's Music.

Click here for a list of children's Christmas songs available from Cathy's Music.

3)  Add a little something "extra" to your Christmas Songs
. . . Play kazoos for a verse.
. . . Add sun 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 sign language 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 sing.
. . . Change claps in a song to snaps or stomps or leg pats.
. . . Add jingle bells.
. . . Invite the congregation to sing along on those familiar Christmas carols . . . it takes the performance pressure off the kids!
. . . 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 tambourines.
. . . 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!                                       Cathy

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 resources.


Cathy's Music LLC - Kid-friendly Christian songs that make a director's job easy!

Cathy's Music LLC 2019