I love colouring and I love Christmas, so this Nativity I-spy Colouring Poster is a perfect combination. I’m also a big fan of using the activities we do around Christmas to celebrate Jesus in some way, so here are some ideas on how you can use this colouring poster:
1 Just colour it. Use it as a way of making space in a busy season to pause, to think, to pray, to reflect. You might think about the story you’re colouring or the many other things which are on your mind. You might want to do a bit a day and slowly work your way through the picture, or blitz it all in one session. Whichever way this picture will give you a little space, do that.
2 Colour together. You may prefer to colour different sheets or to colour different parts of the same picture. This makes for a more social experience, and an opportunity to chat. You might want to listen to some Christmas music, or an audio story. You could listen to an audio version of the Christmas story or put a nativity film on in the background. You could do this with friends, with family, with a group which usually meets together. I pray this will be a peaceful, encouraging time for you as you colour together.
3 Colour and play I Spy. There are things to spot on one version of the download, which is a great way to get people into the detail of the picture, which leads nicely into intentionally colouring the part of the picture which relates to the bit of the story you’re listening to…
4 Read/listen and colour day by day. If you plan to do this through Advent, a little bit of the story each day, you might want to prepare by colouring the background first – the hills, trees, paths and buildings. Then as you read the story (or listen to it), you can colour the people (and the animals near them).
5 Read/listen and colour in four parts. You might like to read the story in sections. One of the downloads has the picture neatly chopped into four parts to go with a story section to read for each week of Advent. As you read a section, you can colour that part of the picture. You can also do this with the whole picture version, e.g.:
2 Read Luke 2:1-7 and colour Mary and Joseph on their journey with the donkey then the scene with Jesus in the manger and the buildings of the bottom Bethlehem section
3 Read Luke 2:8-20 and colour the fields, angels and shepherds in the middle section, plus the shepherds near the manger
4 Read Matthew 2:1-12 and colour the wise men coming from the East, Herod in his palace, the chief priests and the buildings of Jerusalem in the middle of the picture, plus the wise men near the manger scene.
6 Pray as you colour. Allocate different topics for prayer then get colouring. You could do this on your own, as a family or in a group. The prayers could be silent whispered, out loud or even coloured into the picture itself. Be creative! Make up your own ideas, or use these to inspire you:
- When colouring shepherds, pray for all those working night shifts or those sleeping outside or without proper shelter tonight.
- When colouring Bethlehem, pray for peace in the Middle East, and especially those living in and ear Bethlehem today.
- When colouring Jerusalem, Herod and the chief priests, pray for those in authority both in your country and around the world, that God would make them wise.
- When colouring angels, pray for God’s will to be done ‘on earth as in heaven’ or use the messages of the angels as prayers.
- When colouring a particular man, woman or child, pray for a specific man, woman or child you know that they would know God’s peace in their life.
7 Colour it as a tablecloth! Buy a few posters and tape them together to use as I-spy and colour-in tablecloths at a family event such as a Messy Church meal. Put out some felt tip pens along the table, and encourage everyone to see how many of the I-spy things they can find. This would also work well as a welcome activity in a Cafe Church or even outside in a Muddy Church event.
8 Use it as wrapping paper. I will be using some posters to wrap gifts in, working carefully so that people can colour the poster after they’ve opened their gift. If you include some felt tips as the gift, even better! My favourite felt tips are these as they tend to work even after the lids have been left off for a while.