Choosing the right Christmas plays for children depends upon many factors. Not only do you need to take into consideration the age of the kids, but also the audience, budget, and intended message.
Free Printable Holiday Plays for Kids
Before you begin work on costuming or recruiting volunteers to help with the Christmas play production, look for the right play for the group of kids you are directing. Each of the plays below are approximately 30 minutes long. Each includes a cast list, costumes, settings, props, and dialogue. To download and print the plays, click on their thumbnails. If you need help to print, try following Adobe Reader printing tips.
A Home for Jo-Jo
In this play, a disabled stray puppy named Jo-Jo and a disabled boy named Evan experiences a Christmas miracle with a little help from Santa Claus. During his journey, Jo-Jo comes across several people who are too self-absorbed to give him a home. Just as the pup gives up hope of finding a home for Christmas, Sana intervenes and leads him to Evan, whose only Christmas wish is a puppy to love. This play is suitable for children ages 5-8.
Sara Finds Christmas
This star of this play is a girl named Sara who is searching for the Christmas spirit. It eludes her throughout her Christmas Eve celebrations and she can't figure out why. When her family visits a homeless shelter, Sara realizes she was looking in the wrong places and finds the Christmas spirit was with her all along. This play is suitable for children ages 9-12.
Tips for Choosing A Play
When choosing a script, keep the following in mind:
- Age of kids: Preschool and kindergartners, elementary students and middle school kids will all perform at different levels. Older kids can memorize more lines than younger ones and may be easier to direct. In a mixed-age group, give younger children supporting roles that require less preparation and direction.
- Audience: Who is the audience for the play? The kind of play you choose depends on whether the audience is people from the community, parents and relatives or other children. Both adults and kids are likely to enjoy Christmas comedy skits and plays.
- Message: A play by a local 4-H group may center its message around agriculture, while one performed by Sunday school children will focus on the Nativity and birth of Jesus.
- Budget: Free Christmas skits are available online for groups with a small budget. Keep in mind the cost of costuming, lighting, props and any performance fees associated with the play when you draw up the budget.
Time is another important consideration for choosing Christmas plays for children. Figure out how much rehearsal time is needed for preparation, along with the running time of the play. Short Christmas plays are a good choice for groups who have little time for rehearsal or performance.
Free Online Plays
The Internet offers plenty of free resources. Do a quick search or try one of the following links for free holiday plays for kids:
- The Sunday School Teacher's Network has many free Christmas church plays from which to choose.
- Dramatix.org lists several Christian-based plays that vary in length and amount of characters.
- Christian Counseling and Educational Services has two free puppetry plays dealing with a Christmas theme. Scroll to the middle of the page to view the two choices, Jason's Christmas List and Christmas in July.
- The US Scouting Service Project lists three short skits in the "Holiday Magic" section of the Theme Skits from the Indian Nations Council 1994 Pow Wow Book. Click on the link to get to the section.
Children's Christmas plays are often available from playwrights online. Santa Scenes has plays for kids featuring aliens, pirates, motorcycles and more, available for purchase on their website. ArtReach Plays.com has traditional Christmas stories and some favorites revamped for the holiday season available for download and purchase.
Plays Create Christmas Memories
When children perform Christmas plays for friends and family, they are creating lasting memories and holiday traditions. Plays are a great way for kids of all ages to come together and celebrate the season in a meaningful way.