These two original budget-friendly Christmas plays for children are appropriate for a school celebration or assembly. Your audience will enjoy the message both plays bring to the holiday season.
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 are original and written by Annette McDermott. Each one is approximately 30 minutes long and 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, dirty and walking with a limp, comes across several people and one by one, he asks them to take him home for Christmas. Most of them are rude and too self-absorbed to give him a home.
Never Give Up Hope
Just as the pup gives up the hope of ever finding a home for Christmas, Santa intervenes and inspires Jo-Jo to keep looking. Jo-Jo decides to follow a star and finds himself in front of Evan's home. Evan's only Christmas wish is a puppy to love. Both boy and pup are happy when they discover each other just in time for Christmas. This play is suitable for children ages 5-8.
List of Characters
There are 12 characters in this play, including the narrator. If you need more characters, you can always increases the number of children playing in the snow.
- Jo-Jo, a puppy; can be boy or girl
- Evan, boy, age 5-8
- Evan's mom, played by adult or older child
- Three boys playing in snow, boys, ages 5-8
- Snobby girl, age 5-8
- Two kids pulling wagon, ages 5-8
- Adult woman, played by adult or older child
- Santa Claus, played by adult or older child
Sara Finds Christmas
The star of this play is a girl named Sara who is searching for the Christmas spirit. It eludes her throughout the family's Christmas Eve celebration and she can't figure out why. She doesn't feel the Christmas spirit when she opens a gift from her brother or when carolers arrive at her home. Sara even refuses to join her family in song.
Sara Meets a Homeless Girl
When her family visits a homeless shelter to help with the Christmas Eve festivities, Sara realizes she has been looking in the wrong places when she befriends a homeless girl. Seeing the world through the eyes of the homeless girl, Sara is moved. It's through a selfless act of giving that Sara finds the Christmas spirit. It was with her all along. This play is suitable for children ages 9-12.
List of Characters
There are 17 characters in this play. If you wish to add more characters, you can increase the number of carolers and number of people in the homeless shelter.
- Sara, girl age 9-12
- John, Sara's brother, also age 9-12
- Mom, adult or older child, Sara and John's mother
- Dad, adult or older child, Sara and John's father
- Carolers, four children of various ages and two adults
- Beth, homeless girl
- Three children and three adults, extras in homeless shelter scene
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.
Tips for Productive Rehearsals
You want to ensure your rehearsals are productive and each cast members understands their roles and learn their lines. There are a few things you can do that will make your rehearsals run smoothly and also be enjoyable!
- Create a schedule for rehearsal and stick with it.
- Always start rehearsals on time. Kids will quickly learn the rehearsal starts with or without them.
- If a child is late and missed their part, don't back up and repeat. Tell the child they'll need to wait until the end of the play to go over their lines. This ensures they won't be late for the next rehearsal.
- Create a handout with tips to help children understand what is expected of them, how to learn their lines and other helpful information.
- Plan what you want to accomplish with each rehearsal and how you can achieve that goal.
- Make sure each child understands their role.
- Make it fun! It's easy to get caught up in perfecting each part. Use the play as a learning tool for kids on teamwork, discipline and how to incorporate fun into their work.
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.