Epiphany (also known as Three Kings Day) is traditionally observed on January 6th. It marks the visitation of the magi bearing gifts to Jesus. If this celebration has not found its way into your holiday festivities you’re in good company. This will be our first year to celebrate the day as well. With small children, I’ve found that less is more in terms of preparation and enjoyment. I’m offering thirteen simple ideas for celebrating Epiphany as a family, but I encourage you to chose only one or two, depending on the ages of your children. If they enjoy it, you can repeat the tradition next year. If not, you can try something new.
1. Read the Biblical account of the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12.
2. Make glitter crowns for your table.
3. Make crowns for each member of the family. Bejeweled? Glitter & lace? Felt? Chenille stems?
4. Go stargazing. You’ll find great practical tips for stargazing with kids here as well as free printable sky maps.
5. Hide a baby doll and pretend it is baby Jesus. Everyone pretends to be wisemen except for one person who plays the part of Herod. The wisemen race to find the baby before Herod.
6. At bedtime, leave out hay and carrots for the camels (like cookies for Santa).
7. Make Golden Magi Bread or a King cake together.
8. Save one Christmas gift for each person to open on Epiphany.
9. Choose three gifts, individually, or as a family, that you can give to Jesus in the coming year (sponsor a child, serve a neighbor, volunteer at the food bank, purchase gifts through the Compassion or World Vision gift catalogs, etc. )
10. Make origami camels and string them up as a garland or use them as table decorations.
11. Print out and color these Three Kings coloring pages / puppets. These make great table decorations.
12. Look for these picture books at your local library:
- The Last Straw by Fredrick Thury
- Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer
- The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie De Paola
- Danny and the Kings by Susan Cooper
- We Three Kings by Gennady Spirin