The end of the year brings lots of red and green. Trees are up, lights are strung, and many regions are praying for a winter wonderland by December 25th. Homes and communities are festive, and church should be, too. Why? Because Christmas is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. Beyond the décor and holiday cheer, some might say that Christmas music is what they enjoy most about the season. There are hundreds of songs out there, but below are a few great Christmas songs for preschoolers to sing in your church.
Why Christmas Songs?
Kids love music. They can’t help it. God designed people to praise and worship Him. This command is throughout the Bible. Psalm 95:1-2 says, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” (NIV) Just a few chapters later, Psalm 150 exudes the importance of praising God with instruments and everything a person has. Verse six states, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
Why praise God specifically at Christmastime? Why not? He is to be adored and worshiped for who is He. He should be given devotion because He gave us Jesus. Beyond expressing our thanks, many Christmas songs have a way of helping retell the story of the Savior’s birth. Putting rhythm and music in words allows kids and adults alike to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
How Do You Choose the Right Song?
If you Google “Christmas songs for preschoolers,” you might be sifting through sites and pages until the celebration is over! There are hundreds of songs to choose from, but nobody has time to do all that research. You’re most likely too busy buying last-minute gifts or figuring out your church’s Christmas Eve service. Here’s a Top 10 List to help you get started. It’s a mix of old and new, each appealing to little ones and their church leaders.
Away in a Manger
Christmas is nostalgic, and there will always be classic tunes that put you in the mood to reminisce about the birth of Jesus. “Away in a Manger” is perhaps one of the most classic pieces when you picture four years olds singing about baby Jesus. Written in 1882 by William J. Kirkpatrick, it’s certainly an oldie, but a goodie! Stick to the first verse only for little ones, but add more if you’ve got a group that can handle it. The simple lyrics of baby Jesus laying down His head on the hay while the stars look down paint a sweet picture of the night Jesus was born.
Another classic Christmas lullaby to sing with preschoolers is “Silent Night.” This carol dates all the way back to 1818 and was composed in Austria. It’s a great reminder of that still, quiet night when Mary gave birth to Jesus. If you use multiple verses, you’ll hear more of the story, but even the few words in the central verse are enough to hush little ones into reverence as they sing the story.
Joy to the World
Not so silent, “Joy to the World” is an upbeat exclamation that Jesus has come, and the earth is to receive her King. Heaven and nature will prepare for it and sing about it. This familiar tune will get your preschoolers moving and swaying as they sing with joy on their lips and in their hearts. This classic is one of the most published Christmas hymns in North America.
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Another exclamation of Jesus’ birth is told through “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” These lyrics are a great reminder that the news of God sending His Son to the world shouldn’t be kept a secret. It should be told on the mountain, over the hills, and everywhere! It hails from 1865 and has been recomposed time and again.
The final classic is not what you might think of when listing your favorite Christmas songs, but it should certainly make the cut. “Happy Birthday” is sung by millions each year and each day of the year. You probably sing this one yourself multiple times a year, to your grandma, your best friends, or your own children. So, why not sing it to Jesus on the day we celebrate Him most. Sing the classic lines, and add in “dear Jesus” at the opportune time. This one will be easy to teach!
The Not-So Classics
You undoubtedly know the previous five songs listed, and many of your preschoolers already know them too. These are easy to lead and fun to sing. The next five are possibly new to you songs to add to your repertoire. They each preach a part of Jesus’ birth with a catchy tune.
Yancy is a fabulous artist to search for when leading children’s worship. Two on the list come from her creations. “It’s Christmastime” is upbeat and will put you in the right mood to celebrate Christmas. It’s a reminder of Christmas traditions plus the true reason we celebrate a happy, merry Christmas. It tells the story of the Savior of the world in a way preschoolers can repeat.
Best Present Ever
“Best Present Ever,” another of Yancy’s productions, tells just what you would imagine. Its catchy tune says, “The best present ever, J-E-S-U-S is born.” Your preschoolers will learn to spell the name of Jesus and will be singing along in no time.
Born Is the King
Take a look at a few of the lyrics to the next song: “So lift up your voice and sing out his praise, It’s Christmas. Born is the king, rejoice in the day, it’s Christmas. Make a joyful sound; it’s Christmas. Let His praise resound; it’s Christmas.” These beautiful words will help little ones express their thanks to God. “Born Is the King” was done by the artist Good Kicks.
There are some familiar words in the song “It’s Christmas” produced by Worship Together Kids, but the chorus is a new and different transition between the verses that will make you feel like shouting, “joy to the world!”
Happy Birthday, Jesus
“Happy Birthday, Jesus’ by Singin’ Praise Kids may start out with the words you know but has a totally different melody than the classic. With plenty of happy and hip hip hoorays, there’s no denying this song is sung to celebrate Jesus born on Christmas Day.
More Ways to Make Your Music a Success
Finding the right songs for your preschoolers is important, but the way you lead them is key as well. Be sure to find background music that can help you teach little ones this Christmas worship music. Music will naturally make your preschoolers want to move. A few simple hand motions, clapping, and easy movements can help kids remember the words to the songs and get their wiggles out simultaneously. Remember, repetition is good for preschoolers. That’s how they learn.
WorshipHouse Kids has put together many great resources to make your job of leading Christmas songs with preschoolers easy. On their website, you’ll find music videos, hand motions, and more. This library can save you a lot of time with excellent quality products that have already been created. It’s as easy as typing the song you want into their search bar.
Hopefully, this Top 10 List will get stuck not only in your head but also in your heart as you lead preschoolers during this special time of year. Showing them how to worship King Jesus should be a part of the traditions and celebrations as you go throughout the Christmas season.