Exploring Epiphany & the Gifts of the 3 Kings

Looking for a way to explore Epiphany with young children? How about an Epiphany gift hunt.
We'll be celebrating Epiphany (Kings Day) on Friday & thinking about the gifts of the 3 Kings in the Nativity. Epiphany (6th Jan) in the Christian calendar marks the significance of Jesus' birth & gives a glimpse of who this special child would be through the gifts he was given.

For the past couple of years I've wrapped 3 gifts for Minnie to discover & open on Epiphany. They've not been elaborate gifts, just simple tokens that represent the gifts of the 3 Wise Men.

This year I used 3 simple gift boxes from Ikea & once each was filled I hid them around the house for Minnie to discover!

The first represented gold. Sadly I was lacking with the real stuff, so I added chocolate gold coins & a golden decoration. I used the chocolate to reflect all the good things in the world & all that we should be thankful for. It also gave us an opportunity to talk about Fairtrade & the importance of justice & fairness. The star decoration reminds us of the star the 3 Kings followed on their journey to Bethlehem, & the faithfulness & courage they displayed. It also helps us to think about how we can share our light, gifts & talents throughout the year with those around us.

The next gift represented Myrrh. To symbolise the healing property of this ointment I used a lip balm! This illustrated perfectly how a balm like Myrrh could be applied to soothe the body when in need of treatment. I added two pots of balm to the box, one for Minnie to keep, & one for her to give to someone else to encourage her to think of others.

The last gift was frankincense. This is the gift that seems to fascinate children (partly I guess due to its unusual name) so I wanted to add a little of the real thing for her to explore. I found a pretty container a friend had given me a while ago & added a spoonful of frankincense granules, along with a tea light. 

I love observing the wonder on her face as she opens these gifts, & the moment I think she truly believes the wise men have left the gifts for her!

The frankincense offers a wonderful multi-sensory gift to explore. We're planning to light a candle in the evening & burn the incense alongside to help us think how we can reflect in our own lives the love that Jesus brought into the world. We'll consider how we can care for our neighbours, friends, & those in need around the world, & as a family, we'll choose a charity to support this year. 

This is a perfect family activity to end the 12 Days of Christmas, & explore a little deeper the Nativity story & the meaning of those special gifts brought by the 3 Kings.