Nativity Craft For Kids

manger craft for kids This is more than a nativity craft for kids it’s also a lesson in shapes. My son did a similar cut and paste craft in preschool a few years ago and have always thought it would make a cute suncatcher. Well I think it does. I kept this bare bones with simple shapes that my daughter can identify and explore how when shapes work together they can make figures. We have been practicing our parts for our Church pageant and have just set up our nativity , so nativity scenes are very current around here. I was surprised that I didn’t have to help her at all. The addition of glitter didn’t just thrill my daughter they really added a celestial quality to the air in the manger.

Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper in brown ( full sheet), blue, green, yellow and white. The last four colors only use a little so if you have a scrap paper bin I would dig through it and see if you have the colors you want. You will also need contact paper, glitter and scissors. A circle paper punch is optional. sunday school craft

Start by making your manger. You will need to fold your brown paper in half lengthwise and cut from the inside corner to the middle of the outside. Next cut the middle out so you have a frame. Peel the backing off of the contact paper and pop the manger frame on so the sticky side of the contact paper if facing up.nativity sun catcher craft

Now cut out your shapes. You will need an oval and circle for baby Jesus, a triangle and circle each for Mary and Joseph, and a triangle and rectangle for the cradle. Oh and the star!nativity craft for kids

Start popping them on. baby jesus craft As your child does this label the shapes for them. I asked her ” What shape is Mary’s head?” ” What shapes make up the cradle?”  I don’t do this a ton because I want her to be enjoying the activity but here and there working it into the conversation. Kids don’t need to be quizzed like this to be learning about the shapes they are using. Just by using them they are learning so much. nativity craft for sunday school

Once all the pieces are on ( oh and I forgot to mention we used a little tape on baby Jesus’s head because my daughter wanted to place it on top of the oval body).  It’s time to add glitter. Think she was happy to hear that? nativity craft

She started off timid. nativity craft for young children

But didn’t end that way.nativity christmas craft

Place a 2nd piece on top and sandwich the nativity scene. Press hard to keep all the glitter in and trim.nativity scene craft for kids

Ready for the window! nativity suncatcher craft for christmas

Books

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Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown will sound very familiar to you if you are a fan of her book The Big Red Barn, which both my son and I am. I like this book but my son kept saying ” That’s not right” thinking that this was the other book. They are that similar. In this book though there is something that the other doesn’t have, most notably Baby Jesus. It’s a calm and gentle book about the birth of Jesus in a way only Margaret Wise Brown could accomplish.  I would like to read it next year to my son when he can appreciate that it’s not supposed to be exactly the same as  the Big Red Barn. Great book for toddlers and preschoolers alike!

cockadoodlechristmas

Cock-A-Doodle Christmas by Will Hillenbrand is a really unique Christmas story. A little rooster is at the center of this book, he is so little that his cock-a-doodle doesn’t wake anyone up.  He is very sad about his inability until that night he finds himself in the manger with Baby Jesus and finds his voice. It’s a simple book, with profound meanings. This is a great book for a Christan family or to read at Sunday school.

who-is-coming-to-our-house

Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate is a sweet look at the animals in the manger preparing for Baby Jesus’s arrival. The animals aren’t sure who is coming but at the insistence of the mouse, they clean and prepare the manger until finally a very pregnant Mary on a donkey with Joseph by her side. The next page is probably my favorite image of the Baby Jesus image in any children’s book. Mary’s hair is down, feet bare and Joseph is protective by, the animals are watching and alert.  Illustrator Ashley Wolff does a perfect job with this simple but fantastic book!

Find & Fill Nativity Scene Game

We are a church going family and even though I am quite private about our faith I wanted to share this simple nativity activity with you. Every year since my son was 1 we have put out our Little People Christmas Story Nativity Scene Playset and played with it. I have tried to teach my son and now my daughter about who everyone is in it but it didn’t really stick. My 2 year old refuses to call the angel Gabriel anything other than the Tooth fairy .  I decided it was time to learn more about who these people were and the roles they played in the Christmas story. Kids play to learn so making it a game was just what we needed.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, pen , a basket, a nativity scene with figurines and a book about the Christmas story.
  2. Write out clues for each figure. Mine were super simple like ” I am the Son of God. I was born in a manger. Who am I? Find me in the dining room. ” Adjust the info about each person based on your child’s age and knowledge. I hand wrote mine because as always I decided to do this spur of the moment. My messy handwriting completely frustrated my son while he was reading . Type it out if you have the time.
  3. Read the story first ( see below for the story we read). I find that reading it first is the best way to create a connection with who each figure is. Let them identify the figures in the scene too.
  4. Next send the kids away and hide the figures. My favorite was the Angel on the soup can in the pantry.
  5. Put the basket of clues in the manger. Have your children tell you who is missing. Read the first clue.
  6. Find the missing pieces.  Ask your kids who they are and why they are important.
  7. Place them back in the manger and pull the next clue. My son read the clues but my daughter mimicked him much to my total pleasure. It was adorable and really great early literacy learning!
  8. Keep going until the nativity scene is complete.

Books About Christmas

What Is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams is a great board book for little children about Christmas. It touches on all the fun and cultural aspects of Christmas in a positive way but reminds the readers that really it’s about Jesus’ birth. I like the book because it doesn’t make the rest of the traditions out to be wrong or bad but explains that the holiday’s Christian origin in a simple matter of fact way.

The Christmas Story: The Brick Bible for Kids by Brendan Powell Smith is actually one of my favorite Christmas books this year. I grabbed it at Costco because my son is all about Lego but I have read it over and over to my kids because it is a great telling of the Christmas story. Now it doesn’t sugar coat much so if you don’t want to read about mean old King Herod and how he ordered babies to be killed then skip it. It really helped explain the story of Jesus’ birth to my 6 year old and the Lego photographs were a great novelty.

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Shampoo Bottle 3 Wise Men Craft

This craft wasn’t planned at all, it was one of those ” Oh oh I have an idea!” moments, in the shower of course! I was thinking about Christmas dinner then 5 minutes later I was grabbing sequins with dripping wet hair. You could make so many variations of this craft with felt cloaks, pipe cleaner arms holding gifts… but we kept it simple today.  As I write this they are sparkling on my mantle , shampoo bottles never looked so good!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 empty clean travel size shampoo bottles, specifically Dove . Sequins, glue, sparkly sticky back foam, scissors and a paper towel.
  2. Start by peeling the labels off. Ours came off without leaving yuck behind.
  3. Add glue, spread it with your fingers.
  4. Add the sequins. I use a paper towel to keep the sequins on to keep them from sliding and frustrating my son. This is great fine motor practice.
  5. This is not – but it works too.
  6. While they do that cut crowns out of the foam.
  7. Pop them on the caps.
  8. Let the glue dry and screw the caps on.
  9. All done!

Books

Din Dan Don, It’s Christmas by Janina Domanska is one of a kind. The books follows the pilgrimage to the manger to see the infant Jesus . It starts with a single duck playing bagpipes, but it builds on it self until they spot the manger and the infant Jesus wakes. The story is simple because there is no need for lots of text , the illustrations are amazing. Every page looks like a cross between a stained glass window and a ornate mosaic in a Orthodox church somewhere in Eastern Europe. My son exclaimed “WOW” many times as we turned the pages of this book, and I know I let out a gasp or two as well, simply beautiful! * When I did a search for a photo I could not find this book in print , so you may not be able to find it in store, try your library though!
Only a Star by Margery Facklam is a calm beautiful book about the first Christmas. A little girl asks her dad about the decorations on that very first Christmas day and readers are reminded that the true origin of the holiday.  The illustrations by Nancy Carpenter are stunning, they vary in perspective and unlike so many manger scenes, this one looks like a mom and a baby. They gave me chills coupled with the simple but profound text. A great holiday read .


Cock-A-Doodle Christmas by Will Hillenbrand is a really unique Christmas story. A little rooster is at the center of this book, he is so little that his cock-a-doodle doesn’t wake anyone up.  He is very sad about his inability until that night he finds himself in the manger with Baby Jesus and finds his voice. It’s a simple book, with profound meanings. This is a great book for a Christan family or to read at Sunday school.

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