4 Fun Ways to Teach Children About the Nativity
Gather your materials. Things you will need: paper, pen, a basket, a nativity scene with separate figurines and have a clear place for a stable (like the Little People Nativity Scene) and a book about the Christmas story.
Write out clues for each figure. Keep them simple. For example: ” I am the Son of God. I was born in a manger. Who am I? Find me in the dining room. ” You can customize the info about each person based on your child/children’s age and understanding. It is best to type out the clues so your children can easily read them.
Read the nativity story. I find that reading it first is the best way to create a connection to each figure in the story and why their role in the nativity. Help your kids identify which figure represents each person in the story.
Hide the figurines. Get creative with where you hide the figurines, but not too creative where no one can find them.
Put the basket of clues in the manger. Have your children tell you who is missing from the nativity scene and then have them pick a clue. Read the clue to help them find the missing figurines.
Find the missing pieces. Have everyone go to the room indicated by the clue. You can make it a team effort looking for the lost figurine or have the children individually look throughout the room until it is found, kind of like an Easter egg hunt.
Ask Recall questions. The one who finds the figure gets to answer a couple questions about the figurine: 1. Who does the figurine represent in the nativity story? 2. Why are they important? After they answered the questions, they get to place the figurine in the manger and pull the next clue. Keep going until the nativity scene is complete.
Printable Nativity Memory Game
Nativity Christmas Countdown
Source: Thirty Handmade Days This Nativity Christmas Countdown is a fun way to engage your Elementary school-aged children with the scriptural account of the nativity. Not only will they look forward to opening a surprise bag with a new nativity figurine each night, it can help them remember on the real meaning of Christmas by reading a scripture related to that specific figurine.
Pick a nativity set. The set should have reasonably sized pieces that can fit into small bags. The set should also have at least 12 different pieces.
Gather 12 bags opaque bags. One for each nativity piece. Need ideas? Try small baked goods bags, cellophane bags, or linen bags.
Make the scripture tags. Thirty Handmade Days has a printable page of tags you that are easy to download, print, and cut.
Fill the bags and attach the tags. Make sure to coordinate each scripture tag with the appropriate nativity piece. For your convenience, the tags are numbered and have the scripture reference and verse on the front.
Place all the bags by the empty manger. Pick a time every day where your family can gather together and take turns picking a bag. You may want to have one person pick the bag, another person place the nativity piece in the bag into it’s appropriate spot by the manger, and then another person read the scripture on the bag.
Nativity Sensory Bin
Source: Growing Hands On Kids
This activity is more for toddlers and preschool children that are still learning to differentiate between various textures, colors, shapes, and other characteristics. This sensory bin is a great hands-on/exploratory way to help young children learn about the story of baby Jesus. It's one to leave them with to explore! Tell the nativity story in a short comprehensible way that is appropriate for your child’s age. Then put it on the floor and let them explore the different pieces without your intervention or oversite. It will help them build their imagination and help expose them to some new textures, colors, shapes, and characteristic associations. To see instructions, visit Growing Hands On Kids.