The birth of Jesus Christ is the focus of the Christian nativity. He was born to Mary and Joseph in an animal stable because there were no rooms available in the nearby inn. Using a water trough filled with straw for a bed, Mary gave birth to the savior and laid him there. After the birth, the Christ child was visited by shepherds, wise men, and a host of angels. The men followed the North Star to his location in the east.
These are the basic elements of the story. Read the story to your children first to give them an idea of who was involved in the scene. From there, the crafting can begin.
Kids can make their own manger. Using Popsicle sticks and glue, fashion a manger for the baby Jesus. If you don’t want to use real straw, Spanish moss will work just as well. A small baby doll can portray the baby Jesus. Kids may want to paint the manger to make it stand out. Display their mangers in a central location for everyone to enjoy.
Coloring books and children’s websites have free printable coloring sheets that depict the nativity. Give each child a piece of poster board or a cardboard presentation board to work with. After coloring the Nativity pictures let the kids come up with their own nativity scene and paste it to the cardboard. If the children want to paint things different colors, it’s ok. Let them, even if baby Jesus turns out to be purple and Mary and Joseph are green. Let them express themselves through their crafts, no matter how out of the ordinary it may be to you.
A fun nativity craft that the entire family can enjoy is the making of an Advent calendar. “Advent” is the time of the holiday season that is represented by special programs at church on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each day beginning with the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, the focus is on the Nativity story. There are a variety of ways to make an Advent calendar. Each day of December through Christmas Day, families do something special pertaining to some aspect of the birth of Jesus Christ. Children can decorate each space on the calendar with a symbol of the Nativity. At the end of each day, the family will gather to look at the symbol for the day and study a certain part of the Nativity story.
The Nativity is important to understanding the spiritual reason for celebrating Christmas. Allow kids to express feelings about the Nativity through their crafts. You can join in too and make it a family affair.