Teaching the Nativity Story to Preschoolers

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The Christmas season is almost here! I’ve put together lots of engaging ways to teach your children the nativity story this Christmas. There are so many fun ways to learn about the birth of Jesus and celebrate the season with your family this December. 

Keep reading to discover some of my favorite nativity books, an adorable nativity scene craft, an edible nativity to enjoy this Christmas, and traditions your family will enjoy for years to come. Get ready for a family movie night, crafts, and activities your whole family will love this Christmas! Plus, tips for teaching the nativity story in the classroom too.

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Tell the Christmas Story with Books

Telling the story of the nativity is a Christmas tradition for many families. As you prepare for the Christmas season, there are lots of exciting ways to get your preschoolers engaged in the story of Christ’s birth. 

First, set the stage. Decorate with holiday lights or candles. Build a “stable” (fort) to sit in while you read together. You can use pillows, blankets, a tent, or cardboard boxes. When you’re ready to begin, try one of these beautiful nativity story versions:

As you tell the story, children can hold figures from your own nativity scene or begin working on a nativity scene craft. Here are some of my favorite kid-friendly nativity scenes you can use in your home this Christmas:

  • Fisher Price Little People Nativity
  • Melissa & Doug Wooden Nativity Set
  • Playmobil Illuminating Christmas Nativity
  • Dayspring Jesus Is Born Biblebox 
  • Nativity Bricks Ultimate Kids Nativity Set

Edible Nativity Craft for Snack Time

Getting creative with snack time is an excellent way to encourage young children to try new things! Plus, you can use snacks to reinforce lessons you’re learning in a fun and engaging way with your preschoolers. This Christmas, try creating an edible nativity craft together for even more holiday fun.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started making your own edible nativity craft:

  • Graham crackers (1 large square and ¼ graham cracker square)
  • Peanut butter (you can substitute sunbutter for an allergy friendly snack)
  • 4 Pretzel rods
  • Marshmallow
  • Mini marshmallow

First, spread peanut butter on one large graham cracker square. Then, using the pretzel rods, construct a “stable.” Next, use the ¼ graham cracker square as your manger. Finally, use marshmallows to construct the baby Jesus. Voila! An easy, adorable, and edible nativity craft your kids will enjoy this Christmas.

Printable Nativity Craft for Preschoolers

I’m really excited to share this printable nativity craft with you! It’s an easy way to get your preschoolers and other young children involved in building their very own nativity scene craft this Christmas. 

As you teach your preschoolers the Christmas story, you can use this printable nativity craft to illustrate the lesson.

Printable nativity crafts for kids

It’s perfect to give children as a take home activity they can do with their families. Either way, I just know your kids will love constructing Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus with this nativity scene craft.

Plus, it’s a fun way to help kids build fine motor skills, practice cutting and pasting, and concentration as they focus on coloring and constructing each part of this printable nativity craft for the Christmas season.

Family Movie Night Ideas

We love family movie nights! Enjoying a film together during the holidays is a tradtion that goes perfectly with hot cocoa, holiday pajamas, and Christmas cookies. There are tons of fun Christmas classics for families to enjoy together, but one of our favorites is The Star. 

The Star is a movie all about the very first Christmas, told by “Bo” the donkey that travelled to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph. It’s an animated tale filled with jokes and important lessons your whole family can enjoy this December.

My kids particularly love Ruth, a goofy sheep who makes friends with Bo the donkey. Personally, I think the three sarcastic camels the 3 kings travel with are hilarious! If you’ve seen the film, share your favorite part in the comments. 

You can stream The Star from Netflix or purchase the film to keep for years to come. Add the edible nativity craft and my printable nativity craft for preschoolers to your family movie night for even more fun. Then, put on your Christmas pajamas and get ready for family fun!

Want to have more than one faith filled family movie night this December? Check out some of these other movies for family movie night that include the nativity story:

Role Playing the Nativity Story in the Classroom

Will you be teaching the nativity story in your classroom this December? There are some fun ways you can approach the Christmas story with a group of preschoolers that might not work as well in a homeschool setting with only a few learners. 

For example, you can act it out! Assign roles to your preschoolers and help them come up with costumes for their characters. You’ll need one child to be Mary, one to be Joseph, an angel, 3 wise men, and shepherds. 

Other children might want to dress up as animals in the stable, an angel choir, or more shepherds. Don’t forget to choose a baby Jesus. A doll wrapped in towels or sheets will work well for this role. Kids can work together to build their own stable scene too.

Christmas Story Traditions to Celebrate at Home

Many families have their own Christmas story traditions they celebrate at home each December. If you’re interested in beginning your own nativity tradtions too, check out some of these favorites:

The Travelling 3 Kings

One cute little tradition we do with our children during the Christmas season requires us to be a little bit sneaky. In the Bible, the 3 kings travel from the far East to meet the baby Jesus. To illustrate this with young children, begin by setting up your 3 kings on the other side of the room from the manger scene. 

As you move through the Advent or Christmas season, slowly move the kings closer to the stable. Each day, your children will get to search for the kings and see how far they have travelled during the night.

Advent Candles

Advent candles are a beautiful tradition in many families and faith communities. You’ll need 5 candles. Each week leading up to Christmas you light a new candle. For example, on the first week only one candle will be lit, but by the fourth week four candles will be lit. 

After lighting the candles, tell a version of the nativity story together, sing Christmas hymns like Away in a Manger, or pray together as a family. Then, have your children blow the candles out. On Christmas Eve, light the final candle (arranged in the center of the group) for the birth of Christ.

Reading the Bible

Reading through the nativity story in the Bible together as a family is a Christmas tradition your family can build on through the years. As your children become strong readers, they will be able to participate in reading. 

You can choose to read just a few verses each night or read different parts of the story. The nativity story can be found in the first two chapters of Matthew and the first two chapters of Luke. The story in Luke is the one most families are familiar with, but both are beautiful versions to read with your family this Christmas season.

The Shepherd on the Search

Have you ever heard of The Elf on the Shelf? Here is another super fun Christmas tradition to start while your children are young! This shepherd on the search set comes with a shepherd doll and a colorful storybook. Each day, you will read a bit about the shepherds’ journey to the nativity stable. 

Then, your children will search for the shepherd (which you have hidden the night before). It’s a great way to illustrate how we can search for and find Jesus during the Christmas season with your whole family.

Singing Christmas Hymns

Is your family musical? Whether you have a great singing voice or not, singing Christmas hymns together is a lot of fun! You can celebrate the season and learn about the birth of Jesus by singing songs like:

  • Away in a Manger
  • Silent Night
  • Come All Ye Faithful

What’s your favorite Christmas hymn to sing about the nativity story? Share your favorites in the comments, so we can all sing them together this year. 

Free Nativity Crafts and Activities for Kids

Since my Thanksgiving hats were such a hit, I knew you would love these nativity hat crafts for kids.

Christmas nativity hat templates for kids

Grab these free nativity hat templates to use as you teach the story of Jesus’ birth this December.

In Conclusion

I’m so excited about this printable nativity craft and these fun nativity activities for preschoolers and kids of all ages! I hope you have fun teaching your children all about the nativity this December at home and in the classroom. Don’t forget to share your favorite way to tell the Christmas story in the comment section.

More Christmas Ideas for Kids

Here are more Christmas and winter blog posts, you will enjoy:

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