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Nativity Story Telling & Play with Preschoolers

Our storybook advent continues with another Nativity Story activity ideal for Toddlers and Preschoolers. Today we have ideas and suggestions for playing and getting creative with the story of the first Christmas.

3 simple nativity activities for preschoolers game, colouring sheet and traditional tableau
3 Simple Nativity Activities with 1 playset

Nativity Story Telling & Play with Preschoolers

nativity game and play for toddlers
My First Bible Storys and The Nativity Play Set simple equipment for playing and learning with your preschooler

Advent is one of my favourite times of the year.

The run-up to Christmas is so exciting and such a special time for celebrating with family. Even though it is my little girl’s 4th Christmas, I think it is the first year that she will be fully able to understand the true meaning and story behind the holiday.

At her new nursery school, she is preparing for her first proper nativity play. And so I wanted to do some further activities and let her read more at home about The Nativity Story.

The Nativity Story

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The book we chose to read is My First Bible Stories – The Nativity retold by Charlotte Guillain and Lesley Granger.

The Nativity My First Bible Stories
My First Bible Stories The Nativity, a brilliant board book for toddlers and preschoolers to learn about the First Christmas.

This is a lovely hardback board book, with wonderful illustrations and easy to read text. Designed specifically for very small children, it is a very simple retelling of the story of Jesus’s birth.

Discover more of our Board Books for Babies and young toddlers. A lot of these are great for first reading books as your preschoolers learn to read.

One of Elizabeth’s favourite decorations in our house during Advent is a Little People Nativity set that I bought when she was a baby.

ELC Happy Land Nativity Set
Happy Land People Nativity Set – Little People by Fischer Price is also great for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Last year she loved to play with all the animals in the set, and the 3 wise men of different colours were her favourites. But this year, I have decided to use this set to help her to interact with the story more. By using the figures in the set, we will be able to tell the story whilst reading the book.

cover of count down to Christmas make memories together in 2020 ebook for parents

Make Memories every day as you countdown to Christmas

24 Simple and easy activities to do at home with your kids this Christmas.

Using a Nativity Play Set for Extending Play and StoryTelling with Preschoolers

Firstly, we read the story in the book together. We spoke about all the people that are involved in the story. Elizabeth was particularly interested in the donkey. She had her first donkey ride this summer and it has obviously left a big impression!

Materials Needed

Using The Nativity Playset

Then, we used the nativity figurines to tell the story ourselves. Although Elizabeth is a little bit young to be doing sequencing, she did understand how the timeline of the story could be told using the figurines.

We built up the figures to make the traditional tableau. Which matches the final illustration in the book. And we spoke about all the people that had come to visit the stable and celebrate this new baby being born. And how we are still celebrating his birth over 2000 years later.

nativity story telling setting up the crib scene
Setting up a traditional crib scene after playing with the Nativity Set for kids.

If you want to try picture sequencing with your preschooler we have a Nativity Story Sequencing Set that you can use.

Help your child understand the Christian meaning behind Christmas with this Nativity Story Sequencing Activity with FREE Nativity Story Cards to use.

A Memory Game – Nativity Kim’s Game for Preschoolers

A few days later, Elizabeth asked to play with the nativity set once more.

We went back over the story, and she told me which figure played which part in the nativity story.

We then played a little memory game. I hid some of the figurines under a small box, leaving the others out for her to see.

nativity memory game which characters from the Christmas story are hidden under the box
Hide characters from the story under the box in this Nativity Themed Kim’s Game for Prechoolers

Which of the figures were hidden away under the box? 

Elizabeth was very quickly able to work out which figures were missing.

A Nativity Picture

Finally, as Elizabeth loves to draw, I made a printable image of a simple stable outline.

nativity colouring page to create your own scenes
Using the Nativity Colouring Page to Create Scenes from the Story

She then drew her own nativity scene, adding her own interpretation of the characters and creatures.

Nativity Story Memory Game for Preschoolers
Nativity Game for Preschoolers to help with storytelling as well as memory!

More Nativity Themed Activities for Retelling the Story of the First Christmas

Create your own Nativity Story Stones to help children understand the true meaning of Christmas. These simple stones are easy to make.
DIY Nativity Story Stones for Retelling of the Christmas Story
Simple and easy to make Nativity Story Felt Board that children can use to retell The Christmas Story an ideal advent activity for children this Christmas.
Make a felt Nativity and use for story telling and play with your preschoolers
Create your own Nativity Shadow Puppets with this step by step guide with printable and instructions so that your children can retell The Christmas Story.
Create your own Nativity Shadow Puppets and put on a show
Christmas Story Preschool Activity Kims Game and Colouring page
3 Ideas and Games for Preschool Fun with the Nativity Story this Christmas
A Rose Tinted World
Jo from A Rose Tinted World

A Rose Tinted World is a parenting, sewing and lifestyle blog by Jo Boyne. After 22 years of being a dentist, Jo had her first child in her mid forties, and decided to take a bit of a career break. She discovered a new love of sewing, and decided to start a blog about all her experiences. You can find her over on her

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