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.
Nativity Story Telling & Play with Preschoolers
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.
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.
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.
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!
- Nativity Play Set - Jo Used the Little People Nativity Set linked above and in our Amazon Stores - UK Amazon and the US Amazon
- Box for the Memory Game
- Paper & Printer - check out the printer we use here on Rainy Day Mum for Eco-friendly Printing for Families.
- Nativity Stable Colouring Page
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.
If you want to try picture sequencing with your preschooler we have a Nativity Story Sequencing Set that you can 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.
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.
She then drew her own nativity scene, adding her own interpretation of the characters and creatures.
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