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Hands-on Nativity Story

Although I was raised in a Christian home, I did not grow up celebrating the birth of Christ during the Christmas season. Our church denomination believed in being silent where the Bible is silent. Since we don’t know the exact day that Jesus was born, we just didn’t go there. Christmas was all about Santa and presents. (I know, I Know! I could write a book on the bizarreness of it all.) 

My perspective shifted in my teenage years. Christmas is a time when the whole world acknowledges a baby in a manger. How could I turn my back on such an opportunity to glorify God?

I received my first nativity set when I was nineteen. It was an adorable resin one and my parents gave it to me to use in the preschool class I taught on Sunday mornings. The faces of my little three year olds lit up every time I brought it with me. We would act out the stories, and everyone got a turn because the pieces were practically indestructible. 

nativity sets for kids

The one on the left is my first set.

That first nativity was the start of a collection. We’ve added one a year, and have included several kid-friendly nativity sets. They go on a low shelf or in a basket, and the younger ones play with them all month long. The hands-on role play really helps to keep the focus on Christ.

Printable Nativity

I usually choose a couple of free printable nativity scenes for my kiddos to play with every year. This year, I decided to make a hands-on magnetic nativity set for my active 6 year old. She rearranges the items on the front of the fridge all the time, and I know she is going to have hours of fun with this set.

nativity samples

Of course we want you to have a set too! Just cut out, and glue a magnet to the back. You might want to laminate them first for durability. Put them all on display at once, or add a piece a day.

This printable nativity set contains everything you will need for your story:

  • Over 20 story cards
  • The nativity story verses from Matthew & Luke
  • 24 numbered stars to lead Mary & Joseph on a countdown to Christmas


Countdown to Christmas

Another fun way to engage in the story of the birth of Christ with your kids is to read some nativity books together. You could wrap them up and start a new countdown tradition. For even more ideas, check out my Nativity Pinterest Board.

Please share! How do you use your nativity set to keep Christ in Christmas?