I am thrilled to be hosting this special event this year as the message behind the Christmas story is so important to us as a Christian family, and we aim to make that a focus of the holiday season each year.
It can be SO easy for the ever increasing commercialism of Christmas to creep up and over-take the whole reason for our celebrations and we are trying to build up our own simple traditions to make sure we keep our focus on Jesus, not just as a babe in the manger but as a perfect Saviour, the servant-King.
Here are 4 simple ways we are trying to do this at home:
[No doubt we will adapt and add to these as the girls get older!]
Nativity Story Advent Calendar
We love advent calendars (in fact I think I might be a little obsessed by them) but we make sure that whatever type we have, be it chocolate or a toy one, we also use our gorgeous bible story book version called The Story of Christmas. This has 25 little numbered hardback books in it that tell the story slowly and carefully, including a lot of details that are often skipped over in today’s retelling. The girls love finding the right number each morning and hearing the new part of the story over breakfast! Here is the link below.
This is a new activity this year that we are currently working on together. It is designed like our Advent Activity Tree from last year, but with a more Biblical emphasis on the nativity story. Each day there is a star shaped paper hanging on our tree branch with a Bible verse on one side and an accompanying simple activity on the other. For example, on Day 2 we read a few verses about who Mary is, then made a little character of Mary from a cardboard tube, fabric and pens. We are building up a whole set of characters for story telling and it is really helping to bring it all to life! When we have completed it I will out together a full post of 25 activities for you.
Nativity Story Telling
Setting up the crib scene with all the characters and a little straw lined box is one of my fondest memories from childhood of the build up to Christmas. Last year when the girls were 3 and nearly 2, we made this Nativity Scene Small World Play box together, using Playmobil characters and simple props. The girls played with it and retold elements of the story that they had been learning in our family devotions and reading time. This sort of retelling helps to consolidate the important events and to teach it in a meaningful way through play.
Nativity Stories & Singing
We have put all our Bible story books about Christmas into a story basket for reading together and talking about throughout the month of December. These books don’t just come out at Christmas time, of course, as the message isn’t confined to one month per year, but this is a particular focus for these weeks. We try and read these together when daddy is at home, in our family devotions time. They also serve as a great springboard into questions and further discussions. At the same time we sing some favourite hymns and choruses, taking time especially to learn Away in a Manger and Who is He in that Poor Stall?
These are our simple, achievable and adaptable ideas that we are focusing on at the moment. As the children grow up I’m sure the list will adapt and we will be inspired to try new activities too!
Speaking of which, check out the linky list below for a wonderful collection FULL of incredible ideas for activities, traditions, books and more ways to take time to teach the nativity story and it’s message to our kids. Please take a look at all of the efforts of the amazing bloggers who have linked up and visit their sites to leave a comment too!
Here are the 28 fabulous bloggers taking part in the Focus on the Nativity event today!
The Imagination Tree Living Montessori Now Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers My Nearest And Dearest Life At The Zoo Creative Connection for Kids This Reading Mama Adventures in Mommydom Train up A Child Rainy Day Mum 3 Dinosaurs Crafty Mom Share The Magic Of Play Sun Hats and Wellieboots The Fairy and The Frog Housing a Forest The Iowa Farmers Wife Preschool Book Club Craft To Art The Golden Gleam Here Come The Girls Mamas Like Me In Lieu Of Preschool Kids Creative Chaos My Small Potatoes Love Play And Learn Kids World Citizen
Do YOU have a post you have written about any aspect of the Nativity story? It could be an activity, a play, puppet show, storytelling, lesson idea etc. Link it below so we can all find you too!