By: Megan, @megluxe
Hi Megan (IG @megluxe) here and I’m so excited to share some of my favorite nativity sets for children to invite the nativity story into your home this Christmas.
As a child it was such a magical experience to help my mother unwrap our nativity and gently place each piece around the baby Jesus. Now that I have a child of my own, it was important that our family have child-friendly nativities that they could touch and play with and would be excited to open each Christmas after a year of being tucked away. I favor timeless nativities that are beautiful, durable and will last throughout the years and hope you like some of my favorites picks for Children!
Nativities for Children
One of my favorite yearly Christmas traditions is to give my son Alden one nativity piece to add to his own set. The first year we started he was given the holy family: Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. Last year he received a shepherd and this year he received a Wiseman. You could even write the year on the bottom of each piece for extra sentiment. I chose Ostheimer wooden toys because hand carved figures made in Germany (my heritage) and I especially love that they are finished with non-toxic stains and natural oils. They are simply, perfectly crafted with smooth edges for small hands and are beautiful for children of all ages. Ostheimer offers a lovely variety of individual pieces so you can have something as simple as just the holy family, or expand your set to include angels, multiple wise men and shepherds, animals, trees and structures.
Ostheimer pieces are investments, but they are timeless pieces that can last generations and become heirlooms for your family.
We have many Melissa and Doug toys in our home and have always been pleased with how they hold up with small hands. These pieces are brightly colored, detailed and a very affordable wooden nativity option. It includes an easy-to-assemble stable. All the pieces are flat, so they store nicely in the included wooden box.
FAO Schwarz Nativity
A colorful and well-made peg nativity set. I love the simple design of nativities like this and size is perfect for small hands. The pieces look small but are actually pretty substantial and a little oversized. This set can often be found at Marshall’s and Home Goods for half the price so keep your eyes peeled!
Pottery Barn Brass Mini Nativity Set
I would have loved this set as a child! I think there is something so sweet about a small nativity set that can be set up on a nightstand or in a little corner on a dresser. This is a sweet set for the bedroom of an older child since the pieces are rather small. Would also be a very sweet gift to send in the mail to a child or adult.
I love Christmas advent calendars, but so often it is difficult to think of what to fill each pocket with. I really love this handmade felt set available from Etsy. It is the perfect set to fill an advent calendar and your child can take one piece out each day. If you are feeling crafty, the PDF pattern is also available to purchase! You could easily add Velcro to the back to make your own interactive scene. This has been on my wish list to accomplish for years!
We purchased this hanging nativity this year for my three year old and he was able to quickly learn who all the characters were and where they belonged in the scene. All the pieces easily attach with Velcro. It can hang anywhere and I love that it is soft, easy for small hands and it can roll up easily. It’s inexpensive and on Amazon!
Nativity Nesting Dolls
I love toys that double as décor! We added this colorful set to our collection this year and our toddler just loves it. Putting together and taking apart each doll doesn’t seem to get old and every child that has come over to play has immediately gravitated towards it. The baby Jesus is rather small, so you may want to tuck it away some place safe if you have young children. Also inexpensive and on Amazon!
DIY Peg Doll Nativity
There are tutorials online to make your own peg dolls, either with just clothing added or painted. This would be such a fun activity with children and having a nativity that your own children have painted is such a keepsake! I can’t wait to do this when our family has grown.
If you don’t want to make your own, this is a cute starter set: https://goosegreaseshop.com/products/mary-joseph-and-jesus-partial-nativity-set
Family Nativity Activities
The Giving Manger
This tender and meaningful tradition is a great idea if you are looking for something interactive and Christ-centered in your home leading up to Christmas. This kit includes a manger, straw to fill the bed, and a baby Jesus. A book is included with a sweet story that explains the tradition of the manager (I may have teared up during the part where the mother does her daughter’s chores so the daughter can play!). Throughout the month leading to Christmas when a family member performs an act of service, they can add a piece of straw into the manager. Baby Jesus can be placed in the manager full of service and love on Christmas day. This year is the first year we have used the giving manger and it has been a great way to bring up Jesus in conversation throughout the day and encouraging my three year old to be considerate and kind. I definitely think this will be a loved tradition throughout the years.
A Christ-Centered Christmas Children’s Edition: A Family Nativity Tradition
This is a very sweet book that is designed to be experienced as a family each night for seven nights leading to Christmas day (or could be spread out!). You can find it on Amazon. Each day is dedicated to a different character in the nativity, and includes their portion of the nativity story, a pondering question, a meaningful activity to do together as a family, and a scripture. The illustrations are beautiful and the messages are short and great for children. At the end of each activity, you place that day’s figure into the nativity scene.
This book provides a opportunity to discuss the characters of the nativity and reflect more on their role in Christ’s birth. I especially love the thinking questions for each character. I am really looking forward to reading this book together as a family for the first time this year!
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