Last year I volunteered to tell the Christmas story with the children at my daughters’ nursery. This year they asked if I could do it again, so I took in my olive wood nativity set to which my husband very generously add a Christ child and a Risen Christ with their open arms. I needed these as I use them to tell the story using the Godly Play script and methodology which includes giving them time to play with the pieces, which brings the story directly into the tactile, explorative, play world of young children. This year I found the bouncy, three year old boy who could hardly sit through the story produced some of the most dynamic and interesting play afterwards, creating a catherdral-esque stable for the tiny Christ child.
We have this set out during December for the children to play with.
Here are a few ideas how you might like to play with yours!
- Use it to act out the Christmas story as you read it from the Bible
- Loan the characters out to people, e.g. take the characters on ‘outings’ to school or church
- Take photos of your set and use them to make your Christmas cards or decorations for your tree
- Make a mini video of the story using a camera or mobile phone with your characters in the starring roles
- Make your own Christmas book using photos of scenes from the story.
- Invent your own Advent game. One family set their scene up during December, with the characters moving around the house, gradually arriving at the nativity scene. Everyone is allowed to move the characters, but no one is allowed to be seen moving them. They are still playing this even though all the ‘children’ are now adults!