Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Looking for a fun and faith-filled activity this Christmas season? I've got a beautiful and easy craft just for you!
Last year, I created this beautiful 25 piece Printable Nativity Scene. Every figure was hand-drawn by me, and is filled with beautiful detail. The inspiration for creating a 25 piece set was so the nativity set could double as an advent calendar. Last year, I hid one piece each night for my kids to find and add to the nativity scene. So much fun!
This year, I've taken those same figures and made a slightly smaller, 16 piece set, for those who might find 25 pieces a few too many if you're coloring with young children. (Yes, you could just print the larger set and toss out the extras, but who wants to waste paper?)
I've also added one bonus this year . . .
To act out the Nativity, I've included a Christmas Story Printable!
For those who would enjoy acting out the Christmas story with their figures, I've created a printable Christmas story to read aloud! I present the story as told in Matthew and Luke, layered together to create what we know as the traditional story.
I'm not usually a fan of trying to make gospel accounts fit together. I don't want to give the impression that Luke or Matthew forgot some important details when telling the story of the nativity. They each had a slightly different emphasis they were making as they told the story of our savior's birth, and to get the full impact of that, you need to take each account on its own.
However, most kids (and adults!) know both gospels combined into one story. In the Bible, Joseph hears from the angel and the wise men visit in the gospel of Matthew, and Mary hears from the angel and shepherds visit in Luke. So, for the sake of tradition, I include both together, told as one story.
The printable story is just over two pages long and includes Luke 1:26-36, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-20, and Matthew 2:1-15. I used the ESV translation as it is easy to understand but is not a paraphrased version. As a Christian fiction author, I considered writing my own retelling, but for this purpose, I would love kids to hear the life-giving story of Christmas straight from scripture.
(If you love Biblical Fiction, you can read my short story on Mary, here on the blog as 'A Mother's Heart', and my short story about Joseph in 'A Father's Dream' , as well as the stories of Anna, Simeon, Herod, Elizabeth and more, in my book As the Stars!)
You can read the Christmas story as told in scripture in only a few minutes, but I hope you'll pause and let your children move the paper figures to act out the story. This will help them remember it, and it's just plain fun! Afterward, have them act out the story for you or put on a show for friends and family! Video it for a special memory, and to share with loved ones who can't gather with you this Christmas.
Ready to print your Nativity scene and story?
Go to the subscribers only Download Library and download your preferred size of nativity scene, 25 pieces or 16 pieces. (If you haven't subscribed yet, you'll need to do that first. The passcode is in the first email, so make sure you check your junk folder if you don't see the email. If you're already a subscriber but forgotten your passcode, contact me!
Download the Christmas story too!
Print the nativity scene on white cardstock for best results.
Put on some Christmas music, serve some treats, and color your nativity scene!
Cut along the grey lines. Fold each figure in half so the pieces stand up. (Alternatively, you can cut them out and attach them to popsicle sticks to make simple puppets!)
For the stable, fold a gentle crease in the sides, add some glue, place it behind the center, and press firmly. (See picture below for where to crease.) The stable should stand up on its own to create a backdrop for the story.
Have fun, and enjoy time together with your loved ones!