Focus on the Nativity: “From Humble Beginnings” …a child-directed nativity construction activity.

title“…and a little child shall lead them.” Β ~Isaiah 11:6
Today we are foregoing our weekly HashBrowns for something a lot more special. We are joining many other blogs around the world in hosting a collaborative blog hop that celebrates sharing the message of Christmas with children.
So often we get shopping, baking, building gingerbread houses, decorating the house, and visiting Santa, and we forget to celebrate the birth of Mary’s wee boy…the reason Christmas is.
I’m excited to share our activity with you, as it was done completely by my own children from start to finish. I provided tools, I helped them with sharp knives, I mixed paint, and made photographs. But these two children of mine did the rest. Throughout the post you will see little text blurbs on the photos. These are some of the things my children said to me or each other while planning and building their Nativity. When the blurb is actual scripture, it will have the chapter and verse written along with the quote.
We read the story of the Nativity together from a beginner reader called No Room at the Inn, The Nativity Story by Jean M. Malone. It’s at a second graders reading level and was perfect for my 6 and 7 yr old, as it helped them with pronunciations of words like Nazareth and Galilee, and it explained what frankincense and myrrh actually are!
After the story was read, I gave each of my children a single, bare cardboard box. That is it.
Very humble beginnings.
I asked the children if they would construct a warm, cozy stable out of their boxes. A place that would be fit for a tiny brand new baby. A place that would be fit for a king. And so they did.
They sat looking at their boxes and discussing how they would want them cut. Whether they needed a window, or a roof, or different rooms…planningThey decided they would need more than just the box. They gathered tape, glue, and scissors and went to work. I cut the boxes with a razor knife wherever they asked me to. The rest they did with their own little scissors and keen minds. Miss Coco built a manger for baby Jesus without any instruction from me…cuttingamangerthebabyfitsBabyJesusAnd Mr. Pancakes decided his stable needed to be old. Not shiny and smooth and brand new. He set about distressing it himself…makingitoldAfter it was painted, he still thought it needed a bit more aging…forsunshineWhen it was properly distressed, he set about making the inside cozy with hay he borrowed from our rabbits…gluinghayCoco spent a lot of time painting her stable…paintingThey worked together all sunday afternoon, chatting, surmising, questioning, testing, and creating…underconstructionherworkspaceThe star of Bethlehem was painted…paintingastarAnd then the placement of their Nativity pieces began…MaryOnce the two kids had their pieces settled in, we went through some of the scripture in the King James version of the Nativity story…goodtidingsshepherdsfirstbornson3kingsWhat a lovely way to spend a sunday in December. My children took a simple cardboard box and made these…finishednativityTwo beautiful, friendly, and cozy stables perfect for giving life to the Christ child those many years ago.
There are many other blogs participating in this important event. Please take a minute to visit them and see how they are spreading the message of Christmas to the children in their lives.
If you have a post you’ve created around the Nativity, please join us! Click the orange link tool at the bottom and add your post to the blog hop. Grab the Focus on the Nativity button below and wear it proudly on your blog!

The Imagination Tree
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.theimaginationtree.com" title="The Imagination Tree" target="_blank"><img src="http://rainydaymum.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/focus-on-the-Nativity.jpg" alt="The Imagination Tree" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

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Thanks for stopping by, and Merry Christmas!

~Arlee, Small Potatoes

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14 thoughts on “Focus on the Nativity: “From Humble Beginnings” …a child-directed nativity construction activity.

  1. So sweet are the thoughts of children at such times πŸ™‚ Reminds us all to look beyond the Christmas consumerism, glitz and glitter and give thanks for the humble beginnings of the nativity. Thank you for sharing this, it’s really lovely! Happy advent πŸ™‚

  2. Hi
    I must admit my eyes were a tad damp as I read through this post! It was so moving as you followed the children’s plans and ideas and watched as they created.WHat a beautiful memory you have created in the hearts of your children. There is a dear little funny book by Nicholas Allen called jesus’birthday party. It is written from the point of view of the inn keeper. It is quite funny and sweet. Thank you for always sharing I feel so blessed!

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