Monday, December 28, 2009


One of my favorite activities this month has been playing out the Christmas story. A few pieces of fabric, a doll, raffia (hay), and a box were the props. The kids had a great time pretending to be Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and so forth.

"Mary" was taking care of the baby. Another girl came over to play. As she put on some Bible times clothing, I was talking about who she might be--a shepherd, Joseph. "No," she said. "I'm Mary's friend." I'm sure Mary needed a friend at this time in her life.

A couple of girls decided that the blanket wrapped around the doll was insufficient. So they created clothing for the baby.

Here's the result.

I'm impressed at their tying skills. It took me a couple of minutes to get it undone after class was over.

In addition to "Mary's friend" and the other regular folks, we also had some "bears" visit the manger. It brought a little chaos and I had to intervene to calm things down. But I enjoyed the thinking and inventiveness as they explored this familiar story from the Bible. Of course, I did make sure they knew the facts of the story, but encouraging their exploration helped them know what was real and what wasn't.

And I had to take this picture. We titled it "Manger Scene: The Aftermath."

(Please note that the table was already on its side. It formed the background for the manger scene.)

I love that the children became so involved in their learning. They were experiencing in addition to learning.

For Nativity Dramatic Play
  • doll
  • box with raffia or hay (or shredded paper)
  • Bible time dress-up clothes
    robes, handkerchiefs (for head covers), fabric strips (for belts and headbands and swaddling clothes), stretchy headbands, lengths of fabric with a hole cut in the middle (to drape over heads to make clothes), gauze strips also make good swaddling clothes
  • table on its side for a backdrop