I love a good craft!
You might be wondering, “What is a good craft?”
Here are my criteria for a good kid’s craft:
- The parent doesn’t have to do it all.
- It is EASY.
- It is inexpensive.
- It will withstand the test of time.
- It has a purpose.
- You can bring it out year after year and it brings back good memories.
About 10 years ago I was involved in a Bringing Up Boys book study. I had two little boys and taking the class with several older women was enlightening.
At our meeting in December, our study leader, a wise woman who had raised two amazing sons, had each table decorated with something from her home. I remember only one table. It had a wooden nativity set that her and her boys had made.
My kids were very young, the boys were 5 and 4 and the girls were 2 and 10 months. The only nativity we had was made of porcelain and the kids had to handle it with care. I wanted them to have a nativity set they could play with, act out the story and set up themselves.
Here are 4 steps to make your own Wooden Block Nativity:
1. Color the Nativity characters
I found a color book (I think at Wal-Mart or the dollar store) that had Bible characters in it. One afternoon we had a girl I had known from an inner city outreach program (who has since passed away) over. We pulled out the color book and everyone started coloring. I’ve found some similar color sheet printables here or here or here or here that you can download and use today.
2. Cut out the characters
When we finished coloring everyone cut their character(s) out. I did help my 2 year old with this step.
3. Find blocks of wood
We hunted the garage for some old blocks of wood. We found a few but we needed more. When my husband came home he cut some longer pieces down to fit our Bible characters. He added bases to some of the skinny scraps of wood that we used.
4. Mod Podge the colored characters to the wood
I love Mod Podge. It doesn’t matter how sloppy you are. It won’t show when it dries. When you’ve put on the number of coats you desire your nativity set is complete.
When it dries let the kids set it up and play with it as much as they want! Read the Christmas story in Luke and have them rearrange and act out the story.
This year while we were putting up Christmas decorations I told my kids they didn’t need to put the wooden nativity set out if they didn’t want to.
Of course they wanted to!! It sits on the hearth and they still have fun setting it up!
Do you have a Christmas craft that you love? Please share!
I would suggest keeping a few extra character color sheets if you have a baby or plan to have more children. My youngest was too little to color at the time so she doesn’t have a character of her own.
Involve grandparents or special people in your life. Have them sign the back of the wood block. When they are gone it will be a precious reminder of the fun you had and give you an opportunity to talk about them. We are always reminded of Shera when we see the piece she colored.
Don’t focus on perfection. Just enjoy the moment. Let your child’s piece represent who they are and the skills they have now. Take a few pictures. Play Christmas music. Finish with some hot cocoa.
When packing them away the first Christmas be sure they are not touching paper. Possibly layer them in bubble wrap or plastic wrap. Ours stuck to something.