Sunday, 26 November 2017

Easy Nativity Crafts!

Hello again friends!  Earlier this week I shared a post with a some ideas and resources for teaching the Nativity and promised to be back with some easy crafts that to fit right in with those activities.  Today I'm going to share four projects that your little learners will love!

If you read my last post you'll know that I teach the Nativity in a similar way every year, by focusing on four main 'events' from the story.  This craft fits in with our first set of lessons, when we talk about the angel visiting Mary.  To make these gorgeous angels, you'll need a paper plate, yellow paint, glitter, a paper circle and a piece of gold ribbon or pipecleaner.

To get started, paint the outer edge of the paper plate yellow (or your preferred colour!).  Most paper plates have a ribbed edge - telling kidlets to paint over that is the easiest way to make sure the whole plate isn't covered.  Use glitter and sparkles to decorate the painted area, either by sprinkling it on while the paint is still wet or using glue later.

To turn the plate into an angel you need to cut out a wedge shape.  I usually do this step for the kidlets, because it ensures the pieces are the right size and it's also much quicker!  If you wanted to have your class cut their own plates you certainly could.  You can see in my photo I've added star sparkles to the small piece - this is totally optional. It will become the angel's skirt.

Glue the wedge back onto the rest of the plate as in the photo - the large part becomes the wings and the small wedge is the angel's dress.  Draw a face onto the paper circle and glue it on top of the dress, with a piece of gold ribbon as a halo.  The finished angels will look something like this:

When we move onto the birth of Jesus, I love to make a Jesus in the manger tree ornament.  It looks tricky but really isn't!  You'll need 2 giant craft sticks per child, some brown paper (or white paper painted brown!), craft wood shavings and a paper circle.  Begin by gluing the craft sticks together in a 'V' shape.  Cut your brown paper into a triangle shape and glue it to the sticks.  You can see both a front and back view in the photo below:

Take some of the craft wood/straw and glue it along the top of the paper.  Draw a face on the paper circle and glue it on one side of the manger - this becomes Jesus lying in His bed. :)  Add a piece of ribbon or twine so the ornament can be hung on a Christmas tree.

Next up is my favourite craft - just because they always turn out so cute!  This paper plate sheep is made when we learn about the shepherds visiting Jesus.  You'll need a small paper plate (saucer sized), cotton wool, black card, googly eyes, 2 wooden pegs and a bit of black paint.  Cover the plate with cotton wool using glue.  Have your kidlets trace a circle onto their card and cut it out to make the face, but let them free draw 2 ear shapes - this is what makes each sheep look unique!  Glue the ears and eyes onto the face, and then onto the cotton covered plate.   When everything is dry, clip the pegs onto the bottom of the sheep's body so he can stand up by himself!

The last event we learn about during our Nativity lessons is the Wise Men following the star to  bring gifts to Jesus.  We make a hanging star ornament with a card star shape and some ribbon.  If you want to make these more sturdy you could buy wooden star shapes from a craft store and have your kidlets paint them a nice bright colour.  Make sure you have a look through your collage supplies before you go and buy new ribbon, too - if you're anything like me you'll have a tonne of spools with bits left over from previous projects!
To decorate the star, just wrap lots of different coloured and sized ribbons around the star shape.  If you've used card, a small piece of tape will secure the ends at the back.  For wooden shapes, you might need to use hot glue and complete this craft in small groups of kidlets.  Don't forget to add some ribbon for hanging! 

I hope one of these gorgeous projects will inspire you to do some crafting with your kidlets this Christmas season!  Don't forget that most crafts can be adapted so you can use whatever materials you have on hand (or can afford!).  Sending home a Nativity craft is a great way to encourage children to talk with their family about the true meaning of Christmas. :)

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