Looking for a fun activity to do with your children over Christmas break? A great gift for the grandparents? Here's an idea you can do with your family that will inspire your kids to think more deeply about the very first Christmas and the reason we celebrate. I'm not exactly creative when it comes to doing crafts so when my 8 year old daughter came home from 3rd grade last month with an assignment to make a "Homemade Nativity," I was stumped.
After procrastinating a couple of weeks, I began to get serious about coming up with ideas with her. Shoebox stable? Clay animals? Popsicle stick wise men? Hhm… And then I had it…. Inspiration! With a few props and a digital camera, my two children could be the animals, and the wise men, and even Mary and Joseph! Yours can too!
Here's how we did it.
First, we decided on which characters we wanted to portray. We chose Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, angels, and animals. Next we looked around our house for ordinary items to use as props for creating our characters. (Click HERE to read more about the items we used).
As the girls changed from one costume to the next, I took pictures. They posed for each picture in a way they felt demonstrated what that person must have been doing and feeling as they met Jesus for the first time.
We photographed one character at a time against a blank wall. This made it easier to keep the size of the characters consistent -- although you may want to play around a little with taking some pictures closer or further away depending on the size you'd like for them to appear in the display.
Next I uploaded the images to a one-hour processing center. Then after we picked up the pictures, my daughter used stick glue to paste them onto poster board and cut them out. The poster board backing made the images sturdier for her to glue magnets on the backs.
After completing the people, we arranged them on a magnetic memo board we have (you could use your refrigerator) along with a few embellishments -- like wings for the angels, a star, and a sign that read, "Behold the King!"
This turned out as a great school project as well as a fun keepsake we will enjoy year after year. If you decide to try it this year, drop us a note or upload a picture to let us know how it goes. For even more fun, try involving cousins and other extended family while you are all together this year!