Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nativity Play

Kids Nativity Play

I'm making a new Oma Kit. It contains everything necessary for the grandkids to act out the first Christmas at the family Christmas party: a simple nativity script in rhyme, no-sew costumes, easy-to-store props and scenery. (It all fits in a $7.00 Rubbermaid box from Target.) Here my how-to for a children's nativity play.

I've assigned the kids their parts ahead of time. At the party, while a couple of moms help them get their costumes on, the adults are divided into two groups—choir and scenery.

Kids are the stars of Christmas

The Nativity Scenery Committee gets a tri-fold display board (it's like three sides of a cardboard box, navy blue, and I got it at Michael's Crafts for $8.00) plus a baggie full of star-shaped foam stickers. (I got three bags of 30 multi-colored, multi-sized stars for $2.00 each and picked out the yellow ones.) The committee will stick on the stars to make scenery that looks like a night sky. Two of the scenery people will hold up the scenery during the play.

The Impromptu Nativity Choir will practice singing Away in a Manger and Silent Night.

Shepherd costumes for one, or a whole herd.

No-sew nativity costumes: At the fabric store I searched for very cheap remnants. I got a couple of yards of several different fabrics (a black and white cow print, gray fuzzy wool, white terry cloth, light blue silky something, tan jersey knit, striped drapery stuff, etc.) I've cut the material into 45"x 45" squares (roughly, depending on the width) and then cut a hole in the middle for a head. Everyone will just slip them on like a cape, and tie them around the waist with a length of rope. Or they can be draped over their heads and shoulders like a shawl.

Because of a great deal on cow fabric, I asked if any little kid wanted to be a cow. Now we also have a camel, a donkey and two lambs in the cast!

We're short on short people in our group, so a few adults will take some extra roles. From year to year we could add or subtract animals, shepherds, angels, wise men and shift around the speaking parts. Hopefully the kids full-length costumes can be adapted to a shawl or shoulder drape on a bigger actor.

Left over strips of material are for head coverings and ties to hold them on. Mary will wear a silk scarf draped over her head. I twisted some gold pipe-cleaners together and made a halo for the angel. She will wear white and carry a star, made by gluing a large yellow foam star to a dowel.

All illustrations by Wendy Edelson from One Baby Jesus.

Props include some fake jeweled pins, two boxes wrapped in gold and silver foil, an empty perfume bottle, a broom-stick for a staff, a few stuffed animals (lambs, a camel, and a cow) and a doll. This year we have a real baby, so I'm bringing a fleece to cover his car-seat for the manger.

So, when everybody's dressed and standing in their places, with the artistic scenery behind them, we're ready. I wrote the lines in rhyme so they're easy to remember; no rehearsal necessary. (Please feel free to use or adapt my poem for your own nativity play.)

Short and Sweet Nativity Script

(Choir sings "Away in a Manger" to set the mood.)

  • Joseph: My name is Joseph. I've been walking all day. In Bethlehem I hope there's a place to stay.
  • Mary: My name is Mary. I'm tired and worn. I need a place for my babe to be born.
  • Donkey: I carried Mary until she could lie down. There is no room in this whole town.
  • Innkeeper: No, no. I haven't a place. In the back with the animals there's some space.
  • Camel: We have a place where it's safe and sound, with loving animals all around. "Can my baby sleep there?" Mary said.
  • Cow: Let my manger be his bed.
  • Baby Jesus: (Sleeps peacefully.)
  • Shepherd 1: I am a shepherd watching my sheep. I think I hear singing in my sleep.
  • Shepherd 2: There's an angel above us. I'm filled with fear. But peace is the message that I hear.
  • Angel: Jesus is born today. He's sleeping in a bed of hay.
  • Lamb 1: Let's follow the star.
  • Lamb 2: It's not very far.
  • Wise Man 1: I'm a king from far away. I've looked forward to this day.
  • Wise Man 2: In the east a star shone bright, on that sacred, holy night.
  • Wise Man 3: Gifts of love we all can bring to worship Jesus Christ, our king.
  • Reader: The Bible tells the story like this: (Reads Luke 2:1-16.)
Choir sings Silent Night.

"Sleep in heavenly peace."


marta said...

perfect, perfect. mom, you're inspiring, love that this is all wrapped up in one of your famous kits.

Kay Dennison said...

How darling!!!!!! You are indeed a wonder!!!


Thanks for sharing! what a perfect way to bring the "littles" into the celebration.

The Grandmother Here said...

Oma, you are the hardest working Oma I've ever known! Your grandkids are really blessed and someday they will realize it.

Heed said...

I love it mom. If I'm ever in charge of the ward Christmas party I'm going to do this. Great idea!

Diane said...

What a great idea! Although I love the idea of acting out the nativity, I haven't quite caught the "feasible" vision. Now I have. I love this and I am going to get to work on figuring it out for my family.
In fact standing ovation!!

gab said...

Printing and packing for Phoenix. Perfect Christmas Eve.

Amy said...

It's going to be so darling! Thanks for going through all the trouble for the grandkids. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are acting out the nativity year after year at G-ma & G-pa's.

Melissa Walker said...

So wonderful--I'm going to use this for our Christmas Eve. It's the first one where we won't be going to our parents but will be in our home, far from family. I've wanted something easy and special for our little family! THANK YOU for posting this!

Nina Lewis said...

I love this nativity kit -- I can imagine all of the wonderful fabric you found to use.

This is something that I'll have to put together and use with my grandchildren. Thanks so much for sharing.

polly said...

it will be darling! thanks for being so prepared. Jake will practice his part! He loves cows so casting was perfect!!

Linsey said...

This is a brilliant idea. When I first started reading I thought, "Oh, I hope she posts the script!" And you did! Huzzah!

kenju said...

You are one wonderful woman!

mama jo said...

so cute...

Christie said...

I love the Oma kits. Wish my kids were closer so they could enjoy them, too. Chase would be ALL OVER that cow costume.

Jenibelle said...

Love, love, love it. Thank you seasoned Oma from a newbie! Every year we acted out the Nativity story it's one of the best memories I have. My brother in law was always the donkey, he could bray like no other! We will tell the story this year and remember the great miracle of Jesus's birth as we snuggle with our new little one. Best gift ever.