Joey Chou’s Make & Play Nativity is a wonderful introduction to the Nativity for toddlers, pre-schoolers and Early Years children but it’s also a fun activity for older children. This sturdy little board book includes 20 press out figures, craft ideas, The Christmas Story and a selection of popular Christmas carols.
Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus are the first characters in the book and you can also make a manger for Jesus to sleep in. We particularly love the three colourful kings and the smiling Angel Gabriel. There are also several animals to make including a camel, sheep and a donkey.
Children working with an adult to assemble the characters can be encouraged to talk about the figures and what they may already know about the story, creating a Nativity scene together can help develop speaking and listening skills. Once the figures have been made children can use them to act out the story as the story is read aloud.
We love Joey Chou’s bold and vibrant illustrations and the sturdy card ensures that the figures stand without falling over. The figures are easy to press out and put together although very little hands may need some help. My daughter really enjoyed making the figures although so far we only have Angel Gabriel telling Mary and Joseph that they’re going to have a baby, a donkey, a sheep and a tree. As Jesus hasn’t been born yet the shepherds and the three kings have to wait!
My daughter also sang all four Christmas carols, read the story aloud and made plans to make a Christmas star, Make & Play Nativity is a book that older children can also enjoy. We love one of the craft ideas ‘Make an Advent calendar’. I made a Christmas Bedtime Story Advent Calendar last year using a template from Twinkl and now Make & Play Nativity has inspired my daughter to make her own.
If you’re looking for Nativity figures for very young children this is a great book to choose. Creating the figures together with you child enables you to talk about the story as you put your Nativity scene together. It would also be a great book to include in a Book Tree Advent Calendar.
Age Range: 3 +
Illustrator: Joey Chou
Thank you to Nosy Crow for sending Make & Play Nativity. We’ve had a lot of fun with this colourful, sturdy little book.
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