How to Make Nativity Scenes for Plays

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The Nativity scene illustrates the birth of baby Jesus in his earliest and humble beginnings. Children frequently re-enact the Nativity as a short production within a special Christmas church service. The New Testament in the Bible includes different perspectives of the Nativity. The book of Luke begins the birth story with the visit of the angel to the priest Zechariah, while in the book of Matthew, an angel appears to the Virgin Mary. Adapt a Nativity scene from the Bible, and choose an elaborate or simple background to help enhance the story. Interpretation or style of the Nativity production usually matches the culture of the host church and can be a guide in the direction of the adaptation.

How to Make Nativity Scenes for Plays
(Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Bible
  • Costumes
  • Cradle-Manger
  • Baby Jesus
  • Mary
  • Joseph
Step 1:

Write the cast breakdown of the biblical people and animals who appear in the Nativity scene. The cast includes Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, shepherds, angels, wise men, farm animals, King Herod and a narrator.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 2:

List necessary props, and detail scenery and lighting. Props and scenery can include a midnight blue sky-mural, large paper star, manger, hay, shepherd's staff, jewelry boxes and a baby doll for the baby Jesus.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 3:

Outline clothing possibilities for simple costumes. For example, create a template for angel's wings or lengths of cloth for the wise men's turbans.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 4:

Create the set. Make a barn interior using straw or hay, and add an old wooden cradle or a box painted to look like a manger.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 5:

Transpose the Nativity verses into a dialogue for a script. Reserve longer speeches for the narrator.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 6:

Assign the different parts to the children, and set up a rehearsal schedule. Choose a Christian Christmas carol as a finale.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Shy or very young children can play animals with non-speaking parts. Older children may enjoy narrating or even co-writing the script.

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