Helps and Hints for Families
Nativities Around the World is a family-friendly event. Children of all ages are welcome. This page provides suggestions and helps that may help make the experience more interesting and meaningful for your children.
Share the Story
Tell your children the story of the Nativity in your own words. Let them see the importance of the Nativity through your eyes. Tell them what it means to you. Don’t assume they know. It will become more special each year through retelling.
Let them tell you what they know about the story. Ask questions that make them think.
Find the story in your family Bible and read it together.
Plan your visit and manage expectations
Help them know what to expect. Show them some of the images of Nativities. Look at the list of musical performances to see which ones interest you. Tell them there will be a small treat to eat.
Make it fun
Use activities to increase their curiosity and participation. Try to find similarities or differences between the nativities. Point out the materials used. Help them see the detail and thought in the individual pieces.
Play the Nativity Scavenger Hunt which will be found on the back of the program. Help them look for special items as they view the nativity displays, such as a nativity in an egg or a snowman nativity.
Ask your children questions from (as below) to help stimulate their thoughts.
Bring the good feelings home
Talk about what they saw and learned.
Set up your own family Nativity or make one. If you already have one, display it in a special manner that you may have seen at the event, using cloth, boxes, and special lighting.
Obtain and print coloring pages related to the birth of Jesus that your children can color.
Thought Questions for Children
These simple questions, most of which do not have exact answers, can help children think about the Nativity and help them enjoy even more Nativities Around the World. You may want to print these questions and ask them as you go along to spark discussion. Think of your own questions to increase conversation with your children.
Why did Mary ride on a donkey?
Would that have been easy when she was going to have a baby?
Why did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?
What would they have paid taxes with?
What would you find in a stable?
What would you sleep on in a stable?
What are swaddling clothes?
What is the box-like thing which the nativities show the baby Jesus slept in?
Angels sang to the shepherds. What would a choir of angels look like?
What would they sing?
Did the angels play instruments?
How long did they sing?
How far away from the city were the shepherds?
Where did the shepherds sleep?
How many shepherds do you think there were?
Where did the Wise Men come from?
What animals could they have used?
How many extra animals would they have needed to carry what they needed?
What gifts did they bring?
If you were a Wise Man, what gift would you give to Jesus?