Friday, September 12, 2008

Hands on Christmas Nativity

I know it is a bit early to be thinking of Christmas but this is a project that will take some time to collect the items you will need to create one for yourself. My grandkids absolutely love this nativity set. I made it for them last Christmas for one of the activities at the 2007 Grandkids Christmas Day Camp. (The Grandkids Christmas Day Camp is a 12 hour camp for all of my grandchildren. I have the entire day scheduled with activities and it allows the mom's and dad's to have a full day to start their Christmas shopping.) The nativity characters are like dolls that they can handle. The children use them to recreate the nativity over and over by each one of them playing their selected parts. I also have a  star on a tall pole that is  a very favorite part of this nativity. The stable is created from cardboard that can be easily folded and stored. 

When the parents returned for pick up last year the kids performed a nativity masterpiece for them!

How to make the nativity characters:

You will need: 

Plastic bottles (I used 64 oz. juice bottles)  My juice bottles were what inspired this project. The shape of them gave me a neck, shoulders, and a waist.

Fill the bottles with something to weight the bottoms. I used about 3 inches of pinto beans. You may want to insert some sort of plug into the bottle just in case you ever lose a head!

Heads: I used foam balls and some hollow plastic baseballs. Cover the heads with a piece of felt bringing it together at the bottom to create the base of the head. Tightly tie with a piece of string or yarn. The face side should be smoothed out by working the felt creases to the back.

The one's I made have no facial features, arms, or feet.

Trim excess felt from base of head. Using plenty of hot glue, glue head to top of bottle.

Baby Jesus was done the same was but using a much smaller bottle.

You can dress them with a variety of fabrics, ribbons, and jewels. There is no sewing. The clothing is securely attached using hot glue.  All of the adornments of trims and jewels were also hot glued on.

I created these on a whim late one night and pulled the materials from what I had on hand. So, save those juice bottles and dig through those closets and drawers. This is a quick and fun project for you to do that your grandkids will love!

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