Goodnight, Manger: Nativity Story Activity for Preschoolers

Help children learn the Nativity story with a fun new book and storytelling activity!

One of the wonderful things about having 3 year olds at Christmas is introducing them to all the stories and traditions of the holiday. This is the first year that they really understand what's going on and I'm so excited to teach them all about Christmas, and especially why we celebrate. This of course includes telling them the story of the Nativity. I found a new children's book that really brings the story to life, and gave them a chance to practice telling it on their own too.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.

We began with Goodnight, Manger by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman. Goodnight, Manger is an adorable take on the Nativity story that we all loved.

Goodnight, Manger tells the story of the newborn baby Jesus, who just can't get to sleep because of all the noise in the stable. The animals try to help him to get comfy, but the hay is itchy. The angels sing, wise men appear, and still baby can't sleep! Finally Mary leads everyone in a lovely song and baby falls asleep.

Goodnight, Manger gives a clever spin on the familiar Nativity story, with a slightly frazzled mom who just wants her baby to sleep. The text is filled with lovely rhymes, making it a sweet bedtime story. The illustrations are beautiful. My animal loving boys really enjoyed it and it made for a fun introduction to the classic story of Jesus' birth.

After we read Goodnight, Manger, I thought the boys might like to try to do a storytelling activity around the Nativity. I got out our Little People Nativity Set and invited them to play. As I helped them tell the story of Jesus' birth, they acted it out with their little people.

First, we just had Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus in the manger. Then one of the sheep came to comfort the baby.

Then the Wise Men began to arrive.

It started getting a little crowded in our stable! So we sang a Christmas song to help make sure the baby could sleep. Away in a Manger is one of my all time favorite carols and I loved teaching it to them.

Finally we had everyone in place. My boys really enjoyed learning the story of the Nativity with a little help from both their new book and our Nativity set. Practicing story telling with toys and props is a wonderful way to keep them engaged and interested.

Find all our Christmas activities and ideas here!

How did you introduce the Nativity to your children? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook and let me know!

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