When you consider that most nativity sets include a couple of sheep, some people, an angel, and a stable, is it any wonder that most kids can’t wait to get their hands on them? But after my three were finished playing with the set I had growing up, I understood why my mom had kept it on the high shelf, away from our hands. Most Nativity sets are definitely for looking, not touching.
But not these three sets I tracked down which would make great gifts for new parents, or for young children on Christmas.
They are all made to be played with by the kids, and yet are still stylish enough to go on display for the holidays. -Christina
Handmade by Seattle’s Manzanita Kids, their Wood Nativity Scene (above) is a lovely, minimalistic set crafted from domestic, renewable woods. As makers of wood toys for kids, Manzanita Kids makes sure this set is also safe for play by finishing their pieces in homemade beeswax/jojoba oil. This scene would look exceptional as a display piece too.
A longtime CMP favorite, Little Sapling Toys has created a Modern Nativity that looks at first glance like a set of six blocks. But look closely at these maple, cherry, and walnut blocks, and you’ll see they are actually engraved with artwork. With no “right way” to be set up, kids can use the blocks to tell the story of the Nativity in their own words.
With just a little DIY and a couple of supplies, you can turn the Caravan Shoppe’s downloadable images by Melanie Burk into a set of oversized Nativity blocks or even paper dolls. I love how the images look in black-and-white, though kids may enjoy coloring in the pictures too. And for those of us who may be intimidated to tackle such a project, they offer tips for creating the nativity set pieces too. Phew.
Check out last year’s nativity set picks for even more options!