We been reading lots of books of the nativity story in the lead up to Christmas and I was really excited when we were given this lovely kit to have a go at making our own nativity scene characters (thank you Grandad!) The kit contains some wooden clothes pegs and stands, pieces of felt, some goggley eyes, bits of craft foam, pom poms and some pipecleaners. So although we had the kit you don't need it to make these characters. It is all common craft materials and if you have a craft supply at home it's likely you'll have all of these in your cupboard anyway.
The figures are really simple to make. First you cut a piece of felt to the size of the body of the peg.
Next roll it round the peg and fasten with a pipecleaner. This then becomes the person's waist tie.
Then you get another pipecleaner and wrap it round the neck of the peg, twist across at the back an bring the long bits back round to the front. These then form the arms.
Finally you add a headdress or cloak by wrapping another piece of felt round the head and neck and securing with another pipecleaner. You could also glue on a bit of felt, wool or a pom pom for hair/hat/crown. You could also draw on a face if you wanted to. For baby Jesus there wasn't a mini peg or anything in the kit so I raided my husbands's wood off cuts and found a short wooden dowel, then wrapped it in felt and tied with a pipecleaner.
The instructions recommended using glue for the felt, but I found that it didn't really stick and just using pipecleaners was much more effective. I also like the idea that we can take them apart and remake them next year.
To be honest this kit is probably best suited to slightly older children although I think Little Chick who is 3 and a half could have done some if she'd have wanted to. It's a great activity for fine motor skill development, manipulation and concentration, but it's very much a sit down and craft activity so probably not great for those who don't like sitting down and prefer running round getting messy!
Little Chick really wanted to do a glueing and sticking picture with the bits and pieces from the pack. So whilst I sat with her making the nativity figures she spend ages using several pieces of paper creating some beautiful free flow pictures. It was lovely to have some crafting time together enjoying each other's company.
She also added some stickers, sweet wrappers and glitter from our box of goodies (all the left over bits and pieces from previous craft and art activities.)
I know this is more of a craft for slightly older children but I really enjoyed making them and Little Chick was very keen to get playing with them once I'd finished making them. I think they make a gorgeous set of Nativity figures just waiting for some imaginative play. Watch out for more on this in my next post!