Family Devotion Idea: Traveling Nativity

*About twice a month, we try to post the outline of a family devotion that you and your kids can do together. Carve out some time with your kids for a fun and creative discussion this week!

Teaching Goal:

We can celebrate Christmas by acting out the story of Jesus’ birth.


Luke 2 and Matthew 2


Pre-made unbreakable nativity set

Lesson and Discussion:

*Words that are written in bold are when you, the parent, are speaking. Feel free to use your own words.

Read the story of Jesus’ birth from a children’s Bible or regular Bible.

Talk about the different characters and where they came from to see baby Jesus. Talk about who came to the stable first, second, third, fourth, etc.


Have the children pick different rooms in the house (or areas in a room) to represent the different character locations (Nazareth, the fields, the East, heaven, Bethlehem). Make signs to place over the doorways to identify the different locations.

Place the characters in the appropriate rooms:

Mary and Joseph in Nazareth

Shepherds in the fields

Wise men in the East

Angels in heaven

Stable, manger, and sheep in Bethlehem

Start a few weeks or days before Christmas and move the characters around the house. As it gets closer to Christmas, have the characters move closer to Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph arrive the day before Christmas.

Baby Jesus is in the manger Christmas morning.

The Shepherds arrive the day after Christmas, and the wise men arrive days or weeks later. Another option is to save a gift from Christmas that the kids can open when the wise men arrive with their gifts for Jesus (possibly on New Year’s day).

Part of the significance of the Christmas story is the humble beginning in Bethlehem. Many kids today imagine that Bethlehem had lights, presents, and tremendous fanfare. Although the wise men were likely wealthy, the rest of the story illustrates a poor town, simple shepherds, and ordinary people involved in the story. God wants us to realize that he has come to care for all of us no matter how much money we have or what our social status is. That is the true meaning of Christmas.

If you like this devotion idea, there are hundreds more available from Family Time Training. See the link on the right side of this page for more information.