Amy’s Free Ideas

Most children love to act, so Christmas is the perfect chance to let them hone their acting skills. This will not be a polished production, but the point is for your children to have fun re-enacting the Christmas story, and perhaps imagine what it must have been like for each of the characters. Depending on the number of children in your family, they may have to act multiple parts. Another option would be to invite another family to join you for this--more people equals more bedlam, but surely more fun!

Your children will have fun coming up with costumes, but a little help from you might produce more satisfying results. Table cloths and lap throws come in handy for robes. Nightgowns and bathrobes make great Bible-time clothing. Your church might be willing to loan you baptismal robes for the presentation night. Towels, scarves, and table runners make good head dresses and belts. Sometimes dollar stores can provide crowns, swords, and tension rod “staffs.” If you don’t have good items already in your house, you might be able to find some good options at a re-cycle shop such as Goodwill.

A manger can be made out of plywood if you or your husband is a handyman, but a cardboard box may do just as well. I say, “may” because kids can sometimes have some strong ideas in their heads, and may not be happy with a cardboard box at all! If you have a wooden crate and some hay bales left over from fall decorations, you should be all set. If you don’t have a baby doll, you can always wrap up a towel in another towel into a baby-ish shaped bundle.

Wise men’s gifts can vary a lot. Jewelry boxes and vases (not breakable ones, though!) can look pretty cool, as well as any gold colored objects such as a gold box or gold Christmas balls.

Angel wings and stars can sometimes be found around Halloween, even at dollar stores. If you want to make wings, you can cut some out of foam core (styrofoam sheets with poster board glued to both sides). Foam core is sold at many dollar stores, craft stores, and discount stores such as Walmart. Cut both wings with a box cutter or craft knife. Poke holes near one edge and push string or cording (like for draw-string pants) through the holes and fitting snugly over your child’s shoulders like a backpack. You can use a chopstick or screw driver to draw feather details on the wings. Alternative way to make wings: glue white paper to both sides of corrugated cardboard and cut the wings out of this white-clad cardboard.

Optional: use a short length of white Christmas tinsel as a garland on the head. A white nightgown completes  the angel costume.

Make your own star with my star pattern. Stick it on the end of a broom stick to hold it up high.

If your children are familiar with the Christmas story, you can gather costumes and props ahead of time, and do it all ad-lib, all in one setting.

If you want to invite relatives or friends to come watch, you may want a more polished version, in which case, you would plan several practice sessions. You may also want to provide all the costumes and props to make sure they are up to par.

If you want your children to be involved in the whole process, during the first week, your children can plan who will play what roles, what materials will be needed, etc. The next week, spend time putting together the costumes and props. The next week, write the script. (Make cue cards with their lines so they don’t have to spend time memorizing.) The following week, put on the play. If your children are too shy or too young to read out the lines, you could have one parent to be the narrator, and the children can act it out as the narration is being read.

3 Ways to Stage the Play