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Catholic Activity: Christmas Manger


  • cardboard
  • lollipop sticks
  • materials to build a nativity set, such as wood, soap, or cookie dough.

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Helping to construct a nativity scene and manger increases a child's devotion to the Christ-Child.


Each year our other big Advent project is the building of a manger for the entrance hall. One year the children drew the figures which Daddy glued to plywood and cut with a saw. Another year we carved Nativity figures from Ivory soap. We have also made them of cookie dough using Nativity cookie cutters. The same cutters filled with plaster made lovely white figures for a creche.

An important factor with children is to give them incentive to work and credit for their effort by placing the manger scene where many can admire it. This encourages further creative efforts.

About the time Advent projects are nearing completion, our children prepare banners to go with the Infant in the living room manger. They print their names on bright little cardboard banners and slip the individual banners into lollypop sticks set into plaster bases. These are placed around the crib to show that our children are among those who proclaim Christ their King. This idea may be carried out by using children's photographs, cut out, pasted to cardboard, and made to stand around the crib.

Activity Source: Family Advent Customs by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1979