We had such fun with the Halloween Read and Play series that we’re back with a Christmas version! Over 20 sites will share kid-friendly activities inspired by children’s Christmas books. For my part in the series, I’m sharing Christmas art for kids based on one of my favorite Christmas read alouds.
Are you following Fun-A-Day’s Christmas Pinterest board?
Related: Christmas activities for preschoolers
I’ve loved reading Santa’s Favorite Story to my son and my preschoolers for years. In the book, Santa tells the woodland animals all about the first Christmas, when Jesus was born. In addition to a beautiful story, the book also has gorgeous illustrations. Since I work at a church-based preschool, this book and accompanying art art perfect for my students and their families.
Christmas art for kids – a Nativity scene
I was very much inspired by That Artist Woman’s Nativity Silhouette, but I made a variety of changes to her idea. Be sure to check out her version, as it is just beautiful!
I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
What we used
Under My Umbrella’s Nativity Patterns
White construction paper
White tempera paint
Blue tempera paint
Black tempera paint
Glittery foam sticker stars
What we did
Before getting started, I created a stencil out of a piece of cardboard. I used Under My Umbrella’s Nativity Patterns as a guideline, then cut it all out.
Then it was onto mixing the paints. I grabbed 5 cups, added white paint to one of them and blue paint to the other four. Then I created different shades of blue by mixing white paint with the blue paint in three of the cups. I set them out, from white paint to the darkest blue paint. This led to a great discussion with the kiddos about shades of colors! As one boy said, “but it’s all just blue! Blue is blue!”
After the paint was ready, I invited children to come over and get started on the first stage of the project. We painted a white circle in the middle of the paper, then proceeded to paint circles around it with darkening shades of blue. It was interesting to watch the children throughout this process! Some were incredibly precise, careful to go in order from lightest to darkest and not wanting the paints to mix. Others had a blast mixing all of the shades up on the paper. I may be biased, but I think each child’s painting turned out awesome!
Once the background dried, it was time to add the Nativity scene. I held the homemade stencil in place while the children painted. It was pretty messy, of course, but the children really enjoyed it.
Finally, once all of the paint was dry, the kiddos added a glittery star above the Nativity!
In her Nativity Silhouette post, That Artist Woman used a different technique to add the Nativity scene. I actually offered that as a choice to the kiddos, but they went with my (messier!) version instead. They seemed to enjoy the process of using the stencil!
What do you think about this Nativity Christmas art for kids? Would your children enjoy trying it out? My students really got into the process of it!
more Christmas read and play fun
Pop on over to The Pleasantest Thing’s landing page for our Christmas Read and Play series!
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
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Erin Buhr says
This book looks simply beautiful. I love how you focused on the illustrations – they look magical. I’ll be looking for this one – thanks for the recommendation.
Carolyn Wilhelm says
Love the painting activity and theme! Thanks for the detailed information and photos so it will be easy to replicate.
Looks like a beautiful book. I will be on the look out for it. I bet your kids are pretty pleased with their Nativity painting. Process and product .
Help me out! How did you use the stencil? I see black paint where the stencil would be and can’t make sense of it!
Mary Catherine says
Hey Kristin, sorry my directions weren’t clear enough – I’ll see about editing it soon. I used a file folder and traced the Nativity pieces onto the folder. Then I cut out that area, creating a homemade stencil. I helped the kids place the stencils on their pages. They dabbed on black paint and then gently removed the stencil, leaving behind the Nativity scenes.