We're big fans of small world play scenes in our house, & as Minnie is keenly exploring the Nativity story during Advent it seemed appropriate to make a Nativity themed scene. We created a junk model version of Bethlehem town as it gave us an opportunity to explore Mary & Joseph's journey, not just their arrival at the stable.
To make the buildings for our scene we used:
Small recycled cardboard boxes
White & yellow paint or cream paint
Salt or sand
Brown paper (or wrapping paper)
We chose a selection of small boxes & wrapped them up in paper, securing them with masking tape.
Once all the boxes were covered, we mixed our yellow & white paint to create a sandy colour. To create a grainy stone like texture for our buildings we added table salt & mixed well into the paint. (Alternatively you could use play sand which would create the same effect.) Minnie enjoyed applying the grainy paint to the boxes & exploring the texture with her fingers! When the boxes were painted we left them to dry over night.
The rough texture of each box felt just like a rough stone wall. For our shutters & doors we used recycled brown paper & attached using double sided tape.
We pinned up a navy bed sheet to create a night backdrop for our town, & stuck on a few stars we had cut for a previous craft.
And for that special bight star Minnie added the 'Twinkle Twinkle Star' from her room & attached with sticky tape.
Our Bethlehem scene was ready! We had just got it set up when a young couple with a donkey arrived in town!!
Minnie has enjoyed moving Mary & Joseph around this play scene, & continued their journey around the living room. As she plays with them she recounts the Nativity story, adding a few extra details here & there! For example I never knew the houses in Bethlehem had doormats outside, or that Mary had snack stops along the journey to eat grapes! ;-)
The donkey has galloped, & danced, & had a beautiful rendition of 'Horsey, Horesy' sung to him! With the help of Minnie's balancing skills he's even carried Mary on his back!
Minnie's creativity, imagination & storytelling have been a joy to observe, & I love watching her engage with the Nativity story in a way which is relevant to her!
We're leaving this play scene up to be explored over the next few weeks, & we'll be adding more figures as we explore the story. You might also like the stable & shepherds hillside we made to complete our Nativity Scene.