Even though we love watching Santa’s movies and playing with a naughty elf, it’s important for us to remember the reason why we celebrate Christmas every year.
This time, we decided to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, crafting a Nativity Scene with toilet paper rolls.
It’s a great way to get the kids involved in creating something for the holidays and the perfect excuse to re-tell the Christmas story.
After you finish with that, I’m sure that your kids will enjoy arranging (over and over again) the nativity scene and adding their own toys and items to it.
These little figurines also are a wonderful incentive for imaginative play. Your kids will enjoy playing with them and will want to act out the Christmas story, so get ready for a puppet show!
The best part is that they won’t break, and if one gets overused, all you got to do is print it again.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly activity that celebrates the real meaning of Christmas, you will love spending time on this craft.
…and it’s eco-friendly too as we are re-using our paper rolls.
How to Make a Toilet Paper Roll Nativity Set for Kids
Below you will find the step-by-step instructions we followed to create this Nativity.
The printable set includes the following characters:
- Three Wise Men
To make this Nativity Set, you will only need:
- 8 toilet paper rolls
- Glue Stick
- Printable Nativity Set
TIP: If you are not a toilet paper hoarder like me, you could only print the pieces on cardstock and roll them into cylinders. They won’t be as sturdy to play with, but will still work.
To start crafting your nativity set, print and cut the template available at the end of this post.
Then, follow the instructions on this video, or keep reading for written directions.
Virgin Mary and Joseph
Making Joseph just requires you to stick the rectangle to a toilet paper roll.
For Virgin Mary, repeat the step above and glue the hair to the sides of her face.
To make the hair, fold each piece in half with glue in the center. Curl them with your finger to make them look more like hair.
For the angel, attach the body rectangle to the toilet paper tube with tape or glue.
Then, take a hair piece, fold it, and glue it in the middle. Trim out the excess on the tip and repeat for all the hair pieces. Proceed to paste the hair all around the head.
Finish by adhering the wings to the back and the halo around the top of the angel’s head.
Three Wise Men
To make Balthasar, Gaspar, and Melchior, you will need three different toilet paper rolls.
Start by gluing the main rectangles to them.
Now, proceed with the beard. It is very similar to the other characters’ hair.
First, take the rectangle and cut along the lines. Curl them with your fingers and stick them to the middle of the face, right below the nose.
Then, take the 2 long pieces, fold them in half, and glue both sides together. Adhere each piece to the sides of the face aligning them with the beard-rectangle we added before.
Finally, add the crown to the top of each Wiseman. Glue the center first, right above the eyes, and finish on the back.
Shepherd and animals
To make the shepherd, repeat the steps you followed to assemble Mary.
For the animals, cut a toilet paper roll in 3 equal parts. This can be a little hard for kids. What we did to make it easier is:
- Cut a vertical slit through the whole tube.
- Cut the roll into 3 parts
- Re-shape each mini-roll into a cylinder and secure it with tape.
Once you have 2 mini paper rolls, attach the cow to one and the sheep to the other.
To make baby Jesus, cut the template, roll it into a cylinder, and secure it.
To make a simple manger, use the remaining mini paper roll and cut it in halves. Take one half and slightly fold it in the middle to make it more stable. Then, place baby Jesus inside it.
You can glue the star to the remaining half if you are planning to place it somewhere higher. Or, hang it above the nativity scene with a string.
Nativity Craft for Kids
Now that you have all your characters ready, it’s time to set up your scene.
You can let your kids create a barn with legos, or make one from scratch using an old shoebox (which can be used to store your set after Christmas).
Don’t miss this chance to talk about the meaning of Christmas with your kids using this interactive nativity set.