Nativity Sets for Children

by | Dec 9, 2012 | Advent and Christmas, Christmas 2012 | 22 comments

I’m not sure how many emails I have answered (or still need to answer) on where I purchased the Wooden Nativity Block Set that the children were playing with in my Advent & Christmas Book Baskets Post.  It really is neat, isn’t it?!?

I purchased my set quite a few years ago when it was made by HABA, and it doesn’t look like they make it any longer.  Haba now sells this beautiful (though very expensive) Wooden Nativity Set.  However you can find a similar set made by Constructive Playthings and it happens to be on sale for just $14.99 at the moment, which is much less than I paid for our set!  It looks almost identical to ours, though we did notice a few differences:  taller columns, more bushes, the addition of camels…

Note:  The stable built out of blocks is so tempting to one little toddler in our home who loves to knock it over, which is quite frustrating to his older (almost three years old) sister!  

This darling Hand Carved Child’s First Nativity Set was sent to us as a gift.  It is designed by Kurt Adler, just like our favorite Nativity Advent Calendar.   It’s a little more fragile than the block set (i.e. the paint has chipped in a few places) but loved very much by my little ones!

Even though I prefer the wood sets, we also have The Nativity Play Set by one2believe,  an older version of the Playmobil Nativity with The Three Wise Kings, and the Nativity Set by Schleich.

Originally I started out collecting a Child’s Nativity Set for each of our children, but it looks like I missed one somewhere along the way and I still haven’t found a new set for Bud.  He would probably love the Little People Christmas Story Nativity Scene, but I wish it didn’t light up and require batteries…  I love the Kathy Kruse Nativity Set, but it is just too expensive!  Additional options include the Melissa & Doug Nativity Set and the Olive Wood Children’s Nativity Set.  However, I think I am leaning more towards creating our own, or purchasing one of the many beautiful sets available on Etsy!

What is your favorite Children’s Nativity Set?  
I’d love to hear about it in the comments!  


  1. Karen

    We have the Little People Nativity set and my girls just love it. Just because it takes batteries doesn't mean you have to put them in. We've had some years where I have forgotten to put batteries in it and they kids still played with it just as much as they did when the star and music played.

  2. Jessica Gordon

    We have so many Little People toys and I've said for years that I wasn't going to buy any more, even though my little ones love playing with all of them. But, if I did, it would definitely be the Nativity Set! 🙂

  3. Poussy Stitches My Love

    Je suis en Amour devant votre blog !!!!! Merci pour ces partages remplis de joie, d'amour et de paix ! bisous bisous

  4. Cheryl

    We have the Little People set but the kids have outgrown it…so it's put away for safe keeping. But about five years ago I bought a small Fontanini set for each kid–it was about $50 and came with a little shelf-type stable that had a drawer to keep the pieces. It had about six pieces (including the stable). I gave them the shelf/drawer the first year, and each year since then I've given them a piece from the set for St. Nicholas Day. Each child keeps it in his/her room and has a small nativity set in his/her room. This year I gave them the last piece to the set so they now have a complete set. These are small figures–maybe 3"? In any case, I liked the fact that they were keepsake pieces that the kids can proudly display when they are on their own, even if they are small. (Maybe great for when they are in an apartment or college dorm, since they won't take up much room.) $50 was alot of money at the time, but since it provided a small gift for six years! I'm not sure if Fontanini sells the set any longer, but it might give you an idea to give one piece of a nice set every year as an "investment" toward their own Nativity set.

  5. Jessica Gordon

    We have four pieces to the Fontanini Nativity (Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and the Angel) that were given to us as a wedding gift! I would love to add to it someday!! It hasn't been set up this year, but it is one that is always set up and baby jesus is added to the set on Christmas morning.

    This is our last year without a teenager in our home – at least for quite some time! I love your idea of giving the older children a nativity piece on the feast of St. Nicholas. I could start that next year with our oldest, instead of the picture book that he has been receiving each year, and continue with the other children as well, once they are 13. That would give at least 5-6 years before they leave for college anyways!

    If you can find a link to the set that you have I would love to see it!

  6. Amelia

    The Melissa and Doug set is really pretty but it get's dented really easy. It is made of soft wood. I haven't even let my kids play with it really. It just has dented from occasionally falling over or from unpacking it.

  7. Jennifer

    We have the Melissa and Doug set. It's been played with a lot and it's pretty sturdy. However, the people won't stay standing up. The little figures are almost flat and they keep falling over.

  8. Jessica Gordon

    Good to know! Thanks! And that is too bad…They really should make children's nativities well enough to be played with by children! I wonder if you could attach the figures to wooden blocks?

  9. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks! I was curious about it… It has such mixed reviews over on Amazon.

  10. Erin

    My Little People nativity doesn't take batteries – not that I know of, anyway! Now I'll have to look closer at it…

  11. Jessica Gordon

    The older sets don't… I wish that they still made them as an option, or I would have purchased one back them. I almost did and decided to wait, then the next year's set lit up and was musical…

  12. Kelly

    We have the Little People Nativity set you linked to, though ours is a couple years old. There are a few less figures and there is a shepherd, the comments to the newer one mention there isn't one… Ours doesn't light up and no batteries. You could always remove the batteries. Our toddler is the same age as your toddler and he loves to chew on the figures. It's the first place he goes every morning when he gets up.

  13. Annie

    My parents gave us a Fontanini piece or two for Christmas each year after we graduated high school. One year we each received a large stable. Now I am married with kids and they love playing with them. The pieces aren't breakable so I can let them.

  14. Jennifer

    I think if you attached them to blocks, they would stay upright but it would look a little weird. Also then they wouldn't fit in the little stable. I forgot to mention that DH and I can't figure out how to put the roof on the stable. It doesn't seem to fit but perhaps we're doing it wrong.

    But DD really likes playing with it so it serves its purpose.

  15. Nicole

    That wooden nativity is nice for the kids. I have a little nativity obsession myself…

    For the family nativity, I finally bought a Fonatini starter set. It was ridiculous how many sets have broken around my house – it's a yearly thing – and how hard it is to find a nativity that has a removable Jesus or even a removable anyone in some cases. So I bit the bullet. Since then, it's a yearly tradition to purchase a piece to add to it. This is my little thing to do.

    For the kids, I have the Little People set and it does not light up. I ordered mine last year. I do remember in the comments people complaining that it was supposed to light up based on what they read but the product sent did not. Turns out these people ordered the wrong set. Looking again just now, it is the same way so it seems there are two sets out there – one that lights up, one that doesn't.

    There is also a Little People on the Go nativity set that has no batteries. We don't have it. I just saw it in my search.

    I have three other kiddie nativities. Two are just some basic ones that my three year old combined. The third is new this year from Catholic Child, the Soft Sculpture Nativity. My five year old claimed this immediately. It's a cute, soft, little toteable nativity. The craftsmanship is ok, not awesome but not too chintzy either.

  16. Katie V.

    I was going to buy the Little people nativity set last year….until I realized one of the wiseman was a girl! I was disappointed with that. These days one has to be observant to these subtle marketing changes!

  17. Nicole

    Weird. I bought ours last year and the kings are all boys.

  18. Julie

    We have the Littls People one too, but don't put batteries in it (we don't put batteries in any of our toys). My kids love it, but I might get another one this year too. Your suggestions are hard to pass up!

  19. Mary Beth

    We have the same wooden nativity set you have shown in the first picture. I bought it from Rainbow Resources a few years ago. I think I saw it again this year at RR. We have five children ages 18 months through 11 years and they all enjoy this set. It's just so fun to build, and it's indestructible. My only fear is that my littlest one will walk off with baby Jesus!

  20. Anonymous

    My kiddos played the song (Away in the Manger) constantly for the first 2 days, and now they don't press the button at all! And if your kiddos are young enough, there is a big on/off switch in the back of the the musical Little People nativity.

  21. Anonymous

    We have the expensive Haba nativity, and the Little People naivity, but my favorite (by far) is the Schleich nativity!! (Schleich is the company that makes all the hard plastic, very realistic looking animals & knights) It is a fantastic set– so realistic & beautiful, yet plastic, so it won't break! It comes in a great storage box too!
    Sadly, they don't make it anymore, but if any of you see it at a yard sale or on ebay, I highly recommend!!


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