When Mike and I first got married, I ran to a local thrift store to get us a few things on the cheap to make our house look at least a little bit festive. One thing I found was a porcelain nativity set. It was painted in oranges, browns and greens and made you pretty much want to puke when you looked at it. But I saw the potential, took it home and gave those figurines the makeover of their lives by spray painting them all white (Mary has been thanking me ever since).
But three years ago when I picked up that ugly nativity scene, having it be baby-friendly was the furthest thing from my mind and porcelain is anything but baby-friendly. As I pulled it out from storage to set it up this year, I started to realize that Eli wouldn't be able to play with it, let alone touch it for a long, long time. One thing I really want to do with Eli (and any future kiddos) every year is take time to act out and set up the nativity scene. There are tons of ways to incorporate a nativity scene into the Advent season, so I figured this year is the time to try to find one that's child-friendly. As I've searched the internez, here are some good options I've found.
My First Nativity Scene by BuboBUBOmini on Etsy - A nativity scene that's more on the modern side, but it's the most interesting one I've seen yet. It's such a fun concept as all the pieces fit inside the wooden frame "stable" like a puzzle for storage, and the blue background is actually chalkboard paint, so kids can draw a new scene each year.
Christmas Nativity Set by PegBuddies on Etsy - A super cute set of figurines, and I especially love the stable that comes with! The seller has a note that the Jesus and small sheep represent a choking hazard, so this might be better for children that are a bit older.
Little People Nativity Playset - Every kid I know loves Little People, so I'm sure this set would be a hit with all children. The only bummer is it doesn't come with the shepherds or wisemen, making it tough for the kids to act out the entire story. If you want all of them, you'll have to upgrade to the "gift set" - but warning: it's a bit intense.
Melissa and Doug Nativity Set - A pretty wooden set, it is definitely the most budget friendly at $30.00. Sounds like people's only complaint is that the figurines are a bit narrow, making them hard to stand up on their own.
Olive Wood Nativity Set - If you're looking for something a little less childish-looking, an olive wood set might be a good choice. Bonus your kids will never really "grow out" of it and you'll have it for a long time. If you just want the figurines, here's a good olive wood set.