Navigating Your Child's Education: Ages 3-K

6 min read

Kids Christmas Crafts that Make the Cut

Dec 9, 2021 8:00 PM

Like many, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I look forward to wearing my Christmas sweaters and getting out my late grandmother’s vintage ceramic tree. However, when school is out and normal activities are on hold, I often feel a bit overwhelmed without that familiar structure to our days. It is easy to say yes to all the fun things that this time of year has to offer, but I try to keep margin in my time during Christmas break for special time with my kids. What a better way to point my kids, and my heart, back to Christ than serving others or making something to share God’s love with them. 

Baking some treats for friends and family is a sure way to make a mess and make some memories. While I normally don’t have my kids decorate cookies to give away (they are too busy sticking their fingers in the icing and sneaking the candy), we do mix up drop cookies to bake and give away to our neighbors. The kids love taking part in the measuring and being hands-on while the oven bakes away any germs that got missed at the sink! I normally package them while the kids make a card or craft to go with them. 

3D Shepherd

We had an overflowing amount of saved up toilet paper tubes, so we got a little festive with them. We used a few more around-the-house items and came up with some shepherds to play with and give to friends. 

Toilet Paper Roll Shepherd Final

To make your own little shepherds, the following will come in handy: 

Shepherd Supplies

  • Toilet paper tube
  • Colored paper or white paper and construction paper
  • Black marker (for the face)
  • Piece of fabric - approximately 4x5 inches (old shirt works great)
  • 6 inches of twine or yarn
  • crayons
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Candy can (optional, pipe cleaner can be used as an alternative)

The order of operations goes a little something like this--

Shepherd Step 1

1. Cut a piece of colored paper for the robe approximately 4 inches tall. Let your kiddo color this part to give it some pizazz. Glue it around the toilet paper tube.

Shepherd Step 2

2. Cut a strip approximately 2 inches tall for the face. Draw a face on and glue it to the top of the tube.



3. Use a sharp pen or the end of sharp scissors to            Pipe Cleaner Armscarefully poke a hole in each side just below the face portion of the tube. Feed the pipe clean through both holes. This part can be a bit frustrating, but it’s a great opportunity for your child to use fine motor skills and practice fortitude. Cut the pipe cleaner to the desired length of arms. I bent mine into a loop to hold onto the candy cane.

Pipe Cleaner Arts for Shepherd Craft

4. Have your child hold the piece of fabric over the top of the tube while you tie the yarn or twine around it to hold it onto the tube. Make sure you can see the face with the placement of the fabric before tying.


We used a candy can for our staff and added a tag with the story of the candy cane. A bent pipe cleaner can also be used for the staff. I think it would be cute to write “Jesus Christ is born” on the front of the shepherd since they were the first to hear of Jesus’ birth. While I only made a shepherd with the intent of giving it away, a whole nativity scene could be made out of the tubes if you are feeling creative!

Young girl with magnifying glass

Simple Shapes Nativity

One type of craft I’ve recently stumbled upon is making pictures with basic shapes--super simple but allows kiddos to see how putting shapes together can make something else. The following is an example of this simple but fun way of creating pictures out of basic shapes:

Paper Nativity

To try this out with your littles, you will need the following:

Paper Pieces for Nativity

Paper Pieces for Nativity (1)

Paper Pieces for Nativity (2)

  • Colored paper (construction paper or cardstock)
  • Glue stick
  • scissors
  • 4 full (whole) rectangles
  • 4 skinny rectangles
  • 4 small circles
  • 2 tombstone shape
  • 2 semi circle
  • 1 strip of paper the size of a matchstick
  • Pipecleaner, paper staff or candy cane
  • Short piece of twine or yarn (optional)

Assembly of this sweet nativity goes like this--

1. Glue one of the half rectangles to the top of the whole rectangle at an angle.


2. Glue the 2 skinny rectangles to the half rectangles, at an angle, for the arms.


3. Glue the little circles to the underside of the arms with only half showing for the hands.


4. Glue a small portion of the tombstone shape to the top of the now assembled outfit. 

5. Glue the semicircle, curve side down, to the lower half of the tombstone.

6. Add the matchstick sized paper on the top edge of the semicircle face as the headdress tie. I added some double sided tape to a wrapped candy cane and used that as the staff in one of his hands. A pipe cleaner or paper staff can also be glued in place of a candy cane. 


7. Follow the same steps to make Mary, and assembling baby Jesus is pretty straightforward.

If you have toddlers, I suggest cutting several different types of shapes out in various colors (or let them color white paper before cutting) and letting your child assemble them. If the shepherd is wonky or baby Jesus’ blanket is neon green, all the better! 

Sizing for the shapes will vary based on how big you want your nativity. My shepherd is about 5 inches. (Disclaimer - my shapes were cut on a Cricut because we were only doing the assembly portion for the age of kids doing this craft. BUT I think it would be great to let a preschooler age+ cut their own shapes.)

Merry Christmas (crafting)!

Emily Barnes
Written by Emily Barnes

Emily has worked with young children in various roles since 2000, from church childcare and babysitting to directing a full-time daycare. She now works as a full-time mom to her two young children. She is passionate about using her creativity with crafts and in the kitchen to help children learn and grow.