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Elementary-aged girl eats a gingersnap cookie at her church Christmas party as she builds a crèche..
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Preschool + Elementary Christmas Activity: Gingerbread Crèche

This is a great activity for preschoolers and elementary-aged kids to do as part of a Christmas celebration. A crèche is a display of the Nativity where Jesus was born.

Preschool + Elementary Christmas Activity: Gingerbread Crèche

Have parents save 1-pound butter boxes. Then tape the open end of each box, and slice each box in half with a wallpaper knife. This makes one box for every two children.

To make this project, you’ll also need:

  • sturdy paper plates,
  • markers,
  • cake frosting,
  • plastic knives,
  • graham crackers,
  • pretzels,
  • coconut,
  • animal crackers,
  • yellow food coloring,
  • resealable plastic bag,
  • cut-out star cookies,
  • and E.L. Fudge cookies or cut-out people cookies.

Dye the coconut yellow by shaking yellow food coloring and the coconut in a resealable plastic bag until the coconut is entirely covered. Pour out onto a flat surface to dry overnight.


Make a three-dimensional instructional board for each phase of building acrèche, including these instructions and models glued to the board.

First, write your name on a plate. Frost all five sides of each box, and “glue” the box to the plate with frosting. Keep the open end facing forward. Attach graham crackers to the frosted sides.

Then add animal crackers to the inside and outside of the box and a star on top, using frosting as your glue.

Next, build a manger with a glob of frosting, pretzels, and yellow coconut (and a baby Jesus if you like).

Lastly, add Mary and Joseph beside the manger, using frosting as your glue.

Sue Retzlaff
Mount Horeb, Wisconsin

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Preschool + Elementary Christmas Acti...

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