Best Nativity Sets for Toddlers

He likes nativity sets for toddlers!Not all nativity sets for toddlers are created equal. When I started researching this topic, I quickly realized that many online recommendations are for products that are not toddler-safe.  A good toddler set needs to include a list of features, and safety is the most important. It’s also important that they be age appropriate. Toys that are too puzzling or too difficult to use can quickly become a point of frustration.

Below are a few choices that I personally found to be safe with no small or sharp parts. You will also need to check the manufacturer’s age recommendation, and consider how far along your toddler has developed both mentally and physically.

Best Overall Nativity Set for Toddlers

If you are looking for a fun way to kick off Christmas celebrations for your young family, the Pockets of Learning Nativity House Manger Set is worthy of your consideration. More than any of the other nativity sets for toddlers I’ve looked at, this playset is durable, compact, lightweight, and great for learning and creative play.

And it’s safe. The manufacturer recommends it for all ages, and it’s easy to see why. The pieces are large enough that they won’t cause any problems. There are no small parts to worry about, and all stitching is done superbly.

Toddlers love it because they find it engaging and very appealing. The pieces are soft and squishy. Throughout the set you will find plenty of silver and gold embroidery. It fosters creative play, and allows young children to explore the Nativity Story on their own terms, though learning about it from a knowledgeable adult is always best.

It’s very portable. Take it to church or to family gatherings to keep little ones occupied. The stable will hold all other pieces and keep them secure with its sturdy Velcro tabs.

The manufacturer also has what they call a “Lost Piece Pledge,” where you can contact them to report a missing piece and they will send out a replacement piece for free.

Lastly, the pieces can be machine-washed and air-dried if found floating in a cup of eggnog.

Most Environmentally Friendly Nativity Playset for Young Children

The EverEarth Bamboo Nativity Set is so bright and happy! Simple, smiling faces and high-contrast colored clothes are delightfully appealing to little ones. It includes 16 pieces plus the stable. I like the small details included like how the gates on one side of the stable swing open and closed. All of the pieces are all individual, which isn’t the case with many other playsets. Small hands can easily handle and move around the large pieces. They also stand on their own very well, which takes the frustration out of it.

Parents will love that it’s made with sustainable materials and non-toxic paints. Bamboo is a remarkable material. It’s very lightweight yet hard as maple.

The downside is the price. The suggested retail price is $150, and while I have seen it at a lower price, it’s still not cheap. This could be an heirloom set that your child could pass down to their own children if the pieces properly sealed, but as is, the paint may chip.

This nativity set is safe for toddlers. Because all of the pieces included are large with smooth edges. Toddlers who are at least a year old would enjoy it, but the manufacturer recommends it for 24 months and up. I would have no issues giving this to a child a few months earlier than that, as there is no inherent safety issue. Just make sure to look over it for defects before allowing your munchkin to play with it.

Most Durable Nativity Set for Tots

I first wrote about the Little People® Deluxe Christmas Story Nativity Set back in 2011, but it had been in production for at least a few years before that. It gets top marks for durability, but it’s also very safe. Fisher-Price is in the business of mass-producing toys for toddlers, and has been for more than 50 years. This means they know a few things about making toys for toddlers that are fun, creative, and above all, safe. Their reputation depends on it.

Like all Little People sets, it’s very durable. You might wonder, just how durable is that? My toddler has a couple of Little People sets, and our young and highly energetic dog used one of the figurines as a chew toy. That figurine only has a couple teeth marks in it. Few other toys could survive what Aunt Camper Lady did. It’s easily most durable of all nativity sets for toddlers I’ve studied. These toys stand up to everything.

Toddlers over the age of 12 months can safely play with this nativity set. No parts are too small. Since Little People are already quite little, Baby Jesus and the manger are included in one inseparable piece. Stable gates move, and pushing on the angel lights up the angel and plays Away in a Manger.

Cuddliest of the Nativity Sets for Toddlers

My daughter adores tiny little plush toys, and if she saw these adorable itty bitty Nativity figurines, her reaction would melt my heart a little. This picture does not do their cuteness justice. They are far more adorable in person.

Beyond their endearing embroidered facial features, little ones will love examining the different materials and textures that make up these dolls.  They are wonderful for creative storytelling, and a great tool to use during Nativity Story traditions.

Though the age recommendation is for children over the age of three, I can’t see why the majority of children over 18 months wouldn’t be able to play with them. They’re plush with no removable parts, and they have no buttons or other embellishments that could come loose. Mary and Joseph include some clothing that is sewn on well enough, but is not edged or hemmed. That could be the reason why the rating is so high. Use your judgement and if in doubt, supervise your child.

There is also a matching Wise Men set, available here.

 

Best Wooden Nativity Set for Toddlers

The Haba My First Nativity Play Scene is one of the only heirloom quality nativity sets for toddlers in existence. A very popular German toy company makes this nativity set, and it is easily obtainable in Europe and the UK.  Unfortunately, it isn’t as widely available here in North America as it should be, but you can still find it if you look hard enough.

All eleven figurines are made of ¾” thick beech wood and stand 4” tall.  The set’s stable doubles as the storage box, but isn’t sturdy like the wooden pieces. Heavily reinforced cardboard makes it sturdy, but not heirloom-quality sturdy. The instructions also include different game ideas to help older children stave off boredom over the holiday season.

The best part is that toddlers aged 18 months and up can safely play with this crèche set!

Best Toddler Nativity Set for Story Telling

Softoys carefully created the second of the two all-fabric nativity sets for toddlers, but with a wee twist. The stuffed figurines double as finger puppets! Little ones will love all of the brightly colored figurines. Beautiful embroidered detailing adorn each piece with cheerful grace.

What I truly like about this set is that kids will keep playing it year after year, well after the time they would grow out of the majority of nativity sets recommended for toddlers. Getting everyone together to act out the Nativity Story with these little puppets really would be a fantastic tradition to keep in your family year after year.

This set includes 10 soft finger puppets, 4 animals, and a lovely stable that can safely store all the pieces inside when not in use. All pieces are made out of cotton and polyester, and are completely machine washable. No toxic dyes are used, and no small pieces or loose parts for little ones to choke on. It’s completely safe for babies!

Best Toddler Nativity Toy for Skills Development

You might ask why I’ve included a peg puzzle from KidKraft in my list of nativity sets for toddlers. I wanted to give you one more option that includes all of the important elements, but works a different skill set. All other playsets I’ve discussed generally use the same skills and interactions. Since this is a puzzle, your child will instead work with visual and relational processing and fine motor skills instead of the creative play most nativity scenes invoke.

Because the puzzle still depicts all major elements while remaining compact, this set has an advantage. You can use it to tell the Nativity Story in a more personal setting. Your little one could put all the pieces in as you progress through Bible passages.

The KidKraft Wooden Peg Puzzle Nativity is safe for use by children over the age of two. And when you consider the puzzle’s quality compared to its price, it really is a great value.