Improvise A Nativity Play
This works with children who are old enough to know the nativity story well, or at least remember it if it has just been read aloud. It also works with mixed age groups.
You need some paper and a pen.
Some simple props could make it more fun. Ideas for props are:
* tea towels (head dresses for Joseph, shepherds and inn keepers);
* a broom (the Donkey that carried Mary);
* and a doll (for baby Jesus).
Write the names of each of the people present on small pieces of paper. Fold the pieces of paper up and put them together in a pile or container. Write the names of the same number of characters from the nativity story on similar pieces of paper and put them together in another pile or container.
If you have a lot of people, be imaginative. You could have lots of shepherds, a flock of sheep or extra angels.
Pick one piece of paper from each pile. The person whose name is on the piece of paper plays the character on the other piece of paper.
Ask the characters to improvise a few short scenes from the nativity story. Ideas are:
* "Mary and Joseph leave to go to Bethlehem",
* "Mary and Joseph look for a room at the inn",
* "The shepherds hear the good news",
* "The inn keeper wonders why there are so many people in his stable".
Encourage your actors to think around the plot and to improvise.
* What does Mary think of the idea of making a long journey when she is heavily pregnant?
* Do the sheep follow the shepherds easily to Bethlehem or do they get distracted by tasty grass?
* Is the inn keeper pleased to find a flock of sheep and strange shepherds in his stable?
If your actors run out of lines or it all gets out of hand, move onto the next scene.