Toilet Roll Nativity

Making the toilet roll nativity scene has become somewhat of a tradition in our house.  This is the fourth Christmas with children in our home and the fourth rendition of the loo roll nativity!


The first year my daughter was still very young, so I just made Mary and Joseph and a little manger for baby Jesus.  She was at the crawling and chomping stage so the characters were pretty well trashed by the time Christmas was over.  The second year we made the characters day by day and added the shepherds and wise men.  Last year we spent a whole week making the scene and we suspended silvery angels above the stable too!  But this year is the first year my daughter has really wanted to take over help.  She wanted to do the glue “all by my own” and draw the faces.  She picked the fabric for every character and was quite insistent about some of her choices.

I love that at three she is already so familiar with the story of the first Christmas.  I put the pile of toilet rolls in front of her and she was able to pull out how many we needed.  “We need Mary and Joseph.  We need three wise men.  We need some shepherds.  And some angels Mummy.  A lot of angels (I talked her back down to two…)  We need to have a manger with some hay for baby Jesus.  And a donkey.  We sure need a donkey.”

A donkey?!  She’s right of course.  They sure needed that donkey.  Can’t wait to see what she wants to add next year.


A friend recently asked me why we make it again every year, rather than just keep it and reuse it.  I think the process is more important than the product here.  This is not a pristine display piece.  One day I might buy a beautiful set (like the gorgeous Willow Tree one) but for now I love that my kids can make the story, retell the story, play with the story and interact with the characters in their own way.  They don’t have to be precious with it, and won’t be told not to touch.  The first Christmas was, and still is, for everyone.

Luke 2:10

The angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news

of great joy that will be for all the people…”

PS – thanks to the friend who first showed me a toilet roll nativity she made with her own daughter long before I was a mother.

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26 thoughts on “Toilet Roll Nativity

  1. @Narelle – post yours too :)

    I wouldn’t use toilet rolls with someone else’s kids but I’m happy to in my own home with my own kiddos. Paper towel rolls or rolled cardboard work just as well!

  2. Cool, cool very cool!
    I’m rushing around the house scrounging up any toilet rolls I can find.
    Yes Mr9, Miss8 and Miss 6 can make them all by themselves – what a wonderful I idea for the ‘not so crafty mum’!
    I haven’t got my nice display out this year because it would be a little to lovely for miss 2 to stay away from.
    Thanks Cath. :)
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..New Workspace =-.

  3. I made my own toilet roll nativity when I was in highschool. No idea why, but it was a bit of fun :p. I think Jesus ended up being just a face in a half shell (not a hero in a half shell, because that’s turtle power!)
    .-= Fiona´s last blog ..Lava Espresso Bar @ Weston =-.

  4. Love it, as for the toilet roll issue, I use them all the time however if they are for use with others you can spray them with glen 20 and leave them out in the sun for a day. Any germs will go. However if no one was sick when they were being used they should be fine anyway. I dont know of a single person who has ever gotten sick from a toilet roll.

    I would love to see a toilet roll version Miss 3 comes up with of Noahs Ark, her Donkey is great.

    Maybe Mr 1 can make the water for the great flood. Tearing up blue paper that is.
    .-= Rizoleey´s last blog ..Apparently we are now living inside a grade 1 classroom! =-.

  5. I love that the kids can play and interact with this navity set. So much of christmas kids must feel is “look but don’t touch” – from the christmas tree ornaments to the presents. And it’s a nice way of making family stories too – I’m sure we’ll look back and laugh at the angry shepherds, and the donkey! Although I’m terrified I’ll be asked next year how to make a toilet roll donkey head!

  6. I used to make one with my kindy kids all those years ago. I love your nativity Cath and I love how much your little girl is into it. Just another wonderful way of celebrating the birth of Jesus.
    .-= Busy Brissy Mum´s last blog ..Chocolate Balls =-.

  7. This is crazy cute!! I know that your kids have a blast.
    The best part is that you have started a wonderful tradition at Christmas, the one that counts.

  8. I think this is such a neat idea. I’m planning to do it with my kids this week. These are the little treasures you’ll want to keep for a long time so they can always mark the memories of Christmas’ past. Thanks for sharing it (and thanks for stopping by my spot).

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