Nursery Rhyme Nativities

Three easy to perform plays for pre-school and early years learning

Brian Ogden

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One of the biggest problems faced by those working with very young children at Christmas is how to involve pre-readers in the nativity story with the minimum of fuss and manageable preparation.

Here is an ideal solution that will delight teachers and parents alike. In this book, popular author Brian Ogden offers three very diverse plays - all of which can be performed with groups of any size. Each one tells the story of the first Christmas from a difference perspective, using well-known nursery rhyme turnes to bring the storyline to life. Simple directions, costumes and props ensure that the children are given the opportunity to participate fully in the performance.

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Author info

Brian Ogden was for many years a teacher and RE advisor for the diocese of Peterborough and Chelmsford. He is author of several books published under the Barnabas imprint. He is a regular speaker in schools, typically sharing his stories and his work with more than 7,000 children in the course of a year.


'Friends told us it was the best nativity they'd seen Reception perform.'

'The children found the songs really easy to learn and wanted to do it again and again.'

Key Stage One Teachers

From the Association of Christian Teachers website - October 2008

This book commends itself as a book of three Christmas plays, aimed at the youngest of our children, which can be performed with a minimum of fuss and manageable preparation.

The stories are told with the suggestion that adults (or very competent older children) should read the parts of the narrators, with the young children miming the action and singing the songs with the audience joining in the singing. The songs all use the tunes of nursery rhymes and have newly written words to fit the story e.g. Mary's Song sung to the tune of 'London Bridge is Falling Down'. Illustrated photocopiable pages of song words are given with the suggestion that they could be put on acetate or made into booklets. The book includes simple music scores and craft templates including animal masks and crib figures.

This book is a wonderful resource for pre-school and KS1 teachers and also for church groups who rarely have a full complement of actors until the day of the play - the numbers of those acting is infinitely flexible.

This is a book that I will be passing on to my vicar, our pre-school leader and my KS1 manager. I rather suspect that they will be fighting over it!

Reviewed by Jan Randall, Class Teacher and RE Manager, Nursling Primary School, Southampton, Hampshire

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857460677
  • Published: 13 September 2002
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 64
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