The Nativity Story Simplified For Toddlers

The nativity story has it all; tradition, magic, fantastical creatures, royalty, animals, and of course a baby! Every year, in thousands of schools and churches around the globe, the story will be recounted and acted out. It’s a story that many of us know inside out.

Last week, I shared some Christmas songs that are easy for little ones to pick up, and this week I’m going to give you a simple account of the nativity story to share with your toddler (for primary school children, check out my Christingle Service story which is fully interactive again and my christingle songs for primary school kids).

The Nativity Story

A long time ago, there was a lady called Mary.

One day, while Mary was doing the washing up, she saw a bright light.

She had to cover her eyes because it was so bright – let the children cover their eyes.

The bright light was an angel. Angels are very beautiful creatures who live in Heaven and work for God.

The angel gave Mary a message from God – he said she was going to have a baby.

Soon Mary’s tummy started to get bigger as the baby in her tummy started to grow – can you point to your tummy?

Just a few weeks before her baby was ready to be born, the king told all the people in the country that they had to travel to the place where their family was from.

Mary had to travel a long way to a town called Bethlehem.

She had to walk very slowly because she had a baby in her tummy – have a go at walking slowly.

When Mary got to Bethlehem, all the hotels were full, so she had to sleep in a barn, where the animals sleep – what animals might live in a barn? Can you make their noises?

Nativity Story Jesus and the Animals

Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus had to sleep in a barn with the animals

That night, Mary’s baby was born. She called him ‘Jesus’.

Mary didn’t have a cot to put baby Jesus in so she laid him in the animal’s food bowl!

Jesus was a special baby – he was God’s baby – and God wanted everyone to know that Jesus had been born.

Most of the people in Bethlehem were asleep – can you make a snoring sound?

But there were some shepherds in the fields, looking after their sheep – what noise does a sheep make?

God sent some angels to sing to the shepherds and tell them all about baby Jesus.

The shepherds were so excited that they ran to the barn to see Jesus.

Nativity Story Angel Star

God sent some angels and a star to tell people about Jesus’ birth

God also put a giant star in the sky like a big birthday candle for baby Jesus.

Some clever men were looking at the sky and they saw the special star.

They followed the star all the way to baby Jesus.

When they saw him, they bowed down to tell Jesus that they thought he was special – can the children bow?


The traditional nativity story is getting squeezed out of Christmas, because the shops can make a lot more money off the back of Santa. But real nativity story is just as magical and it’s part of our heritage. Children love the story, and I hope this simple version helps you to share the nativity story with your little one.

Nativity Story Bible Matthew's Gospel


The Nativity Story Simplified for Toddlers




Add yours
  1. 1
    Sarah Barrett

    Hi Lucy
    This is brilliant. Animal noises and actions are the most exciting thing for little ones. I run a toddlers group and the most favourite Christmas book we read is one where we meet the cast of the nativity story and make noises with animals.
    I’ve a few friends looking for simple English Christmas stories so I’ll be sharing this!
    Wishing you and your family a Peaceful Christmas and a blessed New Year #Blogginggoodtime

  2. 5

    This is great, my daughter is 2 but will definitely understand this simplified story…you’re right, the Nativity is being told less and less at Christmas, it’s important to teach our kids about it! #PoCoLo

  3. 7
    Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    I have to admit that I’ve not talked about the nativity story with my two year old at all – I’d thought it was a bit beyond him, and we’re not a religious family. But I think he’d definitely understand at least some of this. I’ll give it a go, and if not, then I think he’ll definitely be ready next year! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  4. 8
    Laura - dear bear and beany

    Alice loves reading the nativity story that we have. Her school have been talking about it a lot in preparation for their nativity play. Holly is a little bit young to understand it, but I think next year she will be joining her sister. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  5. 11
    Stephanie Robinson

    Brilliant – and you’re right it is a magical story and one we shouldn’t let get squeezed out in the commercialism that is now Christmas. Hope you had a lovely Christmas, thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo and thanks for linking up with us this year. It’s been lovely to get to know more about you and your blog, and here’s to a fabulous-er 2017!

  6. 15
    Carmen Fraser

    Thank you for sharing this. I will be telling it to our toddler group next week and intersperse it with some of their favourite songs.

  7. 16

    Hi Lucy, thanks for this lovely version of the nativity story for toddlers. We’re currently running an outdoor Covid-safe toddler group based around a trail (Either a story or scavenger hunt) through the woodland. I would love to use your version of this story for our trail this Christmas Session if that’s ok?

  8. 18
    Dana Rodriguez

    I bought a children’s Nativity set for an almost 2 year old and needed a very simplified version of the story. Having no luck finding an appropriate age level book, I was so happy to come across your version. This is a wonderful way to share the story and incorporate actions. Thank you for making this a delightful experience! We added some additional actions and are having fun re-enacting this story over and over.

  9. 19
    Dori Reynolds

    I love how simple and appropriate you made the Christmas story. Do you have one for Easter? I’m just wondering how to tackle the difficult topics for toddler’s immature imagination and not scare them.

  10. 21

    Lucy, I just found this..thank you! Hoping to share it with my three-year-old grandson-adding some visuals. So much appreciate you putting this out there so we can keep Christ in Christmas with our youngest family members.

  11. 22

    Hi, Lucy, I purchased a Nativity set for my three year old grandson to use to re-enact the Christmas story. I was looking for a simple retelling to use with the Nativity set that would make the story real and meaningful for him. Your post is perfect! God bless you and your family!

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