The Nativity of Christ: Fabric Learning Set

to purchase the fabric and make the learning set on your own – a very quick and simple DIY project that can be done either sewing it or without sewing. When ordering, make sure FLEECE fabric is chosen. Scroll down for shopping details and instructions.

This is a product from our collaboration with St. Tabitha’s Workshop.

Our learning set is an act-out educational resource made out of soft fleece. It teaches the Nativity of Christ in a hands-on, Orthodox-focused way, helping the children better understand the events and theology of this Great Feast.

It consists of:
Eleven learning pieces.
– A background mat, which can also be used to store the pieces.

ORTHODOX CONCEPTS TAUGHT BY THIS SET

Using this learning set, the children will be exposed to the Orthodox icon of the Nativity of Christ and its various storytelling layers. Acting out the different scenes, they will have the chance to get familiar with the following Orthodox concepts:

  • According to Orthodoxy, through the Incarnation of God the whole of creation acquired new meaning and potential.
  • At the Nativity, representatives of the whole created world gave thanks to God by offering something to the newborn Christ.
  • The icon and Kontakion of the Nativity both tell the story of Christ’s birth.
  • The two are closely connected – the icon visually represents what is verbally described in the Kontakion.
  • In the icon, we observe a variety of scenes that seem to occur at the same time but, in reality, happened at separate times.
  • Every object in the icon has deep theological meaning and all elements have a scriptural reference from the Bible and the Holy Tradition.

Free Lesson Plan

For a lesson plan to complement this learning set, including an animation video, please visit our page: A lesson on the Nativity of Christ.

Please note:

This is an educational resource to help teach Orthodox Christian children. Please be mindful when using, washing or storing it, since it depicts holy objects and images inspired by icons, which in real life are treated with reverence. Finished item not suitable for children under three years old.

MAKE-YOUR-OWN LEARNING SET

For a very easy DIY project, our fabric can be ordered from “St. Tabitha’s Workshop” online fabric shop, to cut and make your own learning set. The preparation mostly involves cutting the pieces, all the instructions are printed on the fabric, and there is very little to no sewing required.

Below we demonstrate a very quick and easy way that requires no sewing, and can be done together with the kids. After we cut out all the pieces, we used fabric glue to attach the pocket. An even easier option is to skip using the pocket altogether, and just roll up the pieces inside the background mat for storage.

DIY TUTORIAL

STEP 1

For one complete learning set, order one “FAT QUARTER” in FLEECE FABRIC – use the drop down menus to select fabric and fabric size.

For a large number of learning sets, change the amount to YARD – each yard contains four sets. Indicate how many yards you wish to order – the display will change to show what will be printed.

We have designed this set for fleece fabric, as it is sturdy, doesn’t fray, it is soft and cuddly, it lays flat, and the pieces stick nicely to each other during play. Please make sure fleece is chosen – if you choose another type of fabric the design may not be printed properly.


STEP 2

Cut out all the pieces following the instructions on the fabric.


STEP 3

Fold the pocket to the back of the mat.


STEP 4

Spread fabric glue on the edges of the inside of the pocket except the top.


STEP 5

Glue the pocket on the back of the background mat.


STEP 6

Place a heavy book over the glued pocket and let stand for 1-2 hours, or until completely dry.


TO STORE

To store the pieces after using, place them inside the pocket. Roll the pocket inside the rest of the mat. Secure with a ribbon.


You can staple the ribbon on the edge of the mat so it stays connected to the mat when it is opened.


ALTERNATIVELY

Instead of using the pocket for storage, place the learning pieces on the mat, roll the mat up, and secure with a ribbon.


READY to LEARN!


Please note: Except from the fabric product itself, we do not receive any financial compensation for the external links that we mention in our posts. We are only including them to share our experience and to make it easier for the reader, if interested, to find the products we used.