When Ioan was in pre-school, he requested that we go to the willow tree house in our local park so that they could role play the Nativity scene in the stable. As huge fans of child-led learning and learning outdoors, this was ideal. For the third year running they requested we go and do it again this year.


  • Costumes – we used their dressing gowns and tea towels
  • Stuffed animals


Back in 2017, when our 4 year old Ioan was in charge of recreating his vision, he had very clear idea of what he wanted to achieve. He thought through all the details, from the animals he wanted to take, to the kitchen roll to place on the logs to stop his cows getting dirty.

He had a slight wobble when he realised I wasn’t going to let him walk round the village, knocking on doors until we found a newborn baby. We improvised with their doll, Thomas.

The other issue was that the ground was damp and he was reluctant to put his sheep down incase they got wet. This meant he had to hold them. He was very clear whilst explaining to 2 year old Finn, that Joseph wasn’t one of the shepherds, he was a carpenter who just didn’t want the sheep getting dirty. He also thought he’d better explain that Mary was really a girl because, “Even God can’t make boys have babies!”

In 2018 their brother was born. Before he even arrived, Ioan was excited planning this year’s role play because he would have a real life baby Jesus! We didn’t anticipate quite how big Cian would be and had to take this picture in November, as even at 5 weeks old he was so long he took up 2 logs.

This year, Finn was very excited to be Joseph in his pre-school Nativity and happily handed the role of Mary on to his little brother. Ioan decided to be the shepherd he’d been so worried of being confused with the previous two years.

Luckily Joseph is very good with babies, as Mary was much more interested in doing ‘her’ deep squats than any childcare duties.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Understanding the world

People and communities

40-60+ Developing

  • Enjoys joining in with family customs and routines.

Expressive Arts and Design

Being imaginative

30-50 Secure

  • Uses available resources to create props to support role-play.
  • Captures experiences and responses with a range of media, such as music, dance and paint and other materials or words.