Online printables are a terrific tool to teach children about specific topics. When it comes to the Christmas story about the birth of Jesus, nativity printables are also great props to help the children visualize history's most important event.
Not only do children enjoy coloring the nativity scene, but parents or other adults can also use that time to explain what the images mean.
These printables come in varying complexities to suit children of different ages and skill levels.
Most nativity printables include a manger scene, although occasionally some will have Mary holding baby Jesus as the visitors look on.
Nativity coloring pages can also include a variety of animals, including lambs, donkeys, and cows or oxen. Some images also have a stable as part of the design.
When selecting which image to print, keep in mind the amount of detail with which the child can color and pay attention to how small some of the shapes are. Choosing a suitable level of complexity will help prevent younger children just learning to draw from becoming frustrated.
For younger children, people, objects, or animals drawn with larger shapes work better, unless they're so young that they're mostly scribbling just to be part of things. But for those with just enough skill to color in some of the characters, you want to have enough space for the little artists to work, so they can feel like they accomplished something.
More advanced young artists won't care too much either way. For them, the trick is to choose a picture with more detail so that it is enough of a challenge to keep them from getting bored or finishing the nativity coloring page too quickly.
Nativity Coloring Page
I thought we could start off with simpler printable nativity pages, with minimum detail and lots of area to color in. This is perfect for children who would be overly challenged by small details.
As for this particular nativity coloring page, I like it because the main characters in the story have childlike faces. Some children relate to such faces more easily, inserting themselves into the story.
It's a wonderful nativity scene—easy enough for a child with little experience, but with enough detail to make it somewhat challenging and interesting.
Printable of Jesus, Animals, and Wise Men in Stable
Here is a printable that shows the nativity scene complete with the visiting Magi. Too bad the shepherds weren't included here—then, this picture could have been used to teach the entire Christmas story.
Actually, a number of Bible scholars say that it's likely that the three wise men came to see Jesus at a later point in his life, unlike the shepherds who were actually at his birth. However, those details are not that important for the purpose of telling the story to children.
At first glance, this printable may appear complex. But if you look at the lines and shapes, you can see children can easily color the page with some patience and skill. This scene is perfect for children who need a little challenge.
Nativity Printable of Mary Holding Jesus
Here, Jesus is in Mary's arms instead of the manger as the Wise Men offer him their gifts. The fact the manger is missing from this picture is interesting, considering the previously mentioned fact that the Wise Men may not have visited Jesus until later in his infancy. Here, Jesus does seem to be a little older; He is much larger than a newborn.
Either way, it's a nice coloring page for this scene. The Wise Men are always nice to color because they were more than likely dressed in bright robes.
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Coloring Page
I like this nativity printable because it focuses on the holy family. At this point, the only one looking on is that donkey.
This printable has a different style that uses repeated lines to depict shadow, such as on Mary's robes or the donkey.
Though parts of this will be challenging for some children, it would probably work for most skill levels, the exception being the youngest of children who have trouble coloring within the lines.
Stained Glass Nativity Printable
This final nativity printable is easily the most complex one. This one is even fun for adults who enjoy coloring with their children or grandchildren.
All of those separate panels of glass are perfect for different colors. And though you may not expect it, breaking up the image into fragments helps children concentrate on filling in each shape. Older children will enjoy this particular nativity printable as well, as creating a mosaic effect allows them to be creative with colors.
These nativity printables provide a good range of scenes to choose from. As mentioned earlier, if you want more options, just search for "printable nativity" online, and you'll find all the nativity coloring pages you want.
For those of you that may be doing this with many children, you can easily select a variety of images of approximately equal difficulty in order to offer them options.
Nativity printables are a wonderful way to engage children with the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, while also keeping them busy with a fun activity.
More Christian Printables
- Christmas Angel Printables—Angels are a big part of the Christmas story. It is the angels who herald the arrival of Jesus by appearing before the shepherds and directing them to witness the event. Here are some printables to accompany the story.
- Jesus with Children Printables—Children love to see Jesus spending time with kids like themselves. Here are some teachable coloring pages children will find engaging.
Ruth Martin on November 26, 2019:
The printable with Jesus and the Wisemen in the stable is incorrect. The Wisemen entered the house (Matthew 2:11) and saw the child with His mother Mary.
Jacob on December 21, 2017:
I right-clicked and selected "print picture..." and it came out good on a laser-jet.
Debbie on December 17, 2015:
Can't seem to get it to print without being covered with print and with a faint, fuzzy look to the lines. ?
peachy from Home Sweet Home on November 28, 2012:
beautiful. I am sure kids love to color these print out for christmas. Good job