How to Organise a Sunday School Nativity Play

Posted by in christmas play, church, nativity play, sunday school

Children in nativity costume

Putting on a Sunday school nativity play can be challenging at best. Limited budgeting, rehearsal time and space mean that meticulous organisation is required in order to make it a success.

These top tips will help you organise a Sunday school nativity that’ll go down a treat with children and parents alike.

Putting on a Sunday School Nativity

1. Getting organised

Before you begin, book in dates for the performance and rehearsals so you can be certain that the required space(s) will be free when you need them. If you need other church staff or parents to help out, ask for volunteers now to prevent timetable clashes later on.

2. Choosing a nativity play script

Sunday school nativity play scriptRather than starting from scratch, finding a pre-written script can save you a great deal of time and hassle. And with such a great range of traditional and contemporary nativity play scripts available to order online, you’re guaranteed to find something suitable.

Many even come with audio CDs containing backing tracks, so there’s no need to get a musician on board.

3. Casting

As soon as you have your nativity play script, give it a quick read and think about the different roles as you go through. Base your casting choices on the children’s individual attributes, and don’t forget to assign understudies in case someone falls ill or has an outbreak of nerves on the night.

4. Costumes and props

Once you have assigned a role to each child, send letters home with them or chat to their parents to organise costumes and props. It’s more than likely that they’ll be happy to help, and they may even volunteer other skills or donate equipment to help you out.

5. Rehearsals

Plan each rehearsal in advance so that you and the children know exactly what to expect each week. If you have helpers, it might be more constructive if you split everyone into groups to work through particular scenes and songs.

6. Advertising

At least a month before the big day, put posters up around the church as well as any local cafes, meeting rooms and notice boards. Write to the newspapers and if you have a website or social media page, don’t forget to advertise the event and advise on how to book, if necessary.

7. The night of the nativity play

The last hour before the nativity play can be extremely nerve-wracking for young performers, so no matter how nervous you might feel, try your best to instil confidence. Once the play begins, stay on hand in case anyone forgets their lines, and remember to smile encouragingly throughout.

At the end, encourage several rounds of applause, not only for the children but also for anyone who helped out. You never know, they might end up getting involved again next year…

The most important thing to remember through all of this is that you’re putting on a Sunday school nativity play, not a West End production. So sit back, relax and don’t take it too seriously – the children will enjoy it much more, and they might even learn a thing or two in the process!

Sunday's Cool - Immanuel!If you’re stuck for Christmas play ideas this year, try Out of the Ark. They supply a fantastic selection of musical resources, ranging from Sunday school songbooks for children to nativity plays and musicals. Each one comes with notes, musical score and audio CD containing backing and vocal tracks to help make life that little bit easier.