Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nativity Sets for Toddlers

For as long as I could remember, my favorite part of preparing for Christmas wasn't putting up the tree, but setting up my mother's elaborate nativity set.  Each year we would try to find a new figurine to add to it, and now as I unbox them I can recall the stores we purchased them it, the look on my mom's face as she unwrapped it, and the placement it's been given over time within the set.  Now that I host Christmas for the family, my mother has passed down the set to me, and it's my most treasured decoration of the season.

Because Hannah is at an age where every decoration is up for grabs, I'm only unpacking a small portion of the nativity set, but this is an example picture of the style of my Fontanini set.

Hannah was very interested in the figurines, and I used it as an opportunity to again explain the meaning behind Christmas.  While the figurines aren't easily breakable, I have been discouraging Hannah from playing with them. 

It's a little too late to get Hannah her own nativity set for this Christmas, but I'd like to get her one next year when she's three.  Her brother will be about 9 months old so it needs to be baby and toddler friendly.  Here are a few I've found so far:

At about $25, this set is reasonably priced.  We own a few Little People sets and they are perfect for babies and toddlers alike - they're not breakable, light weight, and fit easily in tiny hands.  This set is also high in cute factor, and plays Away in a Manger if you add 3 AAA batteries to the stable.

This price runs under $30, but I'm not familiar with the brand or the quality of their products.  I do like that there is a stable, multiple animals and angels included.  I also like that the figurines are more realistic than the Little People set.

With a list price of $45, this set is probably not going to be the one I select.  I like that the figurines are posable with movable arms, but I wish it included the three wise men.

Coming in at under $30, this set is at a good price point, and everyone knows I love my Melissa & Doug toys.  The wooden blocks are durable, I'm just not sure they're as enticing as the other sets.  I WANT Hannah to play with her nativity set.  I want it to be a toy that inspires conversations and storytelling.  While my set is meant to be enjoyed visually, I want Hannah to be excited to play with hers.

Although it's a little 'babyish', I have to admit that I'm leaning towards the Little People set.  I trust the quality, I like all the animals included, and I know Hannah will respond positively to it.  

That said, I have a year to make up my mind and I'd love some reader feedback.  Do you own any of these sets - or perhaps a different one I didn't find during my search?  Reviews, both positive and negative, are welcome.  


  1. I'd definitely vote for the Little People set. I was going to buy this for my little girl (11 months old), but decided on a doll for this Christmas and I plan to buy that next year sometime when she's a little older. I think the quality is great and I have other Little People sets that I really like.

  2. My church has the little people set and the kids love them.

  3. We have the little people set and a Veggie Tales nativity. We love both!

  4. Love the Little People Nativity, we have all three. It is just precious. I have a four and two and a half year old. They both love Little People toys and this set is just perfect for them.

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