Northern Ireland

A twist to the Nativity play, the children have exited the stage - and the building

CHILDREN are letting their imaginations - and themselves - run a little wild in a twist to the performance of the tale of the birth of Jesus.

A legacy of Covid is that the three and four year olds at Holy Family nursery have taken the nativity outside.

"They told the story of the nativity in their unique way but still have time to play," said Christina McCullagh, head of the play school.

"And they are not a slave to rehearsals, which can take a serious of time and where the children are trying to learn lines over and over again."

At Holy Family, the kids are allowed to "run wild" and deliver the gist of the story. Ms McCulllagh does some edits before sending the video out to families.

She says the kid are never going back inside again to perform the nativity.

"During Covid we had to think creatively day to day. As we spend a lot of time outdoors, we decided to use our wonderful outdoor environment as the authentic back drop," Ms McCullagh explained.

"The shed is like a stable. The shepherds would have been outside. The journey to Bethlehem would have been longer than any stage. It all lends itself to the story.

"We were able to record it and send it home via the online learning journal so parents, grandparents and family members didn't miss out. As a result of this experience, we realised too much time was spent on rehearsing for the stage version of the nativity. It was taking the children away from 'free play' that is so crucial at this pre-school age. The legacy of Covid is that we continue to perform our nativity in this child centred way. This year was extra special due to the frost."

Parents were invited to the school to watch and then they spent time in the Children's Kitchen decorating Christmas logs.