Top Tips For Giving Your Nativity Extra Sparkle

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It’s that time of year again when you want your school nativity performance to be one to remember – for all the right reasons! Here are some top tips to get you thinking creatively about how you might give your nativity some extra sparkle:

Choose The Right Nativity For You

It may sound obvious but making the right choice is so important! How many children have you got, how old are they, are you looking for something cute, funny or just easy to rehearse (or perhaps all three)? Use the Nativity Finder on our website to check out all the nativities and Christmas musicals available. With a wealth of Christmas ‘flavours’ to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Get Into The Mood Of The Performance

Get into the mood of the performance and start to get ideas on what it might look like in your setting. Check out the useful info on the opening pages including the character list, cast numbers, props, costumes and any notes on staging. Don’t forget the choreography videos that come with many of our nativities, which will help to give your performance that little bit extra.

Sing, Sing and Sign!

Get everyone singing and enjoying the tunes – there’s nothing more heart-warming than hearing children enjoying a good sing. Make the most of Words on Screen™ for rehearsing; you may also wish to arrange your performance area so the words are visible to the children as they perform. Confident readers can encourage others so everyone can sing out without fear of forgetting the words! If you are a Sparkyard user, remember to use Share Links so songs can be sent home to practise. Many of our nativities include Makaton or BSL signing videos, which are a great way to make your performance more inclusive. (Check out our new The Twinkly Nativity which has Makaton signing videos for ALL of the songs!)

Make It Your Own

Look for ways to make your performance unique by immersing your audience in an atmosphere that reflects your nativity theme. For example, A Fireside Nativity has a whole page on how to create your campfire feel including using camping chairs, tents and of course, fairy lights and bunting! Would some themed refreshments work before or after the show? Could you use lights, colourful drapes, movement, dance etc. to provide special ‘ahh moments’ at certain points in the performance?

Encourage Audience Participation

Children love to see others joining in and it’s so much fun! Be brave and give it a go! Why not have a few extra props hidden strategically around the seating area to be found/held up/worn at a particular time in the performance by someone in the audience? You could even prime certain people beforehand. Get the audience joining in with hand signs or actions. Go through them before the performance starts so they are all ready to join in at the appropriate time. Reprise a favourite song at the end and get the audience to sing along to all or part of it (Sparkyard’s Share Link feature would come in handy again here) – add to the atmosphere by getting some children to stand among or around the audience as they sing!

Involve the community

Check out this blog that gives 10 great ways of involving the wider community in your school nativity. It’s full of wonderful ideas!

Create A Lasting Memory
Create a souvenir for members of the audience/children to take home to remember the occasion – choose something that’s just right for your setting:
  • A themed craft that the children have made.
  • A ‘Thank you for joining us today for our performance of… We couldn’t have done it without you!’ postcard or bookmark.
  • ‘I took part in our Christmas performance of… and I was amazing!’ It could even be a personalized keepsake with a photo of the child in costume.
  • A programme/poster that captures the mood of your show. This could be designed by children or in partnership with older children/members of staff.
End The Performance In Style

It’s easy to get to the end of a performance and be so relieved that it’s done (with no dramas – hopefully!) that you forget the importance of ending well! Make sure that your nativity continues to ‘sparkle’ right until the end of the end! Think about it, prepare for it and practise it with the children so everyone knows what the expectations are for bowing, curtain calls, etc. Read our guide to taking a bow on stage blog here!

Provide A Photo Opportunity

Think about this so you’re ready for it and everyone remains happy and organized! Designated areas/arches around the performance space/classrooms/corridors that have a suitable background theme can work very well. Just make sure your helpers know what, when and how!

Appreciate Each Other!

Sometimes the smallest contribution can have huge significance in a nativity performance so remember to value and appreciate everyone who’s been involved – children and adults. The impact of adding ‘sparkle’ to a nativity often continues way beyond the performance – relationships are strengthened, confidence grows and community is celebrated. Whatever you do this year, make sure that everyone has the opportunity to smile, sparkle and shine!

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