Traveling with the Shepherd This Christmas

Visiting the Manger Printable Shepherd's Story Activity

For children, some of the most intriguing characters from the nativity stories are the shepherds, perhaps because at least some of the shepherds are imagined as being young. Catechists and parents can take advantage of the fascination that children have with shepherds and the nativity story by “traveling” with the shepherd from the wonderful book, The Shepherd’s Story, visiting local nativity scenes with a cutout shepherd boy.

Invite children and families to take pictures of the shepherd next to the family nativity as well as at various crèche scenes in the community. Then share the photos on social media using the hashtag #ShepherdsStory, describing the various nativity scenes and any history or stories related to them and their location. Catechists can use this as an opportunity to talk about the great variety found in nativity scenes (especially ethnic influences), while emphasizing the aspects of the nativity story that are universal in all depictions of Jesus’ birth.

Download the Visiting the Manger activity (cutout shepherd) here.

This is just one of many activities associated with The Shepherd’s Story that catechists and parents alike can use during the Advent and Christmas seasons to engage young people with the wonder of the nativity. Check out these other engaging activities here.

About Joe Paprocki 2739 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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