“ Age: 5 Years+ / Type: Painting „
While I know Christmas is all about Santas, baubles and presents for children I always try to instill a little of the true meaning into activities I undertake with them in the run up to the festivities. One such item was a set of Mary and Joseph figurines with a baby Jesus in his manger which I bought from Hawkins Bazaar.
The beautifully detailed figures arrive securely packaged in a plastic 'folder' which keeps them safe from bumps and bangs in the post, they are a pristine white ceramic and look lovely even unpainted but I had ordered my two older granddaughters' a set each so the following Saturday they sat down with their kits ready to create a lovely Nativity scene.
This set is an absolutely wonderful idea as it not only gave the girls' something to do on these long Winter nights, but also gave an excuse for discussions into the religious aspects of Christmas which the nine year old particularly enjoyed as she more than her sister is showing a leaning towards some kind of faith despite the fact that she lives with my family of heathens!
The characters are beautifully cast with attractive facial features, their heads are bowed in prayer and Mary and Joseph look serene and very calming. The paintbrush provided is of very good quality, the bristles are fairly rigid and perfect for both the larger areas you will need to paint and also the smaller more detailed parts. The paints are perfectly adequate, I was a little disappointed to see there are only six little pots provided but my resourceful granddaughter realised she could mix them on a saucer to create more lifelike colours.
The baby Jesus is what captured my granddaughters' attention the most, it's just so terribly sweet and once they had painted the straw and fleshy body it looked gorgeous. We arranged the figures so that Mary and Joseph were gazing at their beautiful child and as a whole the set look fantastic.
Now they have been painted my little nativity scenes look absolutely beautiful. I have kept one for my living room and sent the girls' home with the other one for their mum, they look so sweet and because they have been painted by my granddaughters' I think so much more of them than a shop bought set of figures. No, they're not painted to Michaelangelo standards but who cares? These figures will be kept for many years and shall be bought out with the rest of the decorations every year, they're already beautiful but eventually this will be a reminder of childhood's past.
The sets are £5.99 each which might seem a little expensive, but these really are such attractive and fun characters that I believe it's money well spent and helps teach children about Christmas without dwelling on snowmen and reindeer too much!
A set of three well-detailed ceramic Nativity figures with six paints and a brush.