Matteo’s Sunday School teachers sent him home the other week with a small manger, a tiny baby Jesus, & a bag of straw. They explained that each time Matteo was helpful or kind he would get to add some more straw to his manger.
Matteo was so into this & would ask if he could clean up or do nice things so that he could get more straw! He talked about how he was going to make such a comfy bed for baby Jesus, & that he would love it… So cute.
It gave us the opportunity to talk about Jesus & Christmas in a way that interested him, & it encouraged good behavior in a positive way (rather than the spying on you, empty threats of Elf on the Shelf).
And when Matteo earned all of his straw, he was so happy to get to play with baby Jesus. It was a sweet moment, & the bonus was the comical phrases that came about…
“Are you comfy, baby Jesus?”
“I hope the cows don’t moo & wake you up”
“Sorry that your straw is falling out. I’ll fix it.”
“Uh oh… I think baby Jesus just pooped.”