Gingerbread Man

I Can Build A Gingerbread House!

Gingerbread house making is so much fun, for my younger and older children and me as well!

We have made those houses and trains from the kits, but these homeade gingerbread houses are the best and the most fun! It is also fun to build in the classroom, if you have extra classroom help like parents or a teacher assistant. 

Step by Step Picture Directions of “How to Build a Gingerbread House”

1. Carefully open the Graham crackers, so that none will break.

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2. Carefully snap the rectangle crackers into squares.

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3. Get your work area ready. My daughter, here, is VERY ready!

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4. Cut out cardboard bases for each gingerbread house from the Graham cracker box or any box you can find.

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5. When you flip it over, no one will ever know.

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6. Make a strip of icing on the base, so that you can begin “gluing” your first Gingerbread wall to the base. Hold it there for about 30 seconds, or until it no longer flops down.

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7. Repeat. Add your second wall by adding more icing.

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Pause for the most updated 2016 Pictures!!!!!

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unpause—–Continue with directions……..

8. As you add more walls, the house becomes more sturdy.

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9. Oh, look how cute the house is looking!

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10. This part can be more tricky. If you keep your home or class a little colder than normal, it helps the icing stick better for some reason. The triangles were made by cutting one square in half.

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11. Now, add the top of the roof. Be sure to add icing to hold it all together.

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12. Or, you can just add a square on top and skip those other steps above.

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13. Now, gather your candy. Eat some.

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14. Now, go decorating crazy!

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Here is our little Neighborhood!

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Scroll down for the Recipe and Directions, so you can make your own Gingerbread houses too!

Sidenote & Reflection…..In 2011, I wrote: “This is the second year I will be making Gingerbread houses with my own children and my Kindergarten students. This is a fun way to incorporate Recipe reading and following directions step-by-step. Thanks to some other wonderful teachers, I was able to learn the basic rules of gingerbread mastery! Granted, it was a little stressful the first time, I am now ready to take on this tradition yet again. I also found so many other teachers & parents who are doing the same thing! It can be done with fun!” My, oh my, how my children have grown. These pictures here are from 2 years ago-wow! 

We put the candies into coffee filters, to keep them from rolling all over the table. Our children are 3, 5 and 7 here.

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I made the base of the houses first and let the icing dry for one day. The next day, I let the kids add the candies with their royal icing. They dipped their candies into the icing then added the candy to the gingerbread house.

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Our little one enjoyed adding cereal and marshmallows to his little house. Whatever you have on hand always works best.

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Gingerbread House Ingredients:

Brand Name Graham Crackers – 1 box

1 pound of Confectioners Sugar

3 eggs

Vanilla (optional)

Cream of Tartar (for Royal icing-do not skip this)

Candy Suggestions -Red hots, gum drops, Spearmint leaves, Lemonheads, M & M’s, round mints

Directions:

Choose a base, like a small paper plate or a piece of cardboard, to place the gingerbread house on. You will need 7 graham cracker squares for each house,  4 for the sides and 3 for the top. Allow time for the bottom to dry before creating and adding the roof with the icing.

To store and use the icing, you can choose either a ziploc bag, an icing bag with a decorator tip or a squeeze bottle. Just recently, I started using some cute little bottles from Wal-Mart, which are very convenient.

Royal Icing Recipe (Compliments of J.Thomas)

1 lb. powdered sugar

3 egg whites

1/2 t. Cream of Tartar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional) this adds nice flavor!

Beat egg whites until frothy, for about 7 minutes (I always beat it by hand). Gradually add sugar and Cream of Tartar.  The icing should be a little thicker than Elmer’s glue. Place in a bag or container. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

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Gingerbread Bakery-Simulated Field Trip!

Eating Gingerbread cookies is yummy and fun! Reading about them is enriching….but shopping for the ingredients and making them at school is MAGICAL and memorable!

I set up a “store” in my classroom where I put out every item needed to make gingerbread men (butter, molasses, the baking sheet, etc.). I then gave every child a large brown bag and $3. They shopped for and chose 3 items. A few students used a list that I made, which had pictures on it- and this showed them what I wanted them to buy. This worked wonderfully for my students with autism, as it gave them my expectations in pictures. After shopping everyone was seated at one table, I called out the ingredients and we placed them in the center.

We then read and followed the recipe. The mixing began! The flour flew and spilled and it was oh so much fun! After refrigerating the dough for an hour, the children had fun rolling it and using gingerbread men cookie cutters. They put them on the cookie sheet and then we all went to the oven, put them in- and waited. While waiting with our timer for 8 minutes, we read Christmas books in the library! The timer beeped and the students wondered if their cookies would run away?! I opened the oven and one student ended our lesson by saying, “look, they are gingerbread babies-and they are sleeping!” Our children are precious!

You can download more detailed instructions and printables for this simulated Bakery lesson
from my TpT “store” atby clicking on these words

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Gingerbread Writing and Reading Kindergarten Activities

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Oh how we love the gingerbread man! We were busy reading, writing and demonstrating prepositions with a take home book. Then, we wrote and read about parts of a gingerbread man. Then, sequencing a cut up sight word sentence. Graphing the first part of the cookie that was eaten first was the next activity. You can download the printables from my TpT “store” here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/My-Little-Gingerbread-Man-Mini-Unit-by-greenbeankindergarten-1005374 as a part of a mini-unit

gingerbread unit

PREPOSITION Book – This is printable and all you need is a gingerbread die-cut for the students to glue and add to the correct place as you are teaching “where” to place him.

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SIGHT WORD Sentence Cut Apart and Writing Book – This is great for reading, writing and fine motor work.

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This is the famous “First Bite” Chart that is not my original idea. You simply pass out a gingerbread cookie (I like the Little Debbie brand). Have the children take a bite and ask them which body part they ate first. Then graph it either with their picture, a gingerbread die-cut, or by them writing their own name under the correct section.

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Fun Gingerbread Craft-ivity! My wonderful teacher Assistant created this with our students. She reviewed the body parts and discussed 2 legs, 2 arms, 2 eyes, 1 mouth, 1 stomach and then decided which body parts of the gingerbread man were real shapes (the stomach, the head and the eyes). Next, the children chose and named the color and amount of buttons they wanted. Oh, how we just love how they turned out!

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RHYMING MAN – Here is our cute little dude that is helping us learn to rhyme words. This is quite possibly one of the hardest pre-reading skills in kindergarten! Rhyming can also be kind of boring, but our students had a lot of fun rhyming with the gingerbread man. First, I drew him on this chart paper. Then, I passed out only words that DID rhyme with -an and MAN. So, I set them up for success. Any word that they said or read to me WAS a word that rhymed with man. Then, I modeled how to write the word. After the 5-10 minute whole group lesson, this then became a small group lesson. I placed a double set of flashcards for the students to play “Memory,” and find 2 words that were the same and matched together. In another station, I placed the Rhyming man chart and placed a set of the flashcards for the children to match on top of the written word. For the next day, I drew a TREE and we did the exact same lesson, but with words that end in /-e/. On the third day, we sorted /-e/ and /-an/ words. Download the printable and 3-day lesson here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Rhyming-Word-Sort-Simple-Printable-1015046

Gingerbread rhyming image

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Cute gingerbread clipart from: http://www.mycutegraphics.com

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