Gingerbread Crafts to Celebrate Winter
Gingerbread crafts are a great way to celebrate winter! December is always so full of holiday activity. I often save gingerbread crafts and activities for January. In this post you will find three gingerbread crafts including a step by step tutorial for a mini gingerbread man puppet and stage. My kindergarten students enjoy retelling the folktale of the Gingerbread Man with this hand made craft! In this post I will also share ways to make literacy connections with the many variations of the Gingerbread Man story. In addition, you will find a simple way to make a gingerbread house out of candy as well as resources for other gingerbread learning activities.
Gingerbread Crafts: Puppets and a stage to retell the tale of The Gingerbread Man
I first got the idea for this project when the kinders in my school were studying and celebrating the tale of the Gingerbread Man. This project is a fun way to make a literary connection with the arts. They will get to experience multimedia art with layers of collage, drawing and oil pastel. And, in the end, they can experience a little bit of puppet theater as they retell the story,, or make up their own tale. I used the tale of the Gingerbread Baby, by Jan Brett, simply because of the beautiful gingerbread house in the story. It makes the setting so fun to make and so winter festive! Are you ready to try it?
Here’s what you will need: A large piece of light blue construction paper, 2 pieces of 4×6 light brown construction paper, white oil pastels, color oil pastels, glue, scissors, glitter glue bottles (optional but worth it!), and a variety of sequins and bedazzlement. last but not least, craft sticks for the puppets.
Tip: Use a glue stick to cut down on the mess here. The only time you will need liquid glue is for the sequins and bedazzlement!
Making the Gingerbread House Stage
Step 1: First, show how to rub a broken pastel on it’s side to give the appearance of snow. Make the snow half way up the page.
Step 2: Then, show how to cut off the two corners on the top of the brown construction paper. This will give the appearance of a roof. Glue house to the snow.
Step 3: Also, show how to add details with the white pastel. I call this the “icing”. You will need a good layer of icing. Kids can also add snow and clouds on this step.
Step 4: Next, add oil pastel lines and shapes. I show how to make candy shape patterns which is a great way to add a math connection for our youngest learners. In addition, kids can add candy and embellishments to the “yard”.
Step 5: Last, show how to add small dots of glue to make sequin patterns. You can pattern most any bauble you want here as long as it’s not to heavy. Kids can also add lines of glitter glue to create a pattern or outline the main shapes. This step is optional but it really elevates the excitement level and the overall look! If you have extra time you can give the kiddos some pre-cut gingerbread man shapes to draw on and glue to the page. When the piece is dry, fold the sides toward the middle so you have a trifold. This will allow it to stand on its own so kids can use it as a mini stage.
Making the Gingerbread Man Puppets
The gingerbread puppet craft uses the same steps as the gingerbread house. I give the kiddos a gingerbread man shaped tracer to trace and cut out, or you can precut them. I use a brown paper that is a big as the house. First, they use the pastel to color in the clothes and draw a face. Then we draw candy patterns on top. Last we add glitter glue and bedazzlement, such as sequins and buttons. When they are dry, I simply tape a popsicle stick to the back so they can use them as a puppet.
Now you are ready to tell the story of the Gingerbread Man with a handmade stage setting and puppets!
Need more puppets and more characters? You can find printable puppets from the story here:
Popsicle Stick Puppets for the Gingerbread Man by Making Learning Fun
Gingerbread Crafts:AN extra Large Gingerbread Man Collage with a Theme
This year, my affinity for gingerbread crafts took a sentimental turn as my son entered kindergarten. His teacher really knows how to make learning fun! They explored variations on the tale of the Gingerbread Man. My little buddy’s favorite was the Gingerbread Bear. For homework they decorated a large paper cut out of a gingerbread man and decorated it with household items. I think this is a great opportunity to explore a theme in artwork. Your gingerbread man can take on any theme. Maybe your kiddo is into superheros, Ninjas, or princesses. We went with a dinosaur theme, which is the latest trend in our house. (Note the sharp teeth and claws in the photo above!)
This is also a great opportunity to make a literacy connection if you are reading a variation on the Gingerbread Man tale. They can recreate it with this craft.
Steps for an Extra large Gingerbread Man with a theme
Decide on a theme. It could be based on one of the Gingerbread tales you are reading, or just something your kiddo is interested in at the moment. We went with Gingerbread dinosaur!
1. Provide a large, brown construction paper cut out of a gingerbread man. I would say no smaller than 12 inches tall.
2. Your young artist can add oil pastel clothes, patterns and details. Oil pastels really stand out on construction paper and can be blended like paint! I encouraged him to fill in an area for the clothes and put pattern lines on top in a darker color.
3. Gather items from around the house to glue onto the Gingerbread. Think about what would make sense for the theme. The sky is the limit here. Pasta, cotton swabs, yarn, dry beans. Anything goes. Use liquid glue to stick everything down.
Gingerbread Crafts: Make a Literacy Connection
Looking for a good variation of the Gingerbread Man Tale? Here are a few posts that may help you make some literacy connections and find a good retelling.
Gingerbread Man Stories from Around the World by Kid World Citizen
10 Favorite Versions of the Gingerbread Man by Sara J Creations
12 Gingerbread Books for Little Learners by A Dab of Glue Will Do.
Making a Gingerbread House out of Sweet Treats!
This year I volunteered at my son’s school to help them create a gingerbread house out of graham crackers and candy. This was the grand finale of a month of exploring Gingerbread Man stories.
First, the teacher gave a demo on how to build the house. Next, each child got a milk carton glued to a plate, icing, and 6 graham cracker squares, They spread the icing on the carton and attached the sides and the roof.
Then, they put icing on top of the graham cracker which serves as the “glue” to make the candy stick. And, finally, we decorated with a variety of candy items. I thought it was just genius how their teacher organized the candy into a muffin pan for each table.
More Gingerbread Craft Resources
Ready for more Gingerbread Crafts? There are so many you can try!
20 Adorable Gingerbread Man Crafts by Kids Activities Blog
30 Activities, Crafts, and Printables for Gingerbread Baby by Home school Creations