Monday, December 17, 2012

G Is for Gingerbread

Mom School, second week of December

Gingerbread Bath

Materials Used:

  • foam gingerbread shapes from either the dollar store or Target's Dollar Spot
  • shaving cream
  • decorating bottles (you might be able to use the condiment bottles from the dollar store)
  • various foam shapes for decorations; we used our triangles from our J Is for Jack-o-lantern theme, and circles and stars from our O Is for Ornament theme
  • pot of hot water containing about a teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves, set inside the room to add fragrance (Note: cinnamon can cause skin sensitivity, so I did not add it directly to the bath water)
  • brown food coloring to color the bath water

I've seen several takes on gingerbread boy baths, many of which offer up intricately cut foam shapes with which to decorate the gingerbread bodies.  Because I did not want to have to buy white foam and spend time cutting it into curvy lengths for the frosting decoration, I tried to think of a different approach.  Shaving cream in decorating bottles!  I felt like a genius!

My girls love frosting, even the pretend kind, so they enjoyed this activity.  

1YO Blue gets a closer look at the example gingerbread boy before water is added to the tub 

Gingerbread Playdough Cookies

Materials Used:
  • gingerbread playdough (I made it without the orange extract, and added brown food coloring)
  • gingerbread man cookie cutter
  • white chenille stems
  • googly eyes
  • pom poms

This was an obvious choice for an activity, but fun all the same.  I set out small sections of white chenille stems to use as the frosting pieces, but these were used only in more "creative" ways.

Freestyle gingerbread person

Gingerbread Boy Color by Number, Letter and Shape

Materials Used:

  • dot markers
  • print out of a gingerbread boy, marked with "G", "g", "6" and circles

I'm pretty sure this looks more complicated and time-consuming to create than it actually was.  Create a legend for the dot marker colors; I used green for "G", brown for "g", red for "6", and purple for the circles.  This took only a couple minutes.  I then let 3YO Purple loose with the dot markers while I went for a run; Dad was in charge, and Purple worked with minimal supervision.

Purple had a good time.

Life-sized Gingerbread House

Materials Used:

  • outdoor playhouse (ours lives in the playroom)
  • Christmas string lights
  • decorative snow blanket
  • paper plates
  • cellophane
  • tape

This gingerbread house is perfect: zero calories, sugar-free, but full of sweetness.  The previous night I asked the girls to color a paper plate to look like a piece of candy.  I didn't explain why, other than it would be used in a surprise the next day.  I then wrapped the plates in cellophane to resemble pieces of hard candy.

The next day 3YO Purple helped me string the lights, layer the snow, and mount the candies to the playhouse.  She was very excited to share this surprise with her sisters.

Decorating Gingerbread Goodies

Materials Used:

Have you noticed that in our unit on gingerbread we didn't actually use a single real gingerbread item?  That's because it would go to waste with my girls.  So I thought of other ways to enjoy the gingerbread activities without having to throw out any gingerbread.

I think this one was my favorite.  Gingerbread boy and house decorating, with all the frosting and candy, but no crumbs or falling walls.

But first, we did our letter G practice, complete with writing a G with frosting.  Purple was careful and patient.

Yellow creating her gingerbread person
5YO Pink hard at work on her house, after completing her boy

Pink's finished house

Purple called this her "brain house" since she squeezed the frosting into what looks like brain mass 

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