The Gingerbread Man activity is perfect for your list of Christmas activities for preschoolers. Children can explore some early math concepts with gingerbread math after reading the classic tale of the cookie that came to life.
Are you following my Pretend Play & Dress Up Pinterest board?
So many preschool kids love the dramatic play center. It’s a place they can pretend to be almost anything they want to be.
Moms, dads, kids, firefighters, dogs . . . even giant green aliens from outer space. The things they dream up can run the gamut from sweet (I love watching them play school and pretend to be the teacher) to hysterical (those aliens had me laughing so hard I cried).
The pretend play center is also a wonderful way for kids to explore books and stories. In addition to just being fun, the kids work on so many early literacy skills doing this.
Gingerbread Man activity for the Dress Up Center
Here’s a simple Gingerbread Man activity to set up on the home area after reading the classic story.
Children can act out the story, retell it sequentially, or even make up their own version! So many valuable literacy skills in one fun and easy “package.”
Materials for Gingerbread Man dramatic play
Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Wooden stand mixer
- Cookie sheets
- Foam gingerbread men
- Googly eyes
- Cookie cutters – traditional gingerbread men and a Ninjabread Man (because why not??)
I chose these particular items because they were already on-hand in my classroom. Look through your supplies and modify your materials list based on what you have! Here are some other materials you could include:
- An apron
- Foam shapes to decorate the gingerbread men
- Masks to represent the other characters in the story
- Gingerbread play dough
- Rolling pins
Related: Gingerbread Man Book Making
How to set up the Gingerbread Man activity
I like to keep dramatic play invitations rather simple. The kiddos use their imagination as the main “material”, so I just need to give them access to the supplies and the space!
I placed everything out on one shelf near our Home Center. Everything was laid out so the kids could access it, and that’s about it!
Related: Gingerbread Man Theme for Preschool
Step aside and let the kids play
Now it’s time to step back and let the children jump into the Gingerbread Man activity! I’ve set out this invitation many different ways over the years, and the children always have such a blast with it.
Sometimes a group wants to retell the story from start to finish, usually bringing the book in as a reference (oh, how I love that). I’ve had some groups that change the traditional ending of the story, and it’s always fun to see what they come up with! Once, the children had the fox and the gingerbread man sit down and have some pizza together!
Most of the time, the children spend the bulk of the activity pretending to make the batter and decorate the gingerbread man. While they love pretending he runs away and is chased by all kinds of characters, it’s the pretend baking and decorating that pulls them in. I think it’s because baking is an activity they see in their home lives. It’s something they see their families do, and it’s something they enjoy helping with. 🙂
Would your children/students enjoy this simple Gingerbread Man activity? Do they enjoy dramatic play, overall? What are some of their favorite ways to play?
Preschool Gingerbread Lesson Plans
Save time and get right to the learning fun with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, book suggestions, and activity explanations. We’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set also includes the following related printables:
- Character Puppets (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread Color Sorting Mats and Object Cards
- Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Matching Colors (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread House Measurement and Size Sorting Cards
- Gingerbread Man Number Cards (in color and b/w)
- Ten-Frame Mats 1-10 (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread Man Pattern Prompt Task Cards
- Gingerbread Man Rhyming Sort
- Ending Sound Matching Puzzles
- Roll and Graph Game
- Gingerbread Man Water Science Experiment Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
- Cookie Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
- Decorate a Gingerbread House Counting Mats for Numbers 1-10 and one blank version in color and b/w
- Gingerbread Five Senses Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
Get your lesson plans here:
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers
I’m so excited to be a part of Happy Brown House’s Dramatic Play from A to Z series! Be sure to follow along for so many ideas to try out in your Home Center!