Here’s how to make a life size gingerbread house for the kids . . . the easy way!
Have you seen those awesome cardboard gingerbread houses? The ones that the kids can play inside and act out the story of The Gingerbread Man?
I absolutely love those big gingerbread houses! But they’re not always feasible time wise.
While I’ve been known to go all out with fun cardboard creations in the dramatic play center (with a lot of help from the students), it just isn’t always possible.
Especially if you’re teaching a gingerbread theme during December. Because, chances are, you’re also dealing with prepping for the Christmas program, helping children make gifts for their parents, and keeping all of the Christmas excitement in check in the classroom.
Well, here’s a wonderful alternative idea. The kids still get to play in a “gingerbread house”, but it is much less time consuming to put together.
How to Make an Easy Life Size Gingerbread House
When a wonderful reader (hi, Bethany Fuqua!) told me about her simple version of a life size gingerbread house, I knew I had to share it here (with her explicit permission, of course).
Materials you’ll need
Start out with a child-sized playhouse, like Bethany did. I think this storybook cottage would be pretty snazzy.
If you don’t have one, not to worry. Simply begin with your usual dramatic play center or grab a large piece of cardboard. That’s what I love so much about this idea. You can use the setup you already have, with just a few tweaks.
You’ll also need some gingerbread house decorations. You can make your own, have the kids help make them, or buy decorative cutouts online. When browsing, I saw candy canes, big lollipops, and gingerbread people.
A laminator would come in handy, too, to ensure that the decorations last as the children play with them.
How to set up the life size gingerbread house for the kids
To begin with, make sure that all of the paper decorations are laminated. This way, the decorations will last.
Once the decorations are laminated, it’s time to add the Velcro. Place one or two pieces on the back of each of the decorations.
Be sure to add at least one gingerbread man, but I think having a few available would be best.
Place corresponding pieces of Velcro to your dramatic playhouse or piece of cardboard.
If you want to really liven things up, add some colorful lights to the roof of the playhouse.
Life Size Gingerbread House Play
Once everything is set up in the pretend play center, it’s time to let the kids in!
What I like most about Bethany’s idea is how open-ended it is. The Velcro on the back of the decorations allow the children to manipulate the pieces. They can move the gingerbread house “candies” all around, pretending to decorate it. If you’ve added gingerbread people, the children can move those around as well.
In addition to “decorating” the gingerbread house, the children could also retell the story of The Gingerbread Man with this fun set up. Add in a few props, and watch as they act out the story.
Even better is when the children make up their own versions of the story! Lots of language development, along with some highly creative storytelling.
Have you ever made a life size gingerbread house for your classroom or home? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below. Or feel free to pop over to Fun-A-Day’s Facebook page to share photos.
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.
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