The gingerbread man theme is somewhere near the top of my list of winter activities for preschoolers.
I start off by reading many different versions of the story to the kiddos. This gives them an introduction to the story, and it allows us to compare the different versions.
The students have fun listening to the different stories, and they really enjoy reading along. Here are more ways I’ve incorporated gingerbread man fun into early childhood centers!
Ideas for a Preschool Gingerbread Man Theme
As I mentioned above, I love gingerbread man activities. In fact, a gingerbread man theme is probably one of my favorite winter themes for preschool!
Read below for some of the preschoolers’ favorite gingerbread man ideas.
Turn your dramatic play center into the old woman’s kitchen!
The kids will have a blast reenacting the story of the gingerbread man, and you can use just a few simple materials to set the whole thing up.
As with any games involving dice, the kids loved playing this.
It also helped give them more background knowledge about subtraction, as they had to remove the correct number of gingerbread.
For free arts and crafts, the students decorated foam gingerbread people.
They used brown foam shaped like gingerbread men, glue, buttons, and ribbon to make their own versions.
Some made simple versions, others loaded the gingerbread people with tons of items, and one of the kiddos even made a pirate gingerbread man!
Love the look of those intricate gingerbread houses for the dramatic play center but don’t have the time to make one?
Check out this easy set up for your preschoolers!
Act it Out
In the home center, the boys and girls acted out the story of the gingerbread man. There were mixing bowls, utensils, cookie sheets, cookie cutters, foam gingerbread men, and foam “icing” shapes for them to use.
Some of them preferred to “decorate” the cookies, while others were more interested in going through the story line.
Use these printable ten frames in the math center during your gingerbread man theme!
Build Gingerbread Houses
In the building area, the kids used blocks to make gingerbread homes.
Some used the really large blocks to make life-size gingerbread houses! Others used the small blocks to make “a Gingerbread New York City!”
They were tickled to find some wooden people in with the blocks that looked an awful lot like mini gingerbread men.
Paint a Gingerbread Person
The kiddos free-painted gingerbread men and women at the art center.
It’s always fun to see the different kinds of gingerbread men the kids paint.
There are usually some abstract versions, overly decorated gingerbread, and very detailed types.
I love making books with my students, and this book is a fun take on the gingerbread man story.
The children seemed to get into the story, and their bookmarks/pointers were quite interesting.
In the discovery center (aka the sensory table), the children had gingerbread dough mix that had been combined with flour. They loved the smell of it, and many of them really enjoyed the tactile nature of the mix.
It was, obviously, a very messy center! The kids also had gingerbread play dough in the discovery center later on in the week. It was a huge hit!
Gingerbread House Art
The children enjoyed using a large piece of chart paper to create and decorate their own gingerbread house.
They may have been overly enthusiastic with their creation, but they had a blast with it! They spent almost an hour designing the house and talking about what the gingerbread family would do in the house.
Decorate Cookies or Houses
Letting the children decorate gingerbread cookies or gingerbread houses is something that always goes over well with my students.
This past year, we focused on making cookies with the kids. We then used icing, sprinkles, and a few other candy bits to decorate the cookies with.
I’ve also decorated gingerbread houses with my students. This was fun, too, but didn’t give them the immediate snack that cookies did.
Gingerbread Man Hunt
If we’re making cookies together, it is SO FUN to set up a “hunt” for the children to complete.
The cookies mysteriously disappear from the oven, leaving the children written clues all around the school.
The other teachers help us out, guiding the children to the notes and encouraging their detective skills. It’s always a blast to see them discover the runaway cookies.
If you’d like more ideas for an early childhood gingerbread man theme, as well as book suggestions, please check out my Gingerbread Man board on Pinterest.
What do you like to include in your gingerbread man theme?
If you’re a regular reader of Fun-A-Day, then you probably already know that I can’t pass up an opportunity to recommend some great books to share with your students. And you can’t go through an entire week of gingerbread lesson plans without reading your students some great stories!
Check out some of my favorite gingerbread books below. Each book is linked – just click on each image to be taken to the specific book! I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
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:
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