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Story Time: Gingerbread Friends

Story Time: Gingerbread Friends - Crafts and activities to go with Jan Brett's Picture Book

Does anything scream Holidays like gingerbread men?  They never fail to make our list for December Baking Day.  And Jan Brett’s sweet book, Gingerbread Friends, is such a great way to introduce the little guys and remind (ourselves) our littles how important it is to have friends and be good to them.

Because life is boring without friends.  Just ask the Gingerbread Baby.

I’m crushing hard  on this Story Time, friends of my own, so let’s get right to it.

Gingerbread Friends

Language

I’ve got a fun free printable for your littles to help them practice nouns.  It’s full of gingerbread-y sentences for them to read and pick out the words that are nouns.

Free Printable for Story Time: Gingerbread FriendsScience

Gingerbread Cloud Dough

Story Time: Gingerbread Friends - Gingerbread cloud dough

What you need:

Story Time: Gingerbread Friends - Gingerbread cloud dough supplies

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup oil (cooking or baby oil.  But baby oil can be toxic if ingested so if you think your littles might try to eat the dough, use cooking oil)
  • Ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves

What you do:

  • Mix together the oil and flour
  • Add the spices until it smells like gingerbread (maybe 1/2 tsp each; more if you want a stronger scent)
  • Use your hands to work the spices into the cloud dough
  • Play with that stuff

Craft

Story Time: Gingerbread Friends - gingerbread garland craft

Gingerbread Garland

This is so. much. fun. and a great way to decorate your mantle or tree or any other place you might put a garland.  My boys had a blast making ours.

The great thing?  I got all the fixin’s at Dollar Tree for around 10 bucks.  And seriously?  We could have made gingerbread men for days.  This bad boy is definitely going on our tree this year.

What you need:

Story Time: Gingerbread Friends - Supplies for garland craft

  • A roll of butcher paper or some upcycled paper bags
  • Beads, sequins, gems, bells, poms, ribbons, anything that you can think of to decorate a gingerbread man with
  • Glitter or glitter glue (the glitter glue pens worked great!)
  • Lit Mama’s Gingerbread Man Template (or heck, trace your cookie cutter)
  • Craft glue (works better on poms and such than school glue)
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Tape

Story Time: Gingerbread Friends - Paper gingerbread man for garland craft

What you do:

  • Print out the template if you’re using it
  • Trace gingerbread men onto brown paper (as many as you want)
  • Cut gingerbread men out
  • Decorate with all your sparkly things
  • Allow glue to dry completely
  • Line gingerbread up face down, about 6 inches apart
  • Tape twine to the backs of the heads
  • Hang your beautiful garland

Food

Gingerbread MenStory Time: Gingerbread Friends - gingerbread cookie recipe

 

This recipe is delicious and easy peasy.  I mean, I can’t believe how easy.  You won’t either.  It only makes about 16-20 cookies, depending on the size of your cutter, but it’s easily doubled if you want more.

What you need:

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp each: salt, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger
  • 2-3 Tbsp water (if needed)

For the icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp milk

What you do:

For the icing:

  • Mix all ingredients well in a bowl
  • Spoon into a sealable sandwich bag or pastry bag
  • Set aside

For the cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350F and butter some cookie sheets
  • Heat molasses on medium heat to boiling point, then add sugar, butter, and milk
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour baking soda, salt, and spices
  • Add molasses mixture to dry ingredients and mix well
  • The dough should hold together and handle easily.  If it doesn’t, add water 1 Tbsp at a time until it does
  • Press or roll out dough on a lightly floured surface
  • Cut into gingerbread men with cookie cutters
  • Bake 5-7 minutes
  • Allow to cool
  • Ice your gingerbread men however you choose.  We cut a corner off the sandwich bag to do this.

This is such a sensory story time, full of smells and tastes and things to feel.  Decorating the garland men even involves fine motor activity.  Too. much. fun. to be educational, but it is on so  many levels.  I hope your littles enjoy it.

Love wins,

KT

Looking for more holiday fun?  Check out:

Dinner and a Movie: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Story Time: Gingerbread Friends

Story Time: Snowmen at Christmas

Story Time: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Story Time: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Cuddle Up With Christmas Classics

2016 Ultimate Children’s Literary Gift Guide

KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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Latest posts by KT Brison (see all)

About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.

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12 Comments

  1. I love stuff like this – this lesson plan is right up our alley! So glad you shared it with us at #FridayFrivolity!
    Lisa/Syncopated Mama recently posted…5 After 5, Christmas Goodie EditionMy Profile

  2. Thanks for all the activities, and recipes! I haven’t read this book yet. Now I have to!!
    Glitter glue pens are the BOMB!!
    Friday Frivolity
    Melinda recently posted…Paper Purgathon- Pile, Pete, PileMy Profile

  3. Oh, I really need to make that Gingerbread cloud dough for my daughter! She loves homemade “play-dough!”
    Erin recently posted…25 Books Your Child Should Read After Harry PotterMy Profile

  4. Yep, gingerbread men are so fun to decorate! Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays.
    Brandi Raae recently posted…Literacy Musing Mondays ~ Stocking Stuffer IdeasMy Profile

  5. Wow – I love the idea of centering all of the gingerbread activities around a story – what a great idea!

  6. Adorable ideas and who doesn’t love gingerbread men. Thanks for sharing!

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