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Gingerbread Man Fingerplay
Stir a bowl of gingerbread  (Stir as in a bowl)
Smooth and spicy brown.

Roll it with a rolling pin
Up and up and down  (Pretend to roll)

With a cookie cutter,  (Pretend to cut out)
Make some little men.

Put them in the oven  (Place in oven)
Till half past ten!

Gingerbread Boy & Girl
I'm a little gingerbread boy.  (Boys bow.)
I'm a little gingerbread girl.  (Girls bow.)
I can jump,  (All jump)
And I can twirl.  (All turn around.)

I have raisins  (Point to eyes.)
For my eyes.
And bright red buttons  (Point to buttons down chest.)
Just this size.

I have a mouth.
It looks like this.  (Point to smiling mouth.)
I can even
Blow a kiss.  (Blow a kiss.)

I'm warm and tasty.
But don't eat me.  (Shake head.)
Hang me on
Your Christmas Tree!  (Put hands over head.)

       Gingerbread Cookies 
                  Here's a recipe from a friend of the Preschool Rainbow.
                  Total Servings: 30 

                   1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 
                   ¼ cup sugar 
                   ½ cup molasses 
                   1 egg 
                   3½ cups all-purpose flour 
                   ½ teaspoon baking soda 
                   1½ teaspoons ground ginger 
                   1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

                    1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, molasses, 
                       and egg. 

                    2. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, 
                       and cinnamon. Gradually add to the butter mixture; mix until 

                    3. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours or overnight. 

                    4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat baking sheets with nonstick 
                       cooking spray. 

                    5. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch 
                       thickness. Cut into your favorite shapes with cookie cutters and 
                       place on the baking sheets. 

                    6. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden around the edges. 
                       Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.   

Gingerbead Man StoryA Short Gingerbread Man Story

An old husband and his wife lived on a farm.  Their children had all grown and left home.  The old woman often made gingerbread cookies in the shape of her children to ease her loneliness.  One day the old woman baked an especially large gingerbread man.  She was very careful with the ingredients and she lovingly made and formed the cookie.  As it baked, the aroma of the gingerbread floated through the house.

Suddenly, the oven door flew open and the Gingerbread Man leapt out.  As he ran through the kitchen, the old woman chased after him, calling to her husband for help.  The Gingerbread Man was very fast and yelled.

"Run, run, as fast as you can!  You can't catch me,
     I'm the Gingerbread Man."
He ran out of the house and through the fields. He passed an old cow grazing in the meadow who looked up and began chasing the delicious smelling Gingerbread Man.
"The little old woman, the little old man,
 I can run much faster than they ever can.
 I've run so far they can't catch me now.
 I can certainly run faster than a mangy old cow!
 Run, run, as fast as you can! You can't catch me,
 I'm the Gingerbread Man."
As he ran past, a horse also began chasing him.  When he saw the horse catching up to him, the Gingerbread Man ran quickly down a hill singing loudly as he went:
"I'm faster than the woman, the cow and the man.
 I'm swifter than any other animal or man.
 I can run farther and faster than a horse.
 No one can catch me, I'm much faster of course!
 Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me,
 I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
He laughed as he ran from the horse and soon came upon a red fox.  The fox asked in his sly manner, "Where are you going Mr. Gingerbread Man?"
"I have nowhere to go, but I must get away.
 I've run from the woman and the cow in the hay.
 I've run from the man and the horse in the meadow.
 And I can run from you too, you're much to slow.
 Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me,
 I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
He ran off and left the little red fox chasing behind.  Soon he came to a pond. He knew he could not get wet and was afraid he was trapped.  When the fox arrived at the pond, he slyly asked the Gingerbread Man to ride across the pond on his tail.
The Gingerbread Man agreed happily and jumped on the fox's tail.  When they were halfway across the pond, the fox told the Gingerbread Man,

"My tail is getting tired. I can't hold it up.
 Jump on my back before you get wet."
 The Gingerbread Man lightly hopped on the fox's back.

As they neared the shore the fox once again spoke to his passenger,
"I didn't think this pond was so big and my back is very tired.
Jump on my nose where you'll find it much drier."

The Gingerbread Man lightly jumped up onto his new friend's nose.  Just as they reached the shore the fox snapped up his jaw, caught the Gingerbread Man in his mouth and gobbled him up.

It is not always the fastest that wins the race,
it's the smartest that takes home the prize.
This is a shortened version. Add as much detail as you like and encourage student participation by asking questions about the plot and characters.
Gingerbread Men Recipe
(Teacher Made)

3 and ¼ cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup salted butter, softened
¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
½ cup unsulfered molasses
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 - 2 tsp. milk

1. Preheat oven to 325'
2. Whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and cloves
3. Cream butter and sugar. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add egg and molasses and     beat on medium speed until smooth.
4. Scrape down bowl and add flour mixture, blend on low speed until just combined -- do not over mix!
5. Separate dough into 2 balls and flatten into disks. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
6. On floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/4" thickness. With floured cookie cutters cut into shapes. Gather scraps and re-roll dough until all is used. Place on ungreased baking sheets about 1/2" apart.
7. Bake 9-11 minutes -- do not brown. Transfer to cool, flat surface and cool. 

Preparing Icing:
1. Whisk sugar and milk until smooth but still liquid.
2. Add extra milk if seems dry.
3. Spoon icing into a pastry bag with small piping tip, or other icing dispenser.
4. Decorate as desired.

Gingerbread Classroom Activities

gingerbread art and craft Easy Gingerbread Man House
Lori S. offers this easy art & craft activity that can be used as a gingerbread house or during Halloween adapted as a haunted house.

Materials: Small milk cartons, paper plate, frosting, graham crackers, craft sticks
and various candies for embellishments.

Description: With the craft sticks spread a small amount of frosting on bottom of 
the empty milk carton so that it will stick to the paper plate.  Have the children 
then spread frosting on one side of the graham crackers and stick those to the 
sides of the milk carton until the milk carton is covered.

This part is a little tricky and they may need some help. Place two graham crackers at an angle on the top of the covered milk carton to form the peak of the roof. Then have the kids decorate the house however they like with the candies. This works well as a gingerbread house or a haunted house for Halloween.

The Gingerbread Man & Me
Youngsters learn about dressing themselves during this activity that promotes self-help skills. Although Laura E. uses paper and cardboard, why not try using felt fabric and adapting this preschool activity for the felt board. 

Materials: Cut shirts, pants and skirts out of scraps of felt fabric or construction paper.

Description: Cut gingerbread men out of cardboard.  Ask the children to pick out pants, skirt or shirt and glue them on the person.  Have the children draw a face and make hair or use yarn for hair and craft wiggly eyes.

Body Parts for Toddlers
Tammy helps toddlers learn about their body parts with this gingerbread man activity that can be adapted for the felt board by substituting felt fabric for the paper.

Materials: Poster board or butcher paper, construction paper cut outs of body parts, yarn and glue.

Description: Make a body outline such as a gingerbread man figure, cut out two hands, two feet, two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth (cut the mouth big enough so that you can put a set of teeth in it). You'll need yarn for hair and cut outs for eyebrows,  Also, two small round circles for elbows and two large circles for knees. 

Ask toddlers to identify the parts of the body and where they should be placed on the gingerbread man. Ask, "What is this?  Where does it go?"  Let the children show you and then glue on the body parts.  After the body is finished hang up your gingerbread man body to show and teach with.

Comments: The kids love it!

puzzle ideaGingerbread Man Puzzle
Here's a simple idea for a puzzle that can be adapted into a teacher made puzzle.
During this activity from Vickey children use cutting and matching skills.

 Materials: Gingerbread man shape, scissors and glue.

Description: Ask the children to color their gingerbread man. Then draw a line on the gingerbread man to make a puzzle. Have the children cut along the lines, taking the gingerbread man apart and then glue the pieces back together again.

Comments: Teachers can put numbers on the body parts and have them glue the numbers in order.

Family Members
Preschool and kindergarten children develop fine motor and counting skills as create family patterns during this early childhood activity by Katherine G.

Materials: Construction paper, scissors, glue and crayons.

Description: On construction paper, trace and cut people shapes (like gingerbread boys), make big and smaller ones. Some can be pink or red for girls, and others blue or any other color for boys (older children can cut and color theirs). Each child has to choose one cutout representing their family. For example:  a big blue boy for the father, little girls for sisters, little boys for brothers, etc.

Next, they can paste them all together holding hands, forming a family chain. Now
the children can compare which family is the longest, the shortest, how many boys or girls are in their family. Teachers or older preschoolers can create an experience chart using the family information. 

Letter and Number Recognition
Christina L. suggests this activity to help children recognize the difference between letters and numbers.

Materials: Some type of cut out shape, I used gingerbread men. On some you print 
a letter and on others a number.

1.  Go over the difference between a number and a letter. Do we use  letters to     count cookies? Do you spell your name with numbers?

2.  Go over the numbers and letters you have written on the gingerbread cut outs.

3.  Tell the students to stand up if you hold up a letter and to sit down if you
hold up a number.

4.  Mix up the gingerbread man cut outs and hold one up at a time. Ask individual children if you're holding up a number or a letter.  Ask questions that will help them make the correct choice. Make note of those who need extra help for later individual one on one.

5.   Encourage the children to use the cards during free time. 

Outdoor Gingerbread Man Game
Debragail S. suggests this game to develop large motor and turn taking skills.

Description: After having read the story of the Gingerbread Man, during outside 
play have one of the children pretend to be the Gingerbread Man allowing for a head start. Instruct the other children to stand in one place, while instructing that child to run and hide. All recite the Gingerbread Man's famous chant:

"I ran from the old woman. I ran from the old man.
I ran from the colt. I ran from the goat. 
Run, run, run, as fast as you can.
You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." 
They then chase after the Gingerbread Man. The one who tags the Gingerbread Man, becomes the new Gingerbread Man. And the game starts over again.

gingerbread man puppets  Gingerbread Puppets
Amy encourages youngsters to create puppets for Christmas fun or to enjoy anytime

Materials Per child;  1 piece of brown construction paper with a gingerbread man
pattern on, 1/2 piece of yarn, 1 colored craft stick, scissors, glue, crayons or 

1. Give each  child a gingerbread man pattern and ask them to cut it out.  Provide crayons or paints and let them color their pattern however they choose.  Gingerbread men can be covered with many colors of frosting and pieces of candy!

2.  Set out glue and divide the yarn among the children.  If desired, cut the yarn into smaller pieces.  Drizzle glue on the gingerbread men and add pieces of yarn for the frosting trim, clothing and hair!  Add additional items you might have for decorating the gingerbread men, such as ground cinnamon, rick-rack, ribbon, fabric scraps or buttons.  Let dry.

3.  Tape a colored craft stick to the back of each gingerbread man.  Continue with 
a puppet show, if you like.

Cooking:  Gingerbread Toast
Young children explore the 5 senses as they cook up Gingerbread Toast by Kellie H.
Only adults use the toaster oven.

Materials: Bread, ginger, butter, a ginger bread man cut out and a toaster  oven. 

Description: I read the book The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett.
We list the animals in the book and try to find the hedgehog on all the pages. During center time for small motor skill development the children make their own toast by 
spreading butter, ginger and cinnamon onto the bread.  We enjoy eating the toast and tasting the ginger. After center time we chart who liked the ginger and who didn't.

More story time picture books:
The Gingerbread Man  by Robert McCracken
The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt
The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone
The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylseworth
Christmas and GingerbreadChristmas and Gingerbread
Children enjoy decorating their own Gingerbread Houses for the Christmas Season
during this holiday activity by Michelle M.

Materials: Graham crackers, store bought icing, large craft sticks, assorted candy for decorations, cardboard squares covered with foil and a electric knife.

Description: A few days before the activity you or your parent volunteers need 
to assemble Gingerbread Houses out of six graham crackers (full sheets) and 
the purchased white icing.  Teachers and other adults may use an electric, serrated meat knife to cut several crackers at the same time.

Turn two cracker rectangles vertically for the front and back of the house.
Make two angled cuts from the outside edges of the dotted mid line to the center of the top edge.  This makes the slanted edges to "cement" the sloped roof panels to the top of the house.
Use two full cracker sheets for the roof and two full cracker sheets for the side walls (positioned horizontally).  Use the icing to cement the crackers together and then cement the house to a square piece of cardboard covered with foil.

The day before the activity I read a traditional version of  The Gingerbread Man to the class.  Then on the day of our activity I read the story The Gingerbread Baby, by Jan Brett.  This is a very nice variation of the traditional tale in which the little boy who makes the run-away gingerbread baby gets him back by making a gingerbread house for the baby to live in.

Children then get to decorate their own gingerbread houses with candy.  They can 
use the craft sticks to spread the icing on the candy or some types of candy can 
be dipped in the icing and then stuck onto the houses. This activity is a lot of work, but it is worth it!

Comments: This Christmas activity requires some help from parent volunteers, but 
the houses turn out very cute and the children really enjoy the activity.  I usually ask parents to assemble the houses a few days before we do the activity to make sure the icing is hardened.  I also like to have a few extra parents in class on the day we decorate the houses.  The extra hands are helpful.  Parents are in the holiday spirit and are usually thrilled to help. Also, if your classroom is very warm this can be a problem.  The icing will have difficulty setting and the candy may have a tendency to slide off the houses.

Lots more Christmas activities are in the Christmas & Kwanzaa Theme.

Parent Involvement: "Gingerbread House"
Encourage parent involvement when you teach body identification with this activity by Kelly H.

Materials: Large piece of brown butcher paper, miscellaneous craft items, large pattern of gingerbread person and your imagination.

Description: Make a gingerbread house out of the front of your classroom door. 
Make the house as tall as possible.  Make sure to cover your classroom door. 
Decorate the paper to look like a gingerbread house.  Then send the gingerbread
man pattern home.  Parents and children decorate the gingerbread man or woman any way they'd like.  Put the gingerbread people all over the paper.  Outline your 
classroom door to look like the door to the gingerbread house. 

Comments: It's a lot of fun to watch the house take shape.  The children enjoy 
looking at all the gingerbread people on the house.

Home Connection Activity  Gingerbread Family Project
Students and families work together during this project from Faye T.

Materials: Gingerbread pattern, brown bulletin board or construction paper, and a
family letter.

Description: Send a large plain featured gingerbread man pattern home with the 
note saying:

"I am sending this gingerbread to you with not a feature to be found.
I hope that you will take the time to bring this fellow around.
Whether boy or girl is up to you.
Put your heads together and see what you can do.
Your imagination is your only limit.
So use whatever you like to fix and trim it."
Be sure to set a date for the return.  Display along with your Gingerbread Village or use to decorate your wall for a Gingerbread  unit.

Comments: You won't believe some of the outrageous and beautiful creations I 

Gingerbread Men
Julie suggests this early childhood activity saying, "The object of this activity is to increase gross motor skills, motor planning, following directions, and to be able to identify body parts."

Materials: 4 pieces of large brown construction paper (9x12), regular sized construction paper (8 1/2 x11) of the following colors: red, black, white and yellow,
tape, velcro and Scooter Board.

Description: Tape all 4 piece of brown paper together to make one giant piece. 
Draw a gingerbread man and cut him out. Hang him on a wall close to the floor. 

Next, use your other construction paper to make black circles for eyes and nose, a red mouth, yellow buttons and use white strips for decorating the arms and legs. Use velcro or tape on the back of the above.  Have the children sit in small groups to complete the activity.

Have one child at a time lay on the scooter board on their belly.  Encourage them to travel across the room to where the gingerbread man is taped, propelling themselves by using their hands and feet.  Once they get to the wall, have an adult hand them the different parts of the gingerbread man to tape or velcro into place.  Once they get all of the parts attached, they can ride back to their seat and it is the next child's turn.

Comments: I work with preschoolers and the absolutely loved this activity.

Gingerbread Color Count
Preschoolers match colors as they identify the numbers 1-10 along with their quantity during this activity by Faye T.

Materials: Gingerbread boy or girl pattern, colored markers, colored buttons that are the same colors as the markers.

Description: Trace or copy 10 of the gingerbread patterns. Number them 1-10 using a different color for each gingerbread.  Students add the correct number of 
matching color buttons.

Pattern Match Up
With this activity Faye T. encourages students to match and extend simple patterns

Materials: Wallpaper books, gingerbread man or other pattern, scissors and glue.

Description: Trace several shapes from each wallpaper page until you have 8-10 
pages of 3-4 different shapes.  Arrange objects into simple ABAB or ABBA 
patterns.  Students first identify then extend the pattern. Example of patterns may be striped gingerbread man, plaid gingerbread, striped gingerbread, plaid 
gingerbread (ABAB), or striped, plaid, plaid, striped (ABBA).   Be sure to produce each pattern at least twice.

Literacy Activity Plan: "Gingerbread Man"
Criss teaches sequence, math, listening skills and cooking during this series of activities.

Materials: Gingerbread mix, storybook, flannel board characters, kitchen stove (safety).

Day One: Read the Gingerbread man
Day Two: review the book by doing the flannel board story.
Day Three: Mix ingredients for the Gingerbread man, after reviewing story.
Day Four: Let the children roll and shape the gingerbread man. Bake in oven.  When the children aren't looking (preferably nap time) take the man out of the oven and hide him. The children then search for him.  Enjoy as a snack!
Day Five: Make gingerbread men out of sandpaper and ginger spice.

 Comments: The kids loved it and it was fun to do.
Lots of cooking experiences are in the Food and Nutrition Theme.

Related Theme: Christmas Holiday Theme



E-mail GayleE-mail Gayle  to include your favorite  Gingerbread Man  activity
or  Gingerbread Recipe in this theme!

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