Are you planning for Gingerbread Week in your classroom? Time just flies by and the holidays are here again! Every year, the week before Christmas, we do Gingerbread Week in my classroom! It’s the perfect festive theme, especially if you’re not able to celebrate Christmas in your classroom.
In this post, I am sharing some of the activities we do in my class. You can grab all the gingerbread printable activities in my Gingerbread Centers Math, Literacy, and More pack.
Many classrooms incorporate the Elf on the Shelf during the Christmas season, and it is a ton of fun. But some of my families do not celebrate Christmas so I have a Gingerbread Man come to visit us! I found this gingerbread Beanie Baby a few years ago. The baby gingerbread was actually a keychain. All I did was cut the keychain string off.
Every day the students come in and have to find him. Their favorite thing was when he gave them a box of craft supplies so they could transform the dollhouse into his own gingerbread house. It was tons of tearing, cutting, and taping (aka a fine motor activity). They worked on his house EVERY day with such enthusiasm!
One day he hid 18 candy canes around the room (counting and informal subtraction activity). It is an easy way to get the students excited and engaged in a new activity, which can be tricky during the holidays. In my Gingerbread Centers pack, you will find pre-written notes from the gingerbread man and EDITABLE notes you can tailor to fit your classroom.
I use these gingerbread theme activities for centers, arrival time, small group and table time.
This Gingerbread House STEM Challenge gets students creating, problem-solving and engineering. The challenge was to build a gingerbread house that would hold five gumdrops. Students drew a sketch of their house after it was complete.Measuring using gumdrops is so much more engaging than cubes. I put out gingerbread items on a cookie tray for students to measure. Students picked out an item to measure and then recorded the size on a small clipboard.
Weighing items and comparing their weight using a scale is another way for students to explore measurement. Grab any colorful manipulatives like buttons, mini erasers, gumdrops or cubes for students to use. Students explored how many items it took to be equal, more than, and less than the gingerbread man. They also weighed buttons and compared their weight to the gumdrops.
Gumdrops are also perfect for building 2D shapes! Students can construct 2D shapes with toothpicks and gumdrops using the Gingerbread shape cards as a guide. Use big words like vertices and sides to discuss the characteristics of the shapes as they make them.
Gingerbread house count is the perfect engaging math activity. Students rolled one number cube and counted out the corresponding number of items to decorate their houses. I also had some students roll two number cubes, add, and count out the total.
Gingerbread path game! My students just love path games so I make a ton of them. You can grab this game for FREE from my TPT store HERE.Identifying letters and beginning sounds is hard for little learners. I do not do letter of the week or any bought letter program. We just play a ton of letter and sound games in different ways. This approach immerses students in a rich literacy environment. Older students matched letters and sounds. My three-year-old friends only matched letters. I did this activity for small group then put it in the library center for students to do independently.Rhyme puzzles are a fun way to practice and assess rhymes.Writing in a silky writing tray feels soft and smooth and smells like cinnamon. Just add a sprinkle of cinnamon to a salt tray, and you can awaken their sense of smell. Put the handwriting worksheets away and get your students practicing letters in a different way!
Build letters on these letter mats using gingerbread playdough and gumdrops for fine motor work or handwriting practice. Build the letter and then trace it! Place the cards on a cookie sheet for an engaging setup.
Build letters with letter beads and pretend they are candy for the gingerbread house! Use my gingerbread printable word cards, or simply write gingerbread themed words on index cards.
Build sight words, build names or match uppercase and lowercase letters using this gingerbread house mat and gumdrop letters. This activity is super simple to differentiate so all students are working and growing at their own levels.
A gingerbread craft is a must for this theme. I just love how each student’s gingerbread man is unique! Hang them up and decorate a bulletin board with them!
A gingerbread play dough tray experience is another must for this theme. Grab some cookie cutters, buttons, eyes, and cut up some pipe cleaners. I used a basic cook play dough recipe and just added some cinnamon. Students can strengthen all those hand, wrist, and arm muscles as they make the cookies.
Gingerbread cookie cutter art is a fun process art project that is low prep and a ton of fun. Plus it is great for strengthening those fine motor muscles!
For my sensory table, I put in oatmeal. At first, I wanted to do flour, crazy right?! I thought that would be a bit too messy so oatmeal was the next best thing. Then I added some baking tools, small magnet letters, gingerbread mini erasers, and cinnamon to make it smell just like gingerbread. You can’t see it in the photo but there is a cookie tray leaning on inside the table for students to stick the magnet letters too! I just love sneaking in literacy anywhere I can!In blocks, students can build gingerbread houses for the gingerbread man, girl and baby! Just add some striped straws, pom poms, buttons and cardboard! You can grab the gingerbread STEM I Can Build cards HERE.
Gingerbread is a fun theme to review the 5 senses because the senses of taste and smell are really highlighted in this theme! I created a Gingerbread 5 Senses Science Unit with tons of hands-on activities like gingerbread themed smell jars, listening jars, I spy and touch bags. I have also included vocabulary cards with real photographs and whole-group activities too. Grab it HERE.
The pretend center changed into a BAKERY for our gingerbread theme. It’s so much fun, and I give you all the details in THIS BLOG POST.
Want all the gingerbread printables? Go grab Gingerbread Centers Math, Literacy, and More. All the work is done for you so you have time to actually enjoy the holidays with your family.
Need gingerbread printables for circle time? Go grab Gingerbread Book Comparison which includes retelling cards for four different gingerbread books, writing paper, comparison anchor chart pieces, favorite gingerbread book class graph and MORE.
Or you can grab the Gingerbread Bundle and get ALL of my gingerbread goodies!
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