Tuesday, December 9, 2014

gingerbread storytime & craft party

Each year, I try to feature a different holiday book-related theme for my December craft program. So far, we've done The Polar Express, & How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Future ideas I'm considering are The Mitten and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (or maybe just reindeer in general). 

For 2014, I chose a gingerbread theme.

Books We Read:

There are sooo MANY versions and variations of the Gingerbread Man -- you can take your pick! I decided to sneak a non-gingerbread cookie story or two in as well!

The Gingerbread Man - Beatrice Rodriguez (my personal favorite!)
The Gingerbread Family - Maccarone (short & sweet)
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies- Yolen (great!)

Other Good Choices:
The Gingerbread Baby - Jan Brett 
The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers- Ernst

Felt Board Story:

I took the story of the Three Little Pigs and substituted cookies for the pigs! So I needed three gingerbread cookies, three candy or dessert related houses, and one BIG BAD WOLF! 

I made the houses from clipart backgrounds. The cookies are purchased from Etsy, as well as my adorable wolf puppet. I like him because he's not too scary looking for the little ones.

So I begin with the story of three little cookies who were made by a baker but they looked so delicious that everyone wanted to eat them up and they had to escape. 

They build their own houses: one of gumballs, one of peppermint sticks, and one of fruitcake. The big bad wolf comes huffing and puffing (ask the kids to assist with that part!) to each home but he cannot destroy the third cookie's house because fruitcake lasts forever! LOVE it!

I found this idea on a wonderful blog: Rain Makes Applesauce. For another blogger's take on it and a video, check out StrongStart's great post Three Little Gingerkids.

Craft #1/Game: Design your own bowtie for the Gingerbread Man. Each child has the chance to play "Pin the Bowtie on the Gingerbread Man" and win their choice a candy cane OR a smencil. After over 15 years in this job, I made a rule that everyone wins because if they don't, everyone cheats!!! 

before bowties...

& after bowties!

I found this FREE printable gingerbread man online at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Craft #2: We made these cute stand up gingerbread men from OTC. He's made of fun foam and all the pieces are adhesive so no gluey mess!

Snack: Gingerbread Cookies and Caprisuns

December weather is never my friend. The day of our program was very cold with a nor'easter on the way for the following day. We had 16 kids attend and everyone was so nice and in the holiday spirit! I even had 4 teen boys assisting me with passing out craft supplies and snacks - shocking! I loved the felt board story the best but the craft and game were fun too. A great afternoon!

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