Tot School: Gingerbread

This time of year is so crazy busy, but I'm happy to report that we had a great Gingerbread themed week of tot school last week. And we have all sorts of Christmasy Tot School fun going on for the next 2 weeks so stay tuned for that!

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Here were our plans for Gingerbread Week:

And here are the details of each activity:
Our favorite gingerbread books for the week were:
The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt
The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires

Gingerbread Stamping:
Painting with cookie cutters is a super easy low prep activity.  Pour red and brown tempera paint onto paper plates then use a gingerbread man cookie cutter to dip and stamp.
 Cut Paper Gingerbread:
We are trying to incorporate scissors more and more each week, so this week I printed a gingerbread outline and had Madelynn cut small pieces of paper to fill and decorate her little guy.
 Gingerbread Play Dough:
We spiced up our play dough routine with these little gingerbread guys to decorate. I pulled out brown, white, red and green play dough to keep thing festive and let her play away!
Gingerbread Houses:
Using an empty milk carton, we stuck graham crackers to the sides with white icing to form a house. Then we used red, green, and white icing and assorted candy to decorate the house. And of course immediately started snacking on all the decorations ;)
 Gingerbread Letter Match:
First, I made this gingerbread house letter matching page with lowercase letters. Then Madelynn used letter stickers to decorate the house by matching uppercase to lowercase letters.
Catch and Sort Gingerbread:
For this gross motor game, we started with gingerbread cut outs in 3 different sizes in a pile on the floor. At the other end of the room I placed 3 different sized baskets for sorting: large, medium and small.  Then we chanted "Run, run as fast as you can, you cant catch me I'm the gingerbread man!" and Madelynn raced back and forth to grab a gingerbread man and sort it into the correct basket. She even did a few extra laps around the house just for fun pretending that her gingerbread guys were running away.
 Gingerbread Hokey Pokey:
This was probably my favorite activity of the week because Madelynn was just cracking me up with her silliness. I printed some buttons and cut out gumdrops from colored cardstock and taped them on Madelynn's hands, feet and tummy. Then I played the hokey pokey and instead of saying "right hand, left hand, etc." I said "orange hand, yellow hand, etc." Much easier for a toddler that doesn't know left and right!
Gingerbread Hop Letters:
First, I cut out gumdrop letters. Then I placed them in a circle on the floor. Next I turned on some Christmas music and Madelynn hopped and danced around the circle. When I stopped the music and said freeze, she tried to name the letter she was standing on.
Build a Gingerbread House:
Like most kids, Madelynn loves climbing in and pretending with large boxes so I decided to add a few props to encourage even more pretend play. I printed and cut out candies, windows and gumdrops from colored card stock. Then I used packing tape to secure a roof on our large box to build a gingerbread house. Madelynn used crayons, tape and printable decorations to create her gingerbread house. I'm in love with how it turned out!
 Gingerbread Hop Numbers:
This activity was just like the letter hop we did earlier in the week. First, I cut out gumdrop numbers. Then I placed them in a circle on the floor.  We practiced counting the numbers in order as Madelynn walked around the circle a few times before we started. Next I turned on some Christmas music and shed hopped and danced around the circle. When I stopped the music and said freeze, she tried to name the number she was standing on.
 Gingerbread Snacks:
Gingerbread Cheese & Crackers - Use a mini gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out cheese shapes. Use cheese cut outs to top crackers.

Gingerbread Man & House Toast - Toast 2 slices of bread. Use gingerbread man and house cookie cutters to cut out shapes from the toast. Spread peanut butter on each shape.

Chocolate Gingerbread Rice Krispies Treats - Heat butter and marshmallows in microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir after 2 minutes. Add cereal. Stir until well coated. Using cooking spray or wax paper, press cereal mixture into cookie cutters. Cool on wax paper. Decorate with icing and candy eyes.

Graham Cracker Gingerbread House - (This activity doubled as a fine motor and snack activity from earlier.)  “Glue” graham crackers to the sides of an empty milk carton using white icing to form a house. Use red, green, and white icing and assorted candy to decorate the house.

Snack Mix Gingerbread House - Use pretzel sticks to form a house shape on a plate. Add mini marshmallows, M&Ms and cereal to decorate your house. 
 Gingerbread Sensory Bin:
In this sensory bin: Rice, gingerbread men cutouts, pom poms, buttons, pipe cleaners, bells. To play Madelynn placed the cut outs on the table and used the small pieces for decorations.
  Gingerbread Sorting Bin:
In this sensory bin: Rice, gingerbread men cutouts, pom pomsbuttonspipe cleanersbells and sorting trays. We used the same bin from the day before and added in a sorting tray. Madelynn found the decorations and sorted them by color.
 Gingerbread Sensory Bin:
Warning this bin gets super messy, but is lots of fun! 
In this sensory bin: 5lb flour, 1 carton salt, 3T each all spice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sorting trays, gingerbread cut outs, measuring cups and spoons.
 Gingerbread Frosting Dough:
This frosting dough is so easy to make and smells super yummy! Mix 1 cup chocolate frosting and 3 cups powdered sugar in a stand mixer. Add powdered sugar gradually. Add a bit more or less sugar until your dough isn't sticky. Use gingerbread cookie cutters and buttons to make gingerbread men.
Gingerbread Slime:
To make this slime: Pour 6 oz. of clear glue into a bowl and mix with brown food coloring. Add ½ Tbsp baking soda and mix. Add 1 ¼ Tbsp. contact lens solution. Mix until slime forms. If mixture is too sticky add more contact solution. Then I added buttons and cookie cutters for Madelynn to use for exploring

Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can grab them here:
 Or you can grab our entire year of themes and plans here:
Then check out all of our Tot School themes here:

September:

October:

November:

December:

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

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