Monday, December 22, 2014

Gingerbread Man Fun

So much of my holiday joy in the past, has come from being around excited little kids.  Since I am retired, and interact with them so seldom, I have had to seek out experiences with kids.  Around Thanksgiving, I went to see my grand nephew in a kindergarten play.  It was super sweet and I loved being in the presence of so much excitement.

I subbed for a friend and did lessons on Nutcrackers.  I brought in my nutcrackers.  We listened to music from the Nutcracker.  We watched videos about nutcrackers.  The kids drew nutcrackers.  That all got enthusiastic responses.

Still seeking out some Christmas joy, I invited myself to a friend's kindergarten class to decorate gingerbread men with them.  My friend was happy to oblige.  We decided that the best day to do this was the last day before winter break.

We finally came up with this plan.  I would rush into the classroom, wearing oven mitts and an apron, and I would declare that I was baking gingerbread men at home.  Supposedly, when I opened the oven, they pushed their way out and ran out the door.  They left me a clue that led me to their school. I asked them if they had seen the cookie people and they had not.  When I read another clue, it led us to another place in the building.  

There were probably 7 clues in all.  The kids got very excited figuring out each one.

Finally, they made their way back to the classroom and that is where the cookies all were.

I overdid the candy and frosting purchases, but I figured it was better to have too much than too little.  

Their teacher and I decided that the kids would work in groups of two.  The cookies had been made in a giant Wilton cookie pan, which was way too much for the kids to eat in one sitting.  So we decided that the cookies would be given to various helper people in the school.

The teacher purchased more gingerbread men at Costco for the kids to decorate and eat.  

Here are some of the ideas I want to remember for the next time I do this.

Sprinkles can be made by adding a few drops of food coloring to sugar.  I mixed them in ziplock baggies and let the bags sit open for a day to dry.  The sprinkles were put in spice jars with holes in the lids.

The Dollar Tree was a treasure trove for small candies and supplies.

Frosting was made with vanilla, shortening, and confectioner's sugar.  I put them in large yogurt containers. I think that I could have used the frosting from the Dollar Tree and not spent any more money than I did making it on my own.

The kids spread the frosting with plastic knives, also from the Dollar Tree.

I bought two part gift boxes and the kids decorated the gingerbread men in a half.  This gave a little sturdiness to the cookie when it was carried and it kept all the candies contained inside.

The candies were put in paper plates for the kids to use.

As some kids finished up, we started showing Gingerbread Man videos from YouTube.

I had a wonderful day with the kids, and they seemed to have fun as well.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

"they seemed to have fun" is a major understatement! They were absolutely thrilled. My only regret is that we did it on that last day and when they come back in two weeks we will have lost all the momentum we could have gained from it. We could have done so much writing from that experience! (I'll probably still try to do some.)