Preschool Gingerbread Christmas Unit

December 6, 2011

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This book is my personal copy of The Gingerbread Man from when I was a little girl. Everyday after lunch, my sister Jennifer and I would crawl into bed with our Mama. She would read us two story books and then it was afternoon nap time. The Gingerbread Man was one of my favorites.

Fast forward 52 years or so  . . . And I find myself joining our preschool children, and their teachers Ms. Trisha and Ms Michelle, as they enjoy a fun-filled week of learning based on the traditional tale of The Gingerbread Man. A theme study on The Gingerbread Man adds a little twist to the traditional Christmas activities.

One of the students proudly shows me her gingerbread girl. Just what I love to see – proud, confident, young children.

Gingerbread Men Decorated with Pinto Beans


  • Brown paper gingerbread men
  • pinto beans
  • pipe cleaners
  • glue

Math Investigation: How many pinto beans does it take to outline your gingerbread girl or boy?

Fine Motor Skills: The children used Elmer’s glue to dot, dot, dot and glue all the pinto beans and other decorations on their gingerbread girl and boy.

Gingerbread Men Following Directions Activity


  • Gingerbread poster with directions
  • Simple blackline outline of Gingerbread Man
  • Markers

This lesson incorporates math, recognition of colors and shapes, sense of self and following directions. For those who are ready it also gives them an opportunity to use their early reading skills.

Let’s see if you can follow the direction with these preschoolers . . .

I am 4 years-old.

My eyes are blue.

I am a girl.

Gingerbread Boys & Girls Free Art Exploration


  • construction paper scrapes
  • fabric scrapes
  • scissors
  • markers
  • glue sticks
  • colored pencils and crayons

Art Center: After introducing all of the art materials and explaining the activity, the children were set FREE to decorate their very own gingerbread boy or girl.

Free Art Again ( 3 year-old class): In addition to the supplies above Ms. Michelle added wiggle eyes and yarn . . . And viola, you get an adorable gingerbread boy with a comb-over! Too cute! This one is still making me giggle.

Oh boy, glitter  and dot bottles! Children really do think FREE art is the best! The children used their fine motor skills and just think how hard their brains were working as they were cutting, gluing, glittering, coloring, creating! And most important of all, almost every gingerbread boy or girl also had a great, big, enormous smile. What a positive self-image building tool FREE art is.

The children enjoyed loads of great activities throughout the week but their favorite was on Friday when they got to decorate and eat their very own gingerbread boy or girl.

Again, another big smile!

And yet, they all look wonderfully different!

These are two of my favorite gingerbread girls. Can you believe the clothes these preschool girls designed and cutout? Amazing!

I’ll leave you with this one last thought. As I was leaving school one afternoon last week, I heard some children yelling, “Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!”

Life with Joyce

This week we’re GIVING AWAY another classic tale: The Night Before Christmas


Sharing this week at:

abc and 123 learning

Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara December 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm

So very cute!! I love all the different gingerbread men!

Natalie December 8, 2011 at 12:04 am

What a fun unit – I am sure children enjoyed books and crafts!

Janelle @ Brimful Curiosities December 8, 2011 at 7:56 am

The free art gingerbread are my favorite. What variety! I’m tempted to try it with my preschooler and see what he comes up with.

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