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Decorating Gingerbread Houses With Kids

tips for decorating gingerbread houses with kids

We decorate gingerbread houses every year – sometimes we make a gingerbread house from scratch, but more often I buy a kit. I am particularly fond of IKEA’s kits – they come with the pieces of the house only, so you have to use your own candy and frosting. We used Halloween candy this year, and that worked great! I use Meringue powder (affiliate link) to make icing – you need about one tablespoon of meringue powder per cup of powdered sugar, with a tiny bit of water added. This sticky frosting is perfect for gingerbread houses! You can put it in a plastic bag and cut a corner off for squeezing, but we usually use a butter knife to spread it. You can find more tips for decorating gingerbread houses with kids here!

gingerbread houses are a fun STEM focused Christmas craft for kids!

Decorating gingerbread houses is a great fine motor activity – for big kids and little ones! Eight-year-old Emma was able to build her entire house on her own this year! Johnny and Lily (six years old and five years old) needed a little bit of help, and two-year-old Anna helped me build her house.

even toddlers can decorate gingerbread houses with a little help.

It’s always interesting to see kids’ personalities come through as they decorate their houses. Anna surprised me by being very methodical, lining her m&ms up neatly on the roof of her house.

decorating a gingerbread house is great fine motor skill practice for kids

The end result can be a bit messy, but it’s well worth the smiles!

Kids take great pride in decorating gingerbread houses!

Our gingerbread houses never last long – the kids pull them apart and eat bits of them, and then the remainder tends to mysteriously vanish.

My kids' favorite part of decorating gingerbread houses: eating them!

One of my favorite things about kid-made gingerbread houses is all the pretend play that happens with the finished product! Here the kids are playing with their finished houses – and doing a little tasting as well.

decorated gingerbread houses are ready made toys!

Are you decorating gingerbread houses this year?

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My kids have a two-day school week, with Wednesday onwards off for Thanksgiving! We are looking forward to it, and the kids are VERY excited to hang out with their six California-dwelling cousins! How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this week? Here are some fun ideas that were linked up last week:

Take a break from Thanksgiving dinner prep and link up a couple of your favorite activities! When you link up you give the linky hosts permission to feature your post and to pin it to our After School Activities board on Pinterest. Thank you for sharing!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

11 thoughts on “Decorating Gingerbread Houses With Kids”

  1. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    How fun! I am impressed that Emma could do hers entirely on her own. i can’t get over how Anna looks so much like your husband :)

  2. Well, I wasn’t thinking of making gingerbread houses this year, but your photos and practical tips have certainly inspired me! I love the picture of Lily enjoying a piece of gingerbread, and I’m very impressed with Anna’s neat rows of M&Ms!! All your kids are so gorgeous.

  3. We love decorating gingerbread houses, but I usually hold that one off until right before Christmas. You got some great shots of concentration and joy – fantastic memories!

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