Here’s an activity for Christmas that the kids will love. Okay, so I’m posting this on Christmas day which is probably kind of pointless for this Christmas but definitely one to keep on the list for next year. Then again, who says you have to wait for Christmas to do this?
It was a surprisingly fun activity that will not only keep the kids busy, but the adults, too.
Make and Decorate Your Own Gingerbread House
If the kids are old enough, you can probably get them involved in making the gingerbread house from scratch. Here are a couple of recipes you can try out (I haven’t tried them myself, but I found them on Google):
- BBC Good Food – a good one to check out because they also have a video and a PDF template for the house.
- Simply Recipes – has lots of pictures and detailed instructions.
You can also check out these videos from Youtube:
If you can’t be bothered baking, then the Graham Cracker gingerbread house might be for you. Here’s a demonstration from My Recipes:
Alternatively, if you can find those gingerbread house assembly kits, you can buy one. We saw IKEA selling them this year. You still need to make your own royal icing to stick everything together though. The recipe for Royal Icing is available from My Recipes. The video instructions are here:
And if you need to know how to fill the pastry bags, Charlene Dy can show you how. Once you have your assembled house and royal icing in piping bags, you can let the younger kids go wild decorating it. Ideas for decorations:
- candy canes
- mini gingerbread men (if you can find the biscuits – we got ours from Marks & Spencer); otherwise jelly babies are a good alternative for “little people”, or you can also go with jelly dinosaurs which was what our little resident pastry chef wanted
- smarties or M&Ms
- sprinkles (advisable only with older children who are less likely to make a mess of it)
- jelly beans
- Boro (Hercules ended up eating half the packet and was constantly stealing the ones I put on the house)
Taking a wander down the candy isle to shop for gingerbread house decorations is another activity your child will enjoy.
WARNING: be prepared for sugar-high kids at the end of this activity. You can bet your bottom dollar that for every piece of candy that goes onto the house, two more have gone into little mouths. You have been warned.