Is it the warm, spicy scent? Is it the playful decorations? Is it the feisty way they were characterized in Shrek? Something about Gingerbread Men makes them a Christmas favorite. A Gingerbread Man story time is a fun one to do this time of year with preschoolers.
This week the Virtual Book Club for Kids has created a whole host of ideas about Gingerbread inspired by The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth. This sweet story is a great jumping off point for a wide variety of activities and our story time!
Note: Our story times always have the same parts; We start with a hello song. Next, I read 2-3 books about a topic with a rhyme/song and group activity that works on a developmental goal in between each book. We end with a goodbye song and then head to the table. At the table there is an invitation of some sort that works on another one of the developmental skills they are building. These elements are all listed below so you can move them around into whatever order works for you!
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Gingerbread Man Story Time
Books about Gingerbread.
There are quite a few fun books about Gingerbread and the Gingerbread Man. These are my favorites for reading aloud.
VBC Featured Book: The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth
This is a sweet version of The Gingerbread Man. Playfully told and gently illustrated. Encourage your listeners to join in on the refrain!
Georgie the Gingerbread Fairy by Lara Ede and Tim Bugbird
This book was recommended to me when my twins were deep in their fairy obsession, so I immediately added this to our to-read list. It is a fun book about a fairy who runs a gingerbread store until another fairy shows up with a glittery plastic store. The message in the end is that both can have value and more old fashioned ideas, like gingerbread, need not be replaced entirely. As a girl who likes her old fashioned, simple Christmas I loved the fairy infused message.
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
This is just silliness. Jim and his mom make Gingerbread Men cookies on Christmas Eve. His favorite is Captain Cookie who he puts by his bed at night. While Jim sleeps Captain Cookie comes to life and goes on an adventure to save his pirate crew from Santa Claus.
Gingerbread Christmas by Jan Brett
A gingerbread band, a merry chase and Jan Brett delightful illustrations. This is a fun Christmas story.
Songs + Rhymes about Gingerbread
5 Gingerbread Men (Watch on YouTube) from Kiboomers
Find Free Song Visuals in this Gingerbread Printable Pack
Group Gingerbread Patterning Activity
For our group time activity I made some simple gingerbread printables to work on patterning.
We did this activity during Group the first time. To start, we used just two colors and made a simple AB pattern.
I passed out the gingerbread people to my kids, but kept four cards for myself.
After putting up the start to our simple Gingerbread Men pattern on our group board, the kids took turns showing me what came next by adding their Gingerbread Men to the pattern.
We just used masking tape to stick the Gingerbread Men to a cookie sheet (too corny cute for me to resist), but you could also add felt or magnets to the backs to make this work on different surfaces.
After the first pattern, I gave them each a chance to start a pattern of their own. This would be difficult with a larger group, but could be done during a small group Math center.
After group time, this Gingerbread Printable was used again as a morning invitation. If I was doing this activity with a Story Time or Group Time, I would have put them out at the Math Center after story time.
Download: FREE Gingerbread Printables
The Goodbye Train is Leaving. (Watch on YouTube) from Jbrary
Table Invitations about Gingerbread
Graham Cracker “Gingerbread” Houses
These super simple to make (but admittedly messy) creations are so fun to make! You could certainly substitute gingerbread in for the graham crackers if you want to provide a more legitimate gingerbread activity. Find Direction Here.
More Gingerbread Table + Center Activities
My Virtual Book Club for Kids co-hosts have some more creative activities to do after a Gingerbread Themed Story Time.
Gingerbread Name Activity from Books and Giggles
Counting with Gingerbread Men from Powerful Mothering
Yummy ABC Gingerbread Men Cookies from Growing Book by Book
Build a Gingerbread Boy Number Game from Toddler Approved
Sensory Bin from Powerful Mothering
Gingerbread Man Story with Printable Finger Puppets from JDaniel4’s Mom
Decorate a Gingerbread Man from Mama Smiles
Gingerbread Man Finger Puppet Craft from Artsy Momma
Gingerbread Man Lacing and Craft from To Be a Kid Again
Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt with Free Printables from Sunny Day Family
Roll a Gingerbread Man from Teach Beside Me
How to Sew a Gingerbread Ornament With Your Child from An Educator’s Spin On It
Gingerbread Man Number Line Game from Adventures of Adam