December 13, 2009
Usually I start off these blogs with all the great books we read, but the girls were so excited to make the gingerbread house that I didn’t even get through one third of The Night Before Christmas!
I had envisioned how it would go: we would read Gingerbread Friends and The Night Before Christmas by Jan Brett and then Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup. We would sip our hot chocolate and munch on some gingerbread cookies. Nope, not happening. The draw of the icing and gumdrops was greater than the desire to listen to favorites books! And so, we commenced the gingerbread house-making! I worked very hard at squeezing the frosting out of the tube and they worked very hard at following me and eating it, one finger lick at a time!
It was a lovely little party. Mina’s friends Addie, Audrey, and Ella joined us. Mina had separated all the candy into individual little cups before everyone arrived and she was the perfect hostess, asking if anyone wanted hot chocolate. If they said yes, she would run through the store to the back kitchen to make it!
Audrey clearly had lots of experience with gingerbread houses. She gave me excellent directions on how and where to put the frosting. And she had the great idea of putting some frosting along the outer edge of the house. The girls had so much fun putting the candy on the house and moving all around to make sure each side was evenly decorated. I am surprised we had candy to put ON the house with everyone eating mouthfuls of gumdrops!
The gingerbread house
Once the gingerbread house was done, it was onto phase 2: the take-home felt gingerbread house project. The whole point of doing the real gingerbread house at the bookstore was because I wanted the girls to have the experience of making a gingerbread house, but not have the tempting candy actually RESIDE in their own house. Their take-home project needed to be fun, but not full of sugar.
One night, I had this idea of making a felt gingerbread house. I worked it all out in my head and hoped for the best. It worked out really well, except for the glue dots. I went back and forth about how to adhere the brown felt house shape to the milk container form: should I use Elmer’s white glue and then have them wait until it dries? Do I bring in my hot glue gun? Then I noticed that I had a box of extra strength glue dots in my craft box. Maybe they would work, or work well enough to play with for a little while. Well, they were OK. They didn’t stick well at all, but it was enough to keep the shape together until they got home.
They all LOVED the project. It was so nice to see them really get into decorating their felt houses with the cutout shapes. Ella really went to town decorating her house and they all concentrated very hard on which shape to put where on their own felt gingerbread houses.
Finally, stories came at the very end. Sara, Ella’s mom, sat down with Ella to read some books while I cleaned up and soon she had the crowd all around and on each knee listening.
We hope to see you at next month’s workshop Friday, January 8, at 4 p.m. We will be making sock puppets and reading Sandra Boynton’s One Shoe Blues book.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!