Childhood during the holidays isn’t complete without some gingerbread men strewn into the mix. They’re delicious and the blend of ginger, molasses, and sugar makes for warming comfort food during the winter months.
Everyone can recognize the delicious sweet treat but do you know the story? It provides not only an amusing yet cautionary story but also a world of fabulous holiday crafting ideas.
A Quick Fable
There are several versions but the oldest one documented goes back to 1875 and it may very well be much older than that. So the story goes that a childless woman decided to bake a gingerbread man. When she pulled it out of the oven, the gingerbread man came to life and immediately ran away. She ran after to capture the gingerbread man but to no avail.
His entire journey involves a never-ending flight from danger, where he evades several animals wanting to eat him. He meets a cow, an owl, and ends with a fox who tricks him by making the gingerbread man think he’s going to help him across a stream. This mistaken trust leads to the gingerbread man’s ultimate demise.
Upon successful evasion, the animated cookie shouts laughs, and taunts at his predators; telling them to run all they like but they’ll never catch him.
Valuable Life Lessons
This classic story indicates two morals. The first is how we should not be foolish in trusting strangers, especially when they pretend to be helpful. The second is an advisory against hubris and arrogance; just because we skirt danger once doesn’t mean we should keep going and think we’ll be safe every time.
Gingerbread Men Christmas Crafts
This story provides plenty of ideas to create your own gingerbread men. Of course, you want to actually make some edible cookies but there are other things you can craft for fun, ornamentation, and gifts.
Fragrant Gingerbread Ornaments
This inedible recipe is excellent for making tree ornaments, wall hangings, or containers for pencils, utensils, or coasters. These could even act as dolls for children to reenact the tale. The possibilities are endless when sculpting clay gingerbread men.
This dough recipe will leave your home smelling like Christmas – cinnamon and baking cookies! The ingredients list for the gingerbread clay includes baking soda, corn starch, water, cinnamon, ginger, clove spice, and some food coloring. Once you’ve got a workable dough ready, use different shaped cookie cutters to cut out gingerbread men or Christmas tree ornaments (remember to poke a hole in the shape before baking if you’re planning on hanging your ornaments.)
Once the baked ornaments are cool, pull out those paints and other crafting supplies and start decorating to your heart’s content.
Paper Plate Gingerbread Men
Of course, you can always make gingerbread men out of things like brown paper bags, paper plates, or cardboard. This offers a great many possibilities to create little villages, families, gifts, ornaments, wall hangings, and refrigerator art.
The folks over at https://www.gluedtomycraftsblog.com have this delightful idea for transforming a humble paper plate into a gingerbread man. This crafting project is simply awesome as it can be customized in your child’s unique artistic style.
This entire project can comprise things you have at home, which will teach children about resourcefulness and creativity on several levels. So, it’s advisable to spend as little money on this as possible. Have a look at the complete article with instructions here
Paper Gingerbread Men
Small kids love puppets! They love watching puppet shows, and they love making their own puppets to put on a show! Watch your child’s creativity shine through, and imagination run wild (and odd voices take over) once they have a puppet on their hand.
Combine their love of puppets with their love of gingerbread, and you’ve got a match made in heaven. The little ones will adore these gingerbread men paper bag puppets they can put together with a minimum of supplies, and only a little help from mum… Or mum and dad can jump in and create their own puppets, turning the crafting project into a family activity!
You’ll most likely have all the supplies you need hiding in your crafting drawer, but if not, you’ll need to head to the store for kraft paper, card stock, markers, scissors, glue, brown paper bags, and a gingerbread man template (Simple Everday Mom was so kind as to provide downloadable templates on her post for you to use.)
Once everyone has a puppet or two made, why not host your own family puppet show where everyone can showcase their adorable gingerbread paper bag puppets?
You’ll find a list of materials and detailed photo instructions on how to make these adorable paper bag gingerbread men over on Simple Everyday Mom. Check it out here.
Material & Crafting Ideas
Collect things like paints, markers, crayons, colored pencils, glitter, ribbons, odds of gift wrap, bows, buttons, chalk, glue, scissors, tape, and pens. You could even collect things like stones, twigs, dead leaves, and pine cones from the yard. Old cosmetics will work also.
Allow creativity to run unabashed and wild! You could paint or make paper cutouts of the entire gingerbread man fable – woman, cow, owl, fox, and all for the playroom wall. A diorama could make for an interesting 3D display under Christmas trees or on fireplaces.
Creating Gingerbread Men
Gingerbread men’s crafts with children are an exhilarating way to spend the holidays. It allows for passing down the gingerbread man tradition while learning important lessons about trust and humility. Regardless of which artistic suggestion you do, make sure you include yourself in each aspect of the process and reflect on the story while crafting your cute gingerbread men.