Molly and I love gingerbread! We made a big "to-do" of making gingerbread cookies this year and we only had to focus on the fun part because I'd bought some pre-made dough by Pilsbury at the grocery store for about $4. It was well worth it because all we had to do was open the package and start rolling it out! Molly (4) and Ben (1) both got to be hands-on for this kitchen adventure, using the rolling pin and many MANY cookie cutters.
We made a few traditional gingerbread men, then some girls, teddy bears, and Santas.... also Christmas trees, trains, and a random circle. And snowmen. The kids had lots of fun decorating them with regular and white chocolate chips, candies, and sprinkles. After they had been baked, Molly got to add white and pink (her choice) frosting to some, too Each cookie was unique and delicious!
Later, Molly and I made some glittery gingerbread men to decorate our kitchen cabinets! We used some foam gingerbread men shapes I'd gotten from the Target dollar section (love the Target dollar section) and regular glue and all kinds of glitter. First we applied the glue in whatever design we wanted - just one section at a time so we could dictate which color/kind of glitter we put on it. It was really fun to create different personalities for them and I ended up taping them to all my kitchen cabinets like a sweet, sparkly baking wonderland.
(sorry, for some reason this photo keeps uploading sideways... but you get the idea!)
Finally, I'd like to share two gingerbread books we read several times over the past few weeks: The Gingerbread Man, retold by Jim Aylesworth and The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. I LOVE that second one. The story is cute and the pictures are great - you can really talk about what is happening behind the scenes while the Gingerbread Baby runs away from everyone else. Both good books - and not actually "Christmasy" so you can still read them and make gingerbread cookies even in January!