Need Some Small Group Time to Complete Your Students' Parents Gifts? Check Out This Gingerbread House Craft!

Creating crafts with students and making lots of parent gifts and ornaments can be very stressful and time consuming too. But oh so fun and worth the time!
Christmas Time Lunch Bag Gingerbread Houses for Elementary School Students by Teach With Me

My friend Diane at Teach With Me and I were talking about the fact that teachers work all year on PRIDE IN YOUR WORK, and NOT RUSHING AND MAKING A MESS.... all things I know you teach your students too. 

But last year I've notice a scary trend and many teachers are talking about it in different forums and Facebook groups, our students are coming to school with absolutely no fine motor skills. Why are fine motor skills important? Fine motor skills are achieved when children learn to use their smaller muscles, like muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrists. Children use their fine motor skills when writing, holding small items, buttoning clothing, turning pages, eating, and cutting with scissors for example.

Many of our students don't know how to hold a pencil, no matter what type of pencil, they don't know how to cut and many of my students in the last few years hold the scissors at a weird angle and cut towards their belly, YIKES! They couldn't take the cap off of a glue stick, twist the glue bottle, peel the wrapper off the crayon to sharpen it, or remove the wrapper off of their juice box straws. All sorts of things that I've never seen before, maybe you have noticed this trend in your classroom too.

Last year, Diane send me her Lunch Bag Gingerbread House craft, she told me it takes awhile for them to make, they get to make all sorts of decisions about the style and what they want to put on their house AND bonus, they have to color, cut and glue the entire thing, fine motor skills and Christmas all rolled into one! I let them use markers, they were as happy as can be, Yipee!

Diane has photos and samples in her resource, and I used one of them on the digital overhead camera as we discussed the layout of a house.
Christmas Time Lunch Bag Gingerbread Houses for Elementary School Students by Teach With Me
Then I left the sample picture up there with Christmas music playing so they could color and sing, they Lo♥ed it!! I was able to call my small groups back to work on another ornament a few students at a time. Win-Win!

Here are some of our creations...

Diane includes excellent directions, especially if you're a new teacher and this time of year has you stressed beyond belief! She also has an excellent product description where she shares a lot more wonderful ideas to extend this activity.

Product Description
Let's make a "Gingerbag" Gingerbread House!

Here’s a non-messy gingerbread house, that’s a quick, easy & fun craftivity, as an alternative to the gooey graham cracker creations, that often fall apart.

There are 10 pages of candy, cakes and ice-cream trimmings, chimneys, doors, and windows, that your kiddos can choose to decorate their paper bag gingerbread house with.

Face the bag towards you so that the bottom of the bag is at the top, and looks like a flap. This is the perfect place to glue the “candy roof” and chimney.

Students cut out whatever pieces they want to glue to the front of their house.

They arrange the pieces ‘til they are satisfied with the look, and then glue them down. Children then color the trimmings with crayons or markers.

White puffy paint, glitter glue, and stickers add pizzazz to the houses.

For that finishing touch, glue a child’s photo in one of the windows.

You can also spritz the "gingerbags" with some cinnamon scent.

For writing practice, I've included 2 worksheets where students describe their gingerbread house.

These make a cute bulletin board too.

Caption: “Mr(s.) _____________’s kindergartners are wishing you a sweet and cozy Christmas.” OR…. “From our house to yours, we’re wishing you a yummy New Year.”

These are perfect for that last energized week before break too.

Since they're a bag, children can also tuck things inside to bring home.

Teachers have also left comments that they use this craft for their "Christmas Around the World" travels to Germany. Great idea!

I hope this little peek in to my classroom helps you with your day too. Click here to buy the Lunch Bag Gingerbread House at TpT.

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