This fall, the story we chose to use for our wall project was Hansel and Gretel. We felt creating the witches gingerbread house would be an exciting project, and would tie in well to the end of the year gingerbread themed holiday event.
We started the kids off with a basic house shape, that they would then put the various decorative elements on.
Weeks one and two we worked on icing the house. The hope was that the kids would create windows and a door with the icing (cut up strips of white construction paper), and they did a fantastic job. It is always important to remember that this will not turn out perfectly, or the way you want it to, but I think the kids did very impressive work in this case.
For week three we began adding the candy. This addition was m&m’s.
Next, we added gumdrops cut from sparkle paper for week four.
For week five, we attempted to make a patterned roof. This of course did not go as planned, but the halved doilies and red and green dots did help fill the house out.
Week six was Halloween week, so we added an unconventional gingerbread house candy: candy corn!
We had this kids color their own starlight mints to add to the house for week seven.
Week eight was Starburst week. I worried they wouldn’t be recognizably Starburst, but the colors I used and the square shape made them obvious.
For week nine we brought out all the extra candies we had left from previous weeks. The kids went to town, adding anything they wanted, and really filling our house up with decorations.
To finish off the adding phase, for week ten, we added candy canes. Candy canes are such an essential piece of most gingerbread houses, that we could not leave them out.
We like to end the semester by having the kids interact in some way with the wall project, rather than just add another thing. This semester we created a 3D gingerbread house out of boxes, that the kids could actually go inside of. They LOVED it!
We also had the kids make small gingerbread houses of their own. You can read about that project, and see how they turned out, in Making Gingerbread Houses with Preschoolers.
You may have noticed the candies moving around in each picture. This was the first time we encountered this problem with our build. Library patrons were frequently rearranging the decorations in the time between each storytime. Luckily this didn’t appear to upset any of the kiddos, but it is an issue we are now working on addressing for next semester.