Area of Study: Fine Arts, Language Arts, Math, Fine Motor Skills. Ages 3-6.
The Gingerbread Lesson Plan is designed for children ages 3-6, but many activities can be adapted for older children (see suggestions in the gray boxes). The lesson plan below includes:
introduction activity, literacy, math, a gross motor scavenger hunt, song, and suggested readings. Incorporating Gingerbread lessons into your holiday curriculum is a fun way for kids to play, learn, and create with Wikki Stix!
Begin your lesson plan by placing baking supplies in a bag or tote (suggested items: a child’s size apron, rolling pin, small cookie sheet, measuring spoons, measuring cups, large spoons, and
a gingerbread man cookie cutter). Begin by pulling the items out of the bag one at a time. Invite the children to explore the different items to see if they can guess what they will be learning about. Pull the gingerbread cookie cutter out of the bag last. If your children are struggling to come up with the concept of Gingerbread (it may be unfamiliar for young children), then add a copy of one of the Gingerbread books suggested below to the bag or tote. Show the children the book cover and read the story to begin the lesson.
Literacy and Wikki Stix Created Gingerbread Cookie Craft
5 Little Ginger Cookies
Invite the children to craft Gingerbread Cookie Stick Puppets from Wikki Stix. Make a tray with
brown and white Wikki Stix (and assorted other Wikki Stix colors for the gingerbread cookie
decorations). Note: scissors will be necessary for cutting Wikki Stix pieces for the decorations.
There is no right or wrong way to make a Wikki Stix gingerbread cookie. Younger children may wish to only make a brown Wikki Stix spiral for their gingerbread cookie craft.
Older children may wish to make the entire gingerbread cookie with decorations (see photo on page 1). Have the children make a square with two strands of Wikki Stix. Each side of the square should then be pushed slightly inward as in the photo above. The children can then fill in the gingerbread man outline with additional brown Wikki Stix. The gingerbread cookie’s head is made from one brown Wikki Stix strand wrapped around itself to form a spiral (see photo above). If desired, the children can add the eyes, a mouth, a nose, buttons, or other features to their gingerbread cookie craft.
Invite the children to twist 2 brown Wikki Stix and 2 white Wikki Stix together to make the "stick" for the gingerbread cookie craft. Place the cookies (created above) on top of the stick to form stick puppets to use with the poem below.
Print the poem – 5 Little Ginger Cookies (download the PDF here) for each child.
Read the poem to the children and have them hold up one of the Wikki Stix Ginger Cookie Stick Puppets as the poem is read.
5 Little Ginger Cookies
There were 5 little ginger cookies sitting on a stick.
The 1st one said, "My icing is nice and thick!"
The 2nd one said, "I have 2 candy eyes!"
The 3rd one said, "I need a button, OH MY!"
The 4th one said, "Let’s go run and play!"
The 5th one said, "Soon it’ll be Christmas Day!
Then the 5 little ginger cookies all ran out to play…
Waiting very patiently for SANTA and his sleigh!
~The Preschool Toolbox Blog
As the children become more familiar with the poem, they will begin retelling the poem in their own words using the Wikki Stix created stick puppets. Leave the Wikki Stix gingerbread cookie stick puppets out for the children to play with. It is a great way to encourage early literacy skills.
For older children: Invite older siblings or children to read the poem to younger children. The younger children can hold up a stick puppet as each line is read. It is fun to watch younger and older children collaborating in story telling!
Materials needed: 1-2 dice, Wikki Stix, Scissors, and One Printable Gingerbread Roll and Cover (download the PDF here) for each child.
Prior to playing the math game: Cut strands of Wikki Stix into 1/4’s with scissors (these strands will become the X’s to cover the boxes within the game). The Wikki Stix can be cut with safety scissors, but younger children may need assistance.
The children should roll 1 or 2 dice, count the number of dots, and place a Wikki Stix X inside the box with the corresponding number/number word. Play should continue until all numbers on the page are crossed out with Wikki Stix (note – if a child rolls a number that has already been crossed out, the child should continue rolling until an "open" number is rolled).
Suggestion for use with older children: Have the children add, subtract, multiply, or divide two numbers as they are rolled. The children can also form the SUM to the problem from Wikki Stix. CREATING the sum will aid in the retention of basic math facts.
Gingerbread Gross Motor Scavenger Hunt
Hide the Wikki Stix gingerbread cookie stick puppets (see craft instructions above). Invite the children to go on a gingerbread hunt around your school, house or classroom.
For older children, leave clues for the children to go from one location to the next. If you work in a school, have children go to another teacher’s classroom or use this activity to find different areas in your building (such as the principal’s office, nurse, cafeteria, art room, etc.)
If you work in a childcare setting or with children in your home, have the children search for the
gingerbread cookie stick puppets by leading the kids to different areas in your room (such as under the couch, behind a door, above a window, in a particular book, etc.)
Extension idea: If the children are too young to follow "clues" to find the gingerbread stick puppets, leave a trail of brown Wikki Stix from room to room or location to location in order to help the children find where the gingerbread is hiding.
Kids love playing this game and will ask to do it over and over. Be sure to think of challenging hiding spots for older kids. For very young children, make the hiding spots easily seen.
Song to Accompany the Gingerbread Lesson – have the children use the gingerbread created stick puppets (instructions above) and hold them up as the song is sung.
10 Little Ginger Kids (Tune: Ten Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little ginger kids,
Four little, five little, six little ginger kids,
Seven little, eight little, nine little ginger kids,
Ten little gingerbread kids.
Suggested Books for the Gingerbread Lesson Plan
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett
Children’s Classic Fairy Tales: The Gingerbread Man by Parragon Books