I was going over a list of religious Christmas symbols, and discovered that there’s a religious meaning behind gingerbread men! It seems there’s a religious meaning behind almost everything revolving around the Christmas season. So we’ve been having fun making some fun gingerbread crafts!
Check this quote from this site about how gingerbread men can be used to teach religion:
GINGERBREAD MAN: The gingerbread man does not create himself but rather is created. Gingerbread people remind us of God’s creation of Adam in the Garden of Eden, and God’s creation of each of us. Spices, reminiscent of those mentioned in the Old Testament, make the gingerbread man the color of earth (Adam was created from the dust of the earth). Like us, gingerbread people are not immortal. They are destined to be eaten and thus to unite with their creators. God does not eat us (rather we consume His Body and Blood in the Eucharist), but our mortal bodies, like that of the gingerbread man’s, will not live forever. God created us for eternal union with Him after we die. Gingerbread people remind us to look beyond ourselves to our Creator with whom we will one day be united.
So yesterday, I was reading Spell Outloud (a blog that I love, by the way), ran across Maureen’s post about religious scratch ‘n’ sniff Christmas ornaments, and I thought “DIY scratch ‘n’ sniff paint?! How have I never made this stuff?!?!” So we started experimenting.
To make your own scratch and sniff watercolor paints, just mix 1 packet of Kool-aid to 2 tablespoons of water and stir. Most of the colors will come out nicely all on their own, but a few colors (such as purple) don’t paint onto the paper with great color. If you want, you can add a little bit of tempera paint. Be careful with this, because tempera paint has a distinct smell, and you don’t want to cover up the smell of the Kool-aid.
We wanted our gingerbread houses to smell like ginger, and the candies to smell like candy. After all, isn’t that what makes scratch ‘n’ sniff pictures so much fun? To make ginger-smelling paint, mix 1 part tempera paint to 2 parts water, then add ginger. (You could also substitute cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, etc). I was very generous with the ginger- I’d say I added a whole tablespoon.
The ginger paint worked out really well, and smelled great! You don’t even really need to scratch to smell it. 🙂
I printed different gingerbread coloring sheets from all over the place, and I printed them on card-stock. When looking for coloring pages, just go to google images and search “gingerbread coloring”… there’s a ton out there! I printed pages from here and here. This would also be fun with this color by number gingerbread house.
My kids and I had so much fun painting (and smelling!) these gingerbread creations!
It’s really fun to smell all the different “candies” on the houses!
Also, as I’ve been homeschooling Lydia’s kindergarten, we’ve been working on word families. We made a gingerbread lapbook focusing on “an” words. He was a gingerbread man, and he ran, and he was cooked in a pan, cooled by a fan… you know. 😉
I cut the lapbooks from leftover brown packing paper. I was going to use paper grocery bags, but I didn’t have any. We all made one- even Violet who is only 18 months old! Can you tell which is hers?
We decorated the outsides of our gingerbread houses with stickers, white-out, and sticky labels. We were inspired by this gingerbread house craft from Family Fun.
Here’s Lydia’s gingerbread lapbook:
Inside the gingerbread lapbook:
On the left, we cut out gingerbread men like a paper doll chain. Lydia decorated them, and wrote one “an” word on each man.
In the middle she made a printable gingerbread man book (I can’t find the link I printed this from, but here’ s a similar book you can print) about a yummy gingerbread man that gets eaten bit by bit. She made the men on the pages by tracing a gingerbread man cookie cutter, and decorated with markers and white-out. She really enjoyed tearing off his limbs as he got eaten! 🙂
On the right side, Lydia made a little book with the gingerbread man story with these gingerbread man sequence cards. The book slides into a little pocket made of constructions paper and tape.
On the back of the lapbook, Lydia wrote out the gingerbread man rhyme (with her “an” words in red) on gingerbread man shaped paper. You can print your own here.
Be sure and follow up your gingerbread crafts and activities with the gingerbread prayer! I found this gingerbread prayer over on Julia Bettencourt’s site:
The Gingerbread Prayer:
Dear Lord, Put in me the right ingredients that best reflects Your love. Don’t let me allow the world to seep into my life.
Dear Lord, Bake me with Your love and bring me through the heat and trials of your choosing so that I’m fit for Your service. Let me rely on Your strength so that I won’t crumble and fall apart.
Dear Lord, give me eyes to see the needs of others instead of my own. Help me see with Your compassion.
Dear Lord, Give me a nose to tell the difference between what the world offers and what Your Word says. Help me to know right from wrong.
Dear Lord, Give me arms and hands to give and work for Your glory. Help me to uplift others when they need it most.
Dear Lord, Give me legs and feet to follow You. Help me spread the news of Your birth and wonderful gift of life that You offer us.
Dear Lord, Give me the sweet smelling aroma of Your love so that others may know I’m Your child.
Dear Lord, Decorate me with Your love and make my life beautiful for You.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen