Are you planning for Gingerbread Week in your classroom? These free gingerbread lesson plans for preschool are a fun and festive theme for winter time! Every year the week before Christmas break, we spend the week doing all the gingerbread activities we can find. It’s the perfect holiday theme…especially if you’re not able to celebrate Christmas in your classroom.
16+ Gingerbread Man Activities for Preschool
Since gingerbread (or some form of it) is fairly universal throughout the world, it makes a great preschool theme–especially if you have a classroom with students who may not celebrate Christmas.
Gingerbread man activities are some of my favorites, and both toddlers and preschoolers will love these activities for a fun gingerbread man theme that are part of my Learn at Home Preschool Lesson Plans.
What are the Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans?
The Learn at Home Preschool Activity Plans are a set of free activity plans you can use to teach your preschooler at home.
Each set of lesson plans is centered around a weekly theme and includes a minimum of 16 activities that can be done throughout the week. They are designed to be done at home with parents, but many preschool teachers are using these lesson plans, too!
Just glance over the lessons each day, gather the very few materials needed, and you’re ready to go!
All the preschool learning activities are quick and easy to set up, requiring very little (if any at all) prep and only require the most basic of household materials. This makes them especially easy for parents to implement…and this makes preschool teachers happy, too!
These activities also work wonderfully in the classroom, and if you’re a preschool teacher who is remotely teaching you can send these lesson plans to your student’s parents.
FAQ About Gingerbread Man Activities
The moral of the gingerbread story is to be careful of who you trust. The fox was very tricky and was able to reap the rewards of lying, but the gingerbread man should have given more consideration to who he trusted.
Now, I don’t necessarily share all this with my preschoolers unless it comes up naturally in our discussions. Mostly, we just enjoy a silly story with a smooth cadence.
A gingerbread theme can be taught at various times thoughout the year. The original story itself is not related to Christmas. In fact, it is said that the association of gingerbread to the Christmas holiday was a result of the story Hansel and Gretel, when the two children came across a candy cane at the gingerbread house. [source]
The point is that a gingerbread man theme could potentially be taught any time of the year. Any time in December is appropriate, as is right after Christmas when children get back from holiday break.
Like any preschool theme, a gingerbread theme should include a number of activities from different content areas. These Learn at Home Preschool lesson plans include gingerbread activities in literacy, math, sensory and gingerbread art activities, and more.
Don’t Forget Gingerbread Books!
There are now so many different versions of the Gingerbread Man Story, and it’s really fun to read them all to our preschoolers. Here are some of my favorite gingerbread people books.
Hands-on Gingerbread Man Actvities for Preschoolers
Check out the activities below for gingerbread letter activities, gingerbread math activities, gingerbread crafts, and even gingerbread science activities.
Literacy Activities for a Preschool Gingerbread Theme
Gingerbread Man Train – Make a yummy cookie alphabet train! Print off these gingerbread men cards and invite your preschooler to line up the gingerbread men in alphabetical order. Each gingerbread man card has a single letter on it. You can make this more or less challenging for your preschooler by using all the letters, both upper and lowercase at once, or you can choose just one set at a time. You can even use these gingerbread man cards to spell names, sight words, or simple CVC words.
Gingerbread Man Old Maid Game – First, print this free gingerbread game. To play, deal out all the cards. Next, invite your preschoolers to make any matches within their hands. Set the matches aside. Then select a player to go first. That player draws a card from the player to his left. If the card is a match, he can keep the match. The game continues to the next player and continues until all the cards have been matched and one player is left with the run-away gingerbread man card (“old maid”).
Math and Science Activities for a Preschool Gingerbread Theme
Gingerbread Math Counting – This activity is a really fun way to teach preschoolers basic addition concepts. Using the printable pages, preschoolers can practice composing five. Select a page and ask your preschooler to identify the number. Using the gingerbread men, invite your child to add enough gingerbread men to the tray to make five total. This is really a gingerbread song, so it’s perfect for circle time, too!
Gingerbread Cookie Counting – Fill a gingerbread man cookie cutter with pom-poms or other small items. Roll a die and add the number until the cookie cutter is full. How many can you fit in each cookie cutter? Do you get the same number of items if you use a different manipulative? Try more than one and compare the results.
Gingerbread Cloud Dough – Make fine motor cloud dough with a few ingredients and invite your preschooler to add buttons and explore freely. This is a fantastic science and sensory activity. If you’re worried about the mess of cloud dough, just lay down a shower curtain from the dollar store and remind your preschooler that the cloud dough has to stay in the bin.
Playful Learning Activities for a Preschool Gingerbread Theme
Tea Party – Time for a relaxing tea party with some stuffed animals or family members. Snack on gingerbread cookies, homemade or store-bought, and enjoy good conversation! If you have some boisterous boys, this is a fun way to teach them to be gentle.
Hide and Seek – Play the classic Hide and Seek game. Indoors or outside, invite your preschooler to hide in clever hiding places. Utilize different roles such as the gingerbread man and the fox as you play. The fox has to find the gingerbread man!
Puzzles – Save that box from the gingerbread house kit! Cut out the box front in various puzzle shapes to make an impromptu puzzle. Puzzles are great for critical thinking and spatial awareness, and preschoolers absolutely love them! Or you can take a photo of a gingerbread house your preschooler made, print it, and make a puzzle out of that photo.
Social-Emotional Activities for a Preschool Gingerbread Theme
Managing Difficult Situations – Go to YouTube and listen to the story The Gingerbread Man by Jan Brett. After listening to the story, discuss with your preschooler how it was hard for the man and woman to catch the gingerbread man. Question your preschooler on hard things. “What do you do when things are hard? What can you do?” Encourage them to reflect on how the whole town came to help and they didn’t stop trying to catch him.
The Gingerbread Man Has Feelings Too – Draw five or six gingerbread men using a cookie cutter or freehand. Invite your preschooler to create scenarios/a story for the gingerbread man and draw his emotions. “The gingerbread man has an argument with his gingerbread friends, he feels so angry! What kind of face should you draw on the gingerbread man?” Encourage the gingerbread men to work together with their varied emotions to end the story on a happy note. This activity is perfect for building imagination and expressing creativity through art.
Just Plain Fun Activities for a Preschool Gingerbread Theme
Gingerbread Playdough or Cookies? – Make this yummy and spicy gingerbread playdough recipe…that doubles as a cookie recipe! After playing with it, time to grab the cookie cutters for a tasty treat.
Gingerbread Gross Motor – Invite your preschooler to pretend to be a gingerbread man. Use terms other than running like skipping, rolling, tip-toeing, etc. Don’t forget to outsmart the fox!
Gingerbread Plate Craft – Paint a paper plate brown. After it’s dry, use yarn to make hair and use buttons to make eyes, rosy cheeks, and a nose. Draw the mouth on with a marker. Add a gingerbread body if you like!
Get Online Activities for a Preschool Gingerbread Theme
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. After reading, reread the story and this time focus on the gingerbread man cutouts on the left and right side of the pages. What is Matti doing as the story progresses (making a gingerbread house)? Why would the author include these clues?
5 Gingerbread Men Song – This catchy song is a fun spin on the classic tale and encourages learning subtraction in a simple way.
Gingerbread Man Song – A kid favorite! Jack Hartmann does it again with a lively song about the gingerbread man.
Make Your Gingerbread Theme Even More Fun!
Sometimes adding in themed learning items makes the theme more hands-on and engaging! These are some of our favorite Gingerbread themed learning toys and activities.
Get Your Free Printable Gingerbread Lesson Plans Here
Think these gingerbread activities will be a ton of fun for your preschoolers? Download and add these ideas to your gingerbread unit by grabbing your own copy! Click the image below.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.