It’s the season for lots of gingerbread man activities! Preschoolers love them! This is a gingerbread man theme Old Maid card game that your preschoolers are sure to love as well.
Not only is it adorable and fun, but it is a letter identification and recognition game. Fun, plus some awesome literacy skills practice! Win, win!
Be sure to grab a free copy of your gingerbread man theme Old Maid card game at the end of this post! Oh, and check out a ton of other gingerbread activities I’m linking down there, too!
Gingerbread Man Theme FREE Printable
Have you ever invited your preschooler to play Old Maid? It’s hilarious. You know, preschoolers can hardly keep a straight face when they pull the old maid card.
My daughter is now seven and she still giggles uncontrollably when an opponent draws the old maid card from her hand.
Which gets the rest of us laughing, and from there things might get just a tiny bit silly.
I’ve made a few Old Maid card game printables before. Our favorite is our farm theme card game. Err, um…that is until I made this gingerbread man theme Old Maid game. This one is now all the rage at our house!
Part of it might be because of the upcoming holiday season, and part of it may be because, with our gingerbread man theme version, there is no loser!
Gingerbread Man Theme Old Maid Card Game Printable
This game requires almost no prep. Really, all you need are the cards and some preschool friends to play with!
Do you call your preschoolers you friends? I do. To get their attention, I will often say something like, “Preschool friends!” They feel so special, and I actually use it for my kids, too!
Anyway, I digress….
- FREE gingerbread man theme Old Maid printable
- Heavy card stock
- 3-5 players
How to Set Up the Card Game
Print the card game on heavy cardstock. I find for card games, the heavier the cardstock, the better. Then cut out. (Save tons of time by using a rotatory paper cutter. I’ve had one for over 15 years!)
You can laminate the cards, but they will be slippery and difficult for little hands to hold. But that’s when a cardholder comes in handy. This is the one I use for my preschoolers.
How to Play the Gingerbread Man Theme Game
Like I said, this version of Old Maid has a slight twist. There is no loser. Actually, everyone ends up being a winner, which is always fun for preschoolers.
I like “winning” games in preschool because it encourages preschoolers to cheer each other on and help out rather than play for their own gain. Of course, whenever there is a game with no loser, there are also no hurt or sad feelings to navigate, either.
This is not a “cooperative” game, per se, which are fantastic, but close.
So, to play the game, deal out all the cards to the players. It doesn’t really matter if on preschooler ends up with an extra card. And yes, the smaller group you have the more cards each player will have, which is why these card holders come in handy.
Next, invite your preschoolers to make any matches they see within their hand. Lay those matches aside. Each player can keep track of their own matches.
How the Gingerbread Card Game Works
Select a preschooler to go first. That player draws a card from the player to his left.
If the card is a match to one in his hand, he can place the match with the others he is collecting. The game continues to the next player, each player drawing from the player to the left, and continues until all the cards have been matched and one player is left with the run-away gingerbread man card (“old maid”).
What is special about this gingerbread man printable? Well, each card not only have a cute cookie-like gingerbread man on it, or gingerbread woman, but each card also has either an uppercase or a lower case letter on it. So the preschooler’s task is to make letter matches.
Now, matching letters can be difficult, especially if using the entire alphabet at once. So, this free gingerbread printable comes with two versions of the game! One with just a single letter on the card and a second set of cards with the matching letter in the upper corner, giving away the answer. That way, younger preschoolers can have a little extra help if needed.
Notice the difference?
So, two variations to use based on the skill level of your preschoolers. This is an excellent way to differentiate letter instruction in your kindergarten class, too!
About Winning the Game
Here is where the game differs.
The person left with the run-away gingerbread man is not the loser! Rather, the preschoolers celebrate for making all the matches in their hand so that the run-away gingerbread man could be caught!
If you want to add to the fun, you can sing something like,
“We ran, ran as fast as we could. We had fun and caught the gingerbread man!”
It’s a little silly, but the preschoolers love it. And bonus if you have them come up with their own song to sing at the end of the game.
Other Ways to Use this Gingerbread Man Theme Printable
Because this is a set of gingerbread theme letter cards, there are a lot of fun ways to use them! Here are a few ideas.
- Use the alphabet cards to play a game of concentration.
- Distribute the cards as in the Old Maid game and then play “I have, who has?” Here’s an example, “I have big letter T. Who has little letter t?”
- Use the gingerbread cards to spell out familiar words.
- Flash a card to you preschooler and have them go on an object hunt for an item beginning with that letter.
- Add some gross motor fun. Tape the uppercase letter cards to the wall and one-by-one give your preschooler a cards and have him race to the wall to make a match.
How else can you think to use this free gingerbread printable? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
Grab Your FREE Gingerbread Man Theme Alphabet Printable
I say this is an alphabet printable because of all the fun you can have with the cards. You can make this into more than just a game of Old Maid.
But I have to admit, Old Maid is my favorite way to use the cards! Click the image below to grab your own copy.
Looking for More Gingerbread Activities for Preschoolers?
Here are even more activities for your gingerbread man theme! Have fun, but don’t forget to grab your free printable at the end of this post!
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT
Gingerbread Write the Room // The Kindergarten Connection
Editable Gingerbread Board Game // Fun Learning for Kids
Gingerbread Man Theme Old Maid Card Game // Stay at Home Educator
Gingerbread Playdough Mats // The STEM Laboratory
Retelling the Gingerbread Man // Sara J. Creations
Gingerbread Man Printable Ten Frames // Fun A Day
Gumdrop Patterns // Playdough to Plato
How to Make a Gingerbread House Writing Craftivity // Literacy with the Littles
Gingerbread Problem Solving // Recipe for Teaching
Gingerbread Number Puzzles Freebie // A Dab of Glue Will Do
How to Bake Gingerbread Cookies Cut and Paste // Happy Days in First Grade
Gingerbread CVC Mats // Fairy Poppins
Holiday Gingerbread Syllable Sort // Mrs. Jones Creation Station
Gingerbread House I Spy // Teach Me Mommy
Gingerbread Sight Word Game // The Letters of Literacy
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.