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Decorating Gingerbread Houses with Kids

This year we have been slow at getting everything lined up for Christmas time. I don’t even have my snow village setup. I am not too worried about it all quite yet because it is still the first week of December. However, I am glad we got the Gingerbread Houses decorated with the girls this week. It is fun to sit around designing our own candy houses.

Last year, I invited a bunch of my friends over to my house with their kids to decorate together as a large group. One issue came into play, we live in a smaller size home. I invited too many people; even so it was a fun time. This year I was wiser and stuck to just our family. I also skipped out on the homemade gingerbread and got a few boxed Gingerbread House Kit!

cheap gingerbread house to decorate with kids

I think someday when I am a Grandma I will take the time to really sit down and do some amazing Gingerbread House Design, but right now it isn’t about how pretty it can be. Right now it is about spending time with my children.

We set everything up at the kitchen table. Immediately, we realized the kit didn’t come with enough candy for our family and we need more for the houses. Ryan took a trip up to CVS to get some more sugar decor. While he was gone Isaiah was hanging out in his highchair like a big boy. He was happy eating his new favorite meal Cheerios.

Did you know Gingerbread Houses originally were made with a Spice cake recipe? In England, Gingerbread is a type of biscuit made with ginger. You will find the gingerbread man is very popular over there across the ocean. Also, you will see gingerbread year round in England. I bet it’s because it goes well with tea time. I read that in Germany they dunk their Gingerbread into wine. Gingerbread is generally associated with Christmas here in the US. I would also venture out to think our choice of beverage to dunk Gingerbread into is milk.

Jadis was so excited to make the houses.

Jadis and Daddy worked together while Ruthie and I did one with one another. Really, Ruth just wanted to eat candy! Mikaela put hers up by herself this year. I was happy that the frosting that came with the kit was pretty good. I like homemade frosting better, but for the ease of a kit I can live with frosting from a tin package.

Ruth wanted to make sure we knew what we were doing –

She kept handing me the how to make a Gingerbread House instruction booklet.

Gingerbread has been a long time favorite food source for making Christmas tree ornaments since at least the Victorian era. The Gingerbread House has become very popular ever since the book Hansel and Gretel was written with a candy witch house tricking the children to come closer. Doesn’t that make you think “Christmas”. Like most symbols and holidays there is a mix of good and bad. It comes down to how you celebrate them in your home and heart.

Why do we make the Gingerbread Houses with our kids –

One reason is it is fun to make them. We also like to spend time one on one with our children. Both Ryan and I are very creative people and doing a craft of some sort works well for our family time. Another reason to make Gingerbread Houses is to start a new family tradition. I love making memories with my family and I hope when they are older they will look back at their childhood and remember the fun, cozy, crazy, loving times we had together.

This year Jadis did very well getting the house put together. A trick I use is making a small dab of frosting onto the foundation of the house just to hold it in place well.

I was busy putting Ruth’s house together.

When Someone Stole The Frosting…

Good thing we had more than one tube of frosting!

Back in October 2006 Roger Pelcher built the world’s largest gingerbread house in the Mall of America. Take a peek here at the construction of the Gingerbread House – it’s pretty cool.

Photo Credit:

  • The gingerbread house was 1,496 square feet
  • Built from 14,250 pounds of gingerbread and 4,750 pounds of icing
  • It took approximately 1,700 work-hours in nine days to build.
  • Embellishments included: 1,800 Hershey’s chocolate bars, 2,800 pearsons nut rolls, 1,200 feet of Twizzlers, 100 pounds of Tootsie Rolls, 300 pounds of DOTS, 100 12″ Whirly Pops and thousands of other delicious candies.

I wish he would have built one this year. It would have been super fun to take the kids to see it, but I guess I can show them the video.

Jadis got her Gingerbread House up without any issues.

I never knew this, but you are suppose to let them sit for 2 hours before you decorate them. Which makes total sense. Ryan frosted the roof of Jadis’ Gingerbread House and it fell apart. With a little help from Dad it was back up without a problem.

I always have a hard time putting the roof on the Gingerbread Houses, but this year I went slow and had patience. Giving the frosting time to harden really is key to keeping the house standing.

The next morning we all sat down again to frost the Gingerbread Houses.

Mikaela’s house stood strong all night – until it came time to decorate it.

Once again, Ryan helped Jadis with her house.

Ruth ate candy, again.

I took over decorating Ruth’s Gingerbread House. I wanted to do something fancy, but she kept sticking her fingers on it and licking the frosting off of the roof. No point in trying to make it super high class because she just wanted to eat it right then and there.

If you want to get a great recipe and free printable layout for Gingerbread Houses I would highly suggest you going to Sweetopia. I love Marian’s cookies and designs. I was thinking I would try to make her tree cookies this season.

We all really enjoyed digging into the Gingerbread Houses after dinner last night. As we were eating I thought oops I forgot to take a photo of our houses once they were all done! I was able to take a couple shots before we ate the rest.

Ruthie’s Gingerbread House

Jadis’ Gingerbread House

Mikaela’s Gingerbread House

Our must haves on the Gingerbread Houses are M&Ms, Twizzlers and Gummy Bears.

What are your must have candies on your Gingerbread House?

xoxo Kelly