Quick advent activity: “Gingerbread” house

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Gingerbread house @Whimsyinlove

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We get squeamish when it gets the least bit icy outside, and we’ve been extra precautious when it comes to getting out in the cold lately, so that we do not have any illness before our trip to see family and my sister’s graduation. Thus, we skipped out on our planned activity of a local, outdoor Christmas festivity that we normally love attending every year  – with animals and a living Nativity and hayrides and cookies, and lots of lights, etc. Then, our alternative was a life-sized gingerbread house, but after starting the drive there, decided it was too risky for ice and turned back home, much to the disappointment of our 2.5-year-old, Pen Elaine, who acted completely crushed. However, her chagrin turned to excitement at the mention of using marshmallows to make our own gingerbread house…thus I came up with an impromptu gingerbread house making plan, knowing that we had just bought graham crackers and that I had a tub of icing in reserve for a holiday occasion such as this!

Supplies I gathered: (first, wax paper as a table topper on which to set and build everything)

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graham crackers

icing with plastic knives

sprinkles! (I had a bit of holly sprinkles from last year, plus chocolate and plain red ones) – I put these in little accessible bowls with tiny spoons

candy-coated chocolate pieces (like m&m’s)

mini marshmallows

these animal-cracker-like-cookies that were in the shapes of letters and numbers

20131209-113633.jpgMy Honey did the basic structure-building, using icing and graham crackers, so that we could pile on sprinkles and candies, with plenty of intermittent marshmallow-eating by Pen Elaine. She poured on sprinkles with the tiny spoon until we stepped in and encouraged some other decorating supplies…but it was clearly a hit and very fun. We got a little creative when my Honey built a dog house, and thus they put together a pseudo-dog with the shaped crackers. I tried making a little person with the shaped letters, stuck with icing to a flat piece of graham cracker. I think it turned out pretty cute and colorful, but mostly, it was extreme Christmas joy and magic for our toddler (and me, those shaped crackers dipped in icing were very tasty)!

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