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Gingerbread Christmas STEM Projects

For years my kids have begged to do gingerbread houses.  They remember making them one year when they were super little and how much fun it was.  

Due to food allergies and special dietary needs, we aren't able to just buy the kits you see so often in stores. Everything needs to be made from scratch.

The thought of all the work I would need to do to prepare for this activity was a little overwhelming, so I came up with an alternative plan.

I told the kids we could do gingerbread projects, but it was up to them to do everything from start to finish.  I would help when needed, but they were in charge.

We weren't going to just create the simple gingerbread houses everyone's used to.  

Instead, the kids were going to design, plan and create their own Gingerbread Christmas STEM projects. This way we could use learning time to work on them each day.

The results were breathtaking and well worth the hard work.

Gingerbread Christmas STEM Projects

 Creating Gingerbread Christmas STEM Projects

The first step in our Gingerbread Christmas STEM projects was the planning.  The kids each drafted a design of their gingerbread creation in their math notebooks.  

They were sure to be specific with measurements so they knew exactly how big each piece of gingerbread needed to be. The graph paper notebooks worked very well for this as each square represented an inch.

Gingerbread Christmas Projects Planning Phase

Once they had their designs, they went to town cutting out pieces of cardboard for each and every piece of their projects.  

It being Christmas time, we saved cardboard boxes that arrived with packages to make sure they would have as much as they needed.

One purpose of the cardboard was to make sure everything fit together and would actually work when using gingerbread.

Cardboard was also selected for use because it works fabulously well as a template when cutting hot gingerbread fresh out of the oven.  Fingers don't burn like they would using paper or cardstock.

Gingerbread Christmas Projects Supplies

Once all of the cardboard pieces were cut and kids were sure their projects would work, it was time to run to the store for supplies.  

Not only had they drafted out their creations, but they also colored them in their notebooks, noting what types of candy they would need for each design.

Their projects plans were extremely large. I'm not going to lie, this project was quite expensive. The kids chose to use Christmas money from grandparents to pay for everything they needed. It worked out quite well.

One set of our learning time shelves became our gingerbread Christmas STEM projects station. All of the supplies, templates, and gingerbread pieces were stored there until we were ready to glue and decorate.

Gingerbread Christmas Projects Baking

Next came the baking!  It was at this point that the kids realized just how big their project ideas were and just how much gingerbread they were each going to make. Lol.

I was impressed they never gave up or downsized. They stuck with their original plans and made countless batches of gingerbread.

My kitchen smelled spectacular!

Christmas Gingerbread Projects: More Baking

Once all the gingerbread pieces were baked and cut, the kids took over our dining room table.  We prepared our bases, to ensure everything would fit correctly the way the kids wanted. 

Knowing how large these projects were, I knew I would be surrendering the table until all creations were finished and the kids were ready to say goodbye to them.

Gingerbread Christmas Project Pieces

The kids then immediately went to town gluing all of their pieces together. It was at this point Princess realized she needed a larger base, so we created that.

I loved the gluing process as it was such a great practical life task that strengthened hands and finger muscles.

It required a lot of coordination.

Gingerbread Christmas Projects Assembly

The kids did such a great job helping each other when necessary, especially when it came to holding things in place before supports were set up perfectly.

We used a LOT of soup cans, spice jars, etc. to prop up all of the pieces, letting everything dry for a good 24 hours before moving on to the next step in gluing. The entire process took 48 hours in total.

Though nothing was decorated yet, the kids were so proud of their creations.

Gingerbread Christmas Project Gluing

The gluing phase was the first time Dinomite was able to see his creation together for the first time. 

His design was so large that he needed to create one half, then the other.

He had planned ahead, making interior supports out of gingerbread, which worked out fabulously well.

Gingerbread Christmas Projects Gluing Final Touches

After the glue dried, the kids went to town with frosting and candy decorations. 

This process took much longer than they anticipated, but they didn't give up. 

Over the span of a few days they created such beautiful masterpieces.

Gingerbread Christmas Projects: Let the Decorating Begin!

Princess had designed a gingerbread castle, all the way down to the coloring she wanted on each and every piece.

She was so meticulous with her details.

Gingerbread Christmas Projects: More Decorating!

Bulldozer created a Minecraft-inspired Christmas village. He planned out and created two different sizes of houses, making two of each, and a tower that was absolutely incredible!

Gingerbread Christmas Projects: Frosting

Dinomite was determined to create a battleship, which was definitely a challenge due to the shape and angles.

There were some definite obstacles along the way, as he realized what he could and couldn't do with gingerbread and candy. Still he pressed forward. He made adjustments. 

The final project was out of this world!

All of the projects were amazing.

Gingerbread Christmas Castle End

Princess' castle was so colorful. Each and every part of the castle was so unique. I just loved her choice of candy, as I would have never thought of using some of the items she did.

She even took the time to cut her candy into the perfect sized pieces, so they would look exactly the way she wanted them to on her castle.

Gingerbread Christmas Castle Side 1

The front and the back of the castle looked so different from each other.  

Still to this day, I can't choose which side I like better. She did such a fantastic job.

Gingerbread Christmas Castle Side 2

Bulldozer took a minimalistic approach to his Minecraft inspired houses, trying to make them look as much like the real thing as possible, while still using candy.

Gingerbread Christmas Village

Most of his energy and effort went into his fabulous tower.  

I just LOVE how it turned out, especially the top with the rolos and mini m&ms

He had an idea in mind and he definitely followed through with it!

Gingerbread Christmas Vilage Inspired by Minecraft

Dinomite's gingerbread battleship was absolutely incredible. 

It was filled with so many little details. 

I think my favorite detail is the set of two blue planes on the front deck.

Though I really love everything about it. He worked so hard to make it absolutely perfect!

Gingerbread Christmas Battleship

Dinomite's battleship was a treat to look at from every angle.  He really did such a fabulous job working with his gingerbread to create the exact shape and size he wanted.

Gingerbread Christmas Battleship Project

I absolutely loved this gingerbread Christmas STEM project.  

It incorporated so many fabulous lessons. Unlike some other projects we do, this took a LONG time to complete.  

I love that it started from a simple request and vision and turned into an incredible reality.  Their hard work really paid off!

I also love that each creation definitely represented each kiddo, their interests, color preferences and more. 

If you have kids who are ready to take on a project like this, I definitely recommend it.  Just budget accordingly and plan a few weeks to do it from start to finish!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the resources below.

Symbols of Christmas Activity and Free Printables Christmas Tree Activities with Free Printables Free Christmas In Europe Printable Pack Christmas Unit with Free Printables Montessori-inspired Gingerbread Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Nutcracker Printable Pack

Gingerbread Christmas STEM Projects

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