I’ve always loved the look of gingerbread houses, but I’ve never been willing to tackle the task of making one from scratch.
I love to bake, but something bothers me about making something no one will ever eat. And all the steps – baking gingerbread, making frosting, assembling the house and hoping it all comes out well enough to even get to the fun part of decorating – discouraged me from trying.
Then I discovered a little $5 kit that did all the work for me. The particular kit I bought, which I found at Target, had prebaked house pieces, a tube of frosting ready to go, a special tray to help everything stand up the way it should, even candy. It seemed much more realistic for a fun project to try one afternoon with my toddler.
My son, an aspiring chef (or, “jeff!,” as he pronounces it), was beside himself when we put together our little gingerbread house. Before naptime, we followed the easy instructions to “glue” the house together with frosting on the little plastic tray. He helped me hold the tray steady and then held the roof in place as we watched the clock and counted down one minute.
After naptime, the structure of the house was dry and ready for decorating. I put Frosted Mini Wheats on the roof to look like a thatched roof while my son used candy pieces to make the “trim” of the roof and house. He thought a fence made of upside down pretzel twists was a hilarious idea.
All in all, it was a fun little art project. It got a little messy, and he ate a lot more frosting and candy than I’d like to admit, but the end result was a happy kid and a cute decoration for him to proudly display on the counter.
Note: Since we bought our kit, I’ve seen them in several department stores. You can also buy them with the house already assembled and ready to decorate for about $10.