Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Gingerbread Man

When I was teaching I started to notice that a lot of children today are not familiar with classic stories, fairy tales, or nursery rhymes. These stories are classics for a reason! Kids love them and often they teach a valuable lesson. A favorite in our house lately has been The Gingerbread Man. This story has been retold in many different ways, but most versions tell of the Gingerbread Man who escapes from the oven and then runs away from the farm workers and various animals. He repeats the line, "Run run as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man." Ultimately the little man runs into a wolf who tricks him into slowing his run and letting down his guard. The result is the end of the Gingerbread Man and a tasty treat for the wolf.

When reading this story, I try to have my son chant along with the repetitive phrase, "Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man." We also try to remember all of the people and animals that the Gingerbread Man ran away from as we read. Try some of the following activities we did after reading the story.

Make a paper gingerbread man
For this activity I drew a Gingerbread Man shape on white paper and had my son color it. You could also just cut it out of brown construction paper to save time if you wish. After cutting him out, I gave my son dots to glue on for eyes and buttons. Then I put a couple dabs of glue on the gingerbreads hands and feet and we sprinkled on a little cinnamon to give the man a fresh out of the oven aroma. Jack said he wanted to put the gingerbread man in the oven. I wasn't crazy about the idea of sticking paper in the oven, so that led to the next activity.

Make a cardboard box oven
There always seems to be large cardboard boxes in our house from diapers or something else I ordered on Amazon. So the latest Pampers box became our oven. I cut all of the flaps off one side of the box. Then I taped the two larger flaps together and then taped it to the bottom of the oven. Next I used some of the cardboard from the leftover flaps to make a handle for the oven. I covered the entire thing in brown paper and added some oven knob details. Now that we have an oven we can retell the story as we act it out. We put the gingerbread man on a cookie sheet and put him in the oven then we pretended he escaped. We tried to remember all of the characters from the story that he ran away from and we chanted the famous line, "Run run as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man."

Make cookies
Every story gets better when there is baking involved! We looked up a recipe to make our own gingerbread men and made these delicious cookies. Click here for the recipe we used.
I am not normally in love with gingerbread cookies but these were delicious! They were also much easier to roll and cut out than sugar cookies normally are so that was a positive for me.

Of course, we had to make a Lightning McQueen and Mater cookie too!

Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man!

Online activity
Here's a quick online activity you can try too. Click here.

For the complete list of activities based on books and songs, click here. 

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