What I love about this gingerbread man activity for circle time is that you can easily adjust it to your classroom’s ability level when we do that it’s called differentiation and you can learn more about how to do that here. This simple gingerbread man activity can be used as a group activity or for free choice too. I like to do that activity in a group first and then leave it out for free choice the next day and watch my students put their own spin on it when they are free to be more creative. This gingerbread man themed activity focuses on shape matching but uses color matching as a scaffold.
For more gingerbread themed ideas do not miss our gingerbread friends thematic unit, it’s packed with ideas for this time of year. Use discount code PEACE for 25% off.
Gingerbread Man Activity
Print out these gingerbread man printables and shapes –> print everything here!
Each man is a full page, and the shapes are on one page as well. In all, you should be printing out five pages.
I don’t laminate the gingerbread men because magnets have a hard time sticking to laminated pages.
I do laminate the shapes. Cut them out after you laminate and add magnetic tape to the back. Please don’t use button magnets in a preschool classroom; they can fall off items and be swallowed. They are very dangerous. I use magnetic tape like this in big pieces that would be very hard to swallow.
Place the gingerbread men on your magnet board, or cookie sheets propped up against a wall.
Pop the shape pieces in a bowl or basket.
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There are a lot of gingerbread books I like but NONE that I love for circle time with children as young as I teach right now. If you are a 2 & 3 year old teacher like me, I’d use a generic Christmas themed book that includes making cookies like Mouse’s First Christmas, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, or If You Take A Mouse To The Movies. If you have older ( 4+) I’d read the suggestion below, it’s just too long to read and do this activity for younger students.
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup was an instant hit with my son when he was 5. The story was all about pirate gingerbread men who come to life on Christmas Eve and faced Santa even though most of them were left for him to eat. There is an adventure; there is humor and a whole lot of Christmas magic. What made this book for me were the illustrations by Matt Tavares. I loved that they were from the perspective of the gingerbread pirates. Love this book.
The Circle Time Activity
After reading the book ask your students if they have ever decorated Christmas cookies? Did anyone decorate gingerbread men? Tell your students that today they will get to decorate some but not with frosting or sprinkles, today they get to decorate with shapes. Show them the gingerbread men and label the shape in the upper left corner of the paper. Repeat with all the gingerbread men. Of course feel free to use as many or as few gingerbread men as you want.
Show your students the basket or bowl with the shapes and tell them you will pick one out and they have to help you decide where it should go!
Pull out a shape and encourage the children to call out the shape. Label it yourself if they don’t.
Ask one child to come and place it on the correct gingerbread man.
Repeat until all the children have had turns or the activity is no longer engaging your students.
Follow this circle time with a fun gingerbread activity like Gingerbread Playdough or these no glue Gingerbread men!