I love gingerbread men because while many teachers use them as a theme leading up to Christmas, you can use them for fairytale themes and other general winter themes before and after the holidays. The other thing I love is that there are several fun picture books about gingerbread men that you can use to support all this learning. Don’t miss a few great gingerbread men book suggestions after the gingerbread man counting activity.
I created this activity because I have count & clip cards that include digits that my class likes but are a little too tricky for them. My students aren’t developmentally ready for count & clip cards that require them to recognize digits, at least not independently. As I watched them play with these cards the other day, they didn’t get too frustrated as long as I could participate, but I saw how ready they were for more straightforward cards like these one-to-one correspondence cards. One to one correspondence is a foundational skill for both math and reading, so taking the time to include activities like this gingerbread man activity in your classroom is time well spent. In my classroom I will only be using the first 4 cards but I have created a free printable that includes the numbers 1-8 remember even children that can count much higher than that, will tire or get frustrated clipping that man clothespins on… this isn’t just an activity that works out their brains, their little hands and fine motor skills will be working overtime too!
Gingerbread Man Math & Fine Motor Activity
Gather your materials. You will need the FREE printable gingerbread man counting activity cards, some fine-tipped markers, wooden clothespins, scissors, and a laminator. If you are concerned about plastics – you can always find some cardboard such as cereal boxes and glue the printables on to make them sturdy enough to clip the clothespins on without lamination.
While your laminator warms up, use the markers to turn your clothespins into gingerbread people. This isn’t just cute; this will help as you teach little hands how to work clothespins. Saying ” Pinch the gingerbread man’s toes, now clip his head on to the card.” works wonders!
Cut the cards out.
Arrange on a tray to make the activity inviting.
Count & clip.
Gingerbread Men Books
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Georgie the Gingerbread Fairy by Tim Bugbird is a sparkly fun book about entrepreneurship. Georgie is a little fairy who makes gingerbread, but when a new shop opens, her business drops. When a problem arises with the new shop, it’s Georgie to the rescue to keep the holidays smelling ( yes, you read that right) as the holidays in her little fairy town. My daughter likes this book and loves to pick out which fairy she would be on every page ( I’ll give you a hint it’s always the one with the most color pink), and I appreciate the message of problem-solving and women-owned businesses!
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup was an instant hit with my kindergarten-aged son, but it was too long for my daughter (who was a toddler at the time of review) sat and listened but wasn’t engrossed in it. The story was all about pirate gingerbread men who came 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 Gingerbread Man (Easy-to-Read Folktales) by Karen Schmidt is just such a silly story. What I do like about this tale is that while it still packs the punch of one character eating another like many fairy tales, it’s just a gingerbread man, so when the fox eats him, it doesn’t seem so bad really. My son loved the repetition of the text when he was a preschooler and sang along with me as we read. It’s a good story to talk about taunting and showing off. We also played gingerbread man tag later that day, but we skipped the whole cannibalism bit.
Mini Merry Book: Gingerbread Joy by Julia Woolf is a tiny little book that toddlers and babies love. As expected, this is a super simple book about baking gingerbread houses and people as a treat at Christmas time. What my daughter loved about this book when she was a toddler, were all the shiny foil inserts in the already fun illustrations. This book isn’t just for toddlers and babies; the simple text makes it an excellent choice for emergent readers. All in all, a perfect little stocking stuffer!
More Gingerbread Man Activities for Preschool
If you want more gingerbread men activities, including crafts, free choice activities, and circle time lesson plans, Check out my Gingerbread Friends Mini-Unit in my teacher shop.