Building Gingerbread Houses with Play Dough

There seriously has not been a day for the past week when we have not done a Christmas activity with play dough! Our most versatile play dough of the week has been the cocoa play dough that we used on our Thanksgiving turkeys and our reindeer. We have played with it without me taking pictures too…. *wink*! This time we had a blast building and decorating gingerbread houses with play dough.

Gingerbread Play Dough Fun

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Supplies we used for building a gingerbread house with play dough:

Cocoa play dough (though ginger scented play dough would have been really awesome! )

Gingerbread man buttons

Shape buttons

Foam stars

Pom poms

Textured play dough rollers

Gingerbread cookie cutters

House cookie cutter

christmas play dough tray

As you can see from the picture, I color-coordinated everything, but you don’t have to. You can use your child’s favorite colors or whatever you think would spark your child’s interest.

Since, I was working with my 1st grader, we did some higher level things than my preschooler would have accomplished. My 3-year-old would be content to randomly stuff buttons into the play dough ball and then dig them back out again. But for my 1st grader, I had some other things in mind.

She needs a lot of encouragement to express herself, so she really loves it when I take the time to play alongside her. Of course, with four children it’s not always possible for me to have one-on-one time with her just to play with play dough, but we were having a really cooperative day, so my oldest was playing with my little one while we were playing in the play dough.

First we decided to use the house cookie cutter. We rolled out the dough with the textured rollers and then cut out the houses. I talked about how the roller had created a pattern in our house.

Sometimes it’s good to call attention to simple things like that. Recognizing patterns is a big skill for life and for math concepts later on. So, it’s important that we teach kids to notice patterns in things.

After that, Jaida decided to build a pyramid of gingerbread men in her house. I love how she saw the idea in her head before she pressed the first button into the play dough. She’s really great at thinking ahead. (Sometimes a bit too much…)

gingerbread play dough

Once she was finished with her pyramid, I modeled building a 3D gingerbread house.

play dough gingerbread house

First I created a base rectangular prism by pressing each side and end on the table to make them ‘flat’. Then I created a triangular prism for the roof and pressed them together. Jaida copied me with her cute little first grader hands! I think she did a wonderful job!

Then we decorated our houses. She decided that her house needed people to stand on top of each other again and have a hand on the roof.

gingerbread play dough Featured Image

We had some great one-on-one time building Gingerbread houses with play dough! What will you do this week to get some one-on-one time with your kiddos? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment to share!

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  1. Kim – An easy way to make gingerbread play dough is to use gingerbread flavored tea. It smells very yummy and is the perfect gingerbread color. I have been enjoying your posts and getting some great ideas. Thanks – Kathy

    1. That sounds wonderful! We used the cocoa play dough because it is still so fresh, but soon I think we will do some Christmas scented ones. 🙂 I’m glad you’ve been enjoying what I’ve shared!