Sometimes I will adapt the traditional bread dough ornament recipe by adding brown food dye (Wilton brand makes it nice and dark.)  This gives the dough a “gingerbread look” for making gingerbread men and more.

I feel it is important to bring a direct experience from the fairy tales and stories we read.  Making cookies is an obvious choice for the story, “The Gingerbread Man.”  These story based experiences provide a meaningful context for the story, an understanding of the story elements, and a way to extend to elements of the story in new ways.  I have noticed a deepen and more engaged relationship to our stories the more I bring story based experiences.

A painted gingerbread man!  So cute!
  I made two batches for 23 children.

Bread Dough Recipe

1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup of hot tap water with brown food dye added

Mix all the ingredients together in bowl.  Knead until smooth.  Add more flour if dough sticks to your fingers.  It should be smooth not too sticky.  This recipe will be enough for 3 to 5 children depending on how many things you would like them to make!

Bake for one hour in a 300 degree oven.  Let cool.

TIP:  Sometimes the salt in the dough can cause a bit of a smoky white look to the dough after it bakes.  I have not figured out why it happens sometimes and sometimes not — but if it does – I just brush a quick coat of brown tempera paint over the tops.

Special Paint Frosting Recipe
Acrylic paint (cheap variety in squeeze bottles)
Glue

Mix one part paint to one part glue.  Stir.  Use cheap paintbrushes like those found in watercolor boxes.

Special Sprinkles
Small seed beads
Different kinds of glitter

I give each child a handful of dough to form as they wish.  After the dough is baked, then it is time to paint and decorate the “cookies.”
After the bread dough cookies are painted and decorated, spray coat them in a sealant.  They are now ready for the housekeeping center and lots of fun play!
Open a cookie store!  A bakery!  A Keebler Elf Shop!

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