How To Build a Gingerbread House

Nothing is sweeter during the holidays than having a day of making gingerbread houses with your children.  This can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be, though with children, it is always better to go towards the simple.

Materials needed to construct a simple gingerbread house include clean cardboard milk cartons of any size, plenty of icing, graham crackers, and lots of different types of colorful candies or cereals.

  1. Find a place, such as the kitchen table, where there is a lot of room for everyone.  This is needed, especially as all participants will be sharing the same materials.  For easy and quick clean-up, consider laying down newspaper or a disposable tablecloth on the table before you start.
  2. Give each child a milk carton, close the spout or opening, and tape it shut.  Working on one side of the carton at a time, spread a generous amount of icing on a side.  The icing is going to act as glue to attach the graham cracker to the side.  Determine the size of graham cracker you will need and place it on top of the icing.  Depending on the size of the carton, you may be able to use one graham cracker per side or you may need several.  Once the sides are completed, it is time to make the roof of the gingerbread house.  This is done in the same way as the sides though you may need smaller pieces of graham cracker.
  3. Once the sides and the roof are attached then it is time to decorate the house.  This can be done in so many different ways.  A fun idea is to outline the edges of the house with icing.  This can be done by using icing in an icing bag, or a plain old baggie, and piping it along the edges.  You can also do this to outline any windows or doors.
  4. The roof is always a fun place to begin the decorating process. Start by layering it with enough icing to hold the candy in place.  Once iced, take the candy or cereal, such a Skittles or Cheerios, and line the rooftop.
  5. After the roof is in place, consider making a door and windows by cutting shapes out of a fruit roll-up or by using wafer cookies.  Using brightly colored candies will make your gingerbread house really stand out.  Try taking a fun trip to the grocery store with the children to pick out an assortment of items to use for decorating.

Of course, once finished, the gingerbread house will definitely be a showpiece.  Make sure to display it on a plate or cookie sheet and set aside for all to admire.  You can even decorate the plate with artificial snow.


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