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It's almost time for one of my favorite kids' library programs: gingerbread house making! Lots of libraries have this program, here's the simple way we do ours:
Registration is required for crowd control and supply purchasing needs. Due to demand, this year we are offering two sessions on the Saturday before Christmas. One at 11 a.m. and the other at 2 p.m. For space reasons, we are limiting the sessions to 20 kids, generally that will give us another 10 parents we have to squeeze in as well. We do not have a separate program room at my library, so there will be random patrons about as well.
- Frosting (I recommend 1 can for every 3-4 kids, some kids are very conservative and others are less judicious about their frosting application.)
- Graham Crackers (1 box for every table averages out about right. By more then you think you'll need to account for broken pieces.)
- Assorted Candy
- Pretzels in various shapes (rods for the roof, different shapes for windows and doors)
- Plastic knives
- Plates (used as a base) or sub paper towels.
- Milk cartons (obtained from the local school district, who sends them through the industrial dishwasher for us. Then I staple them closed.)
You can also read some Gingerbread stories before the kids get to work but I don't bother because we don't have enough room and I can't compete with candy for their attention.
This is probably the most expensive program we do all year (except maybe our Carnival), but the most fun too. And very little work for us (besides cleaning up afterward, which is a disaster)! We also do a puppet show over winter break, so most of my programming energies go into that.