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hack a gingerbread house

Family Matters: Gingerbread Houses & More

Here’s a list of ideas, open-ended projects like building gingerbread houses, and more, I shared here and this week in Family Matters on GoLocalProv.

Kido Tip 1. Get ready for Sledding!
Last year, Rhode Island sledding conditions were amazing. Best not to wait ’till the first snowfall to find sleds need repair and kids have outgrown their snow boots. Get gear together now, clean the thermos and stock up on your favorite hot cocoa. You may find some stores already have pre-holiday sales and thrift shops may be the place to buy slightly used snow pants. Once the snow falls, you will be ready. Check the Kidoinfo list for Best Sledding Places in Rhode Island.

Winter Wonderland

Kido Tip 2. Make a gingerbread house–from scratch, from a kit, or as in our house, hacked together.
Creating a gingerbread village has become an annual tradition in my family. Even though I love to make the houses for it with my kids, I am a better crafter than a baker. And since I have not mastered the art of creating an edible gingerbread house, I have hacked together gingerbread houses that look pretty good in the end and are fun for the kids to assemble. I use a combination of ready-made gingerbread kits, graham crackers, old Halloween candy, and a low-temp glue gun to construct our village. Add some lights, trees, figurines, and cotton batting, and you have a miniature winter wonderland. Pre-assembled houses are available at most craft store or make an authentic house by baking yours from scratch. Set the mood for little ones first by reading Gingerbread Baby, written and illustrated by Jan Brett.

Kido Tip 3. Encourage open-ended toys and play time.
This time of year we are barraged with ads and commercials for toys of all types including video games and toys that are preprogrammed and pre-decorated leaving little room for kid’s own creative and imaginative play. When choosing toys for kids, think about their intended use and if the toy provides opportunities for children to transform, change or adapt it for their own play. But do not underestimate a child’s power to create a world that is truly their own when provided the materials and time to do so. Providence Children’s’ Museum recent article on Kidoinfo, Drawing Conclusions, advocates more opportunities for authentic play time away from the screen. How do kids play in your house? Share your thoughts on this topic here.

Read more on Go Local Prov.

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