new experience #38: decorate two g’bread houses with two nieces!

on the twenty-third day of december...

little e and i have decorated a gingerbread house together every year since she was one. i can’t believe i don’t have photo documentation of each of our projects – slacker aunti! but, here’s a look back at the last two years!

2009: this year, i had purchased a ready-made kit, but you had to assemble the walls and roof. our roof ended up caving in!

a pensive look!

…so that year the gingerbread house became the gingerbread stable.

fun wow!

2010: we made a house and also decorated gingerbread cookie people! i believe cutie c was napping at the time (i see the baby monitor in the bottom of this photo!).

busy bees! i mean ELVES!

nice work!

2011: i’ve been excited about continuing the gingerbread house tradition for weeks! the last aunti-visit wednesday before the hols would be a good day for house decorating – save the most exciting tradition for close to christmas!

this was the first year, then, that cutie c joined in on the gingerbread fun. i thought it best to provide TWO gingerbread kits for TWO nieces. that way, there’d be no fighting, no biting over the execution of artistic ideas.

it was meant to be: i got the last two kits on the shelf at valumart, and they were on sale! talk about the stars being in alignment.

yup - a PRE-FAB house - no wall-building necessary!

we set up operations on the dining room table: the houses were unearthed from their plastic wrap, and the girls helped pour the candies into little plastic bowls, for easy access:

someone is pleased as punch already!

the great thing about these kits is that you don’t even have to mix icing. you just squoosh the icing baggie to warm it up a little, then you’re ready to go!

squish squish!

so just like that, we were ready to d e c o r a t e

nicely done, cutie c!

it was interesting to see the difference between a 2.5 year old and 5 year old in terms of creative ideas and advancement in fine-motor skills:

little e thought to dip her bead candies into the icing and then apply them

fingers as "glue" applicators!

cutie c got super-involved with pouring the candies from one bowl to another, back and forth – i think she liked the sound?!


our house decorating party went a lot more smoothly than i had anticipated! to be honest, i was not sure how much mess and cacophony might arise with this project (two frustrated children? one frazzled aunti?) but the girls were awesome little decorators – they were really focussed and interested in our project. they also did not need much assistance – i helped with squeezing out the icing, but they handled the candy applications pretty much on their own. we each had a ton of fun!

someone is pleased with her finished product! is someone else!

a view of the back door!

and at the end of the day…

a couple more christmas decorations for the dining room table

let’s pose for a final photo!

take one!

take two!

take three! oops, we lost someone!

what a good party. the girls agree that we need to decorate gingerbread houses every year!

is gingerbread house decorating a tradition with you? we didn’t do this activity as kids – there were no kits for sale back in the 70’s – but we did decorate sugar cookies.

i think it’d be fun to do a mini-village of houses – get everyone in the family to do their own house!

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  • Gina Unger  On December 23, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    so much fun! good work, aunti cathy! we just made our house this past week too! 🙂 the kids and you look like you had a great time with it all… and i did NOT even know there were pre-fab houses to buy with ready-made icing in a bag! too funny!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      ooo, i hope you post pics of YOUR g’bread house!! i bet you all had a blast, too!

  • Dorry  On December 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    so much fun! this has never been a tradition for us, although I’m thinking it should be. I might even go look for a kit today to make with my nieces on Christmas Day. 🙂 love all the photos. Merry Christmas!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      oh, yes! i highly recommend it as a fun auntie tradition to establish, dorry! merry christmas to you – enjoy your time with your family!

  • Stephanie  On December 23, 2011 at 10:52 am

    So cute. Aaaaaah…can I take those girls home? The last time I made a gbread house with my niece, the dog pulled it off the table and ate the whole thing while I was at work. We didn’t make gbread houses very often as kids, but I remember making it one year with my mom…we mixed and baked it ourselves. I don’t think she enjoyed it that much… Ha!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 23, 2011 at 11:24 am

      yea – making a g’bread house from scratch is way too intense! once was enough for me, too! your memories make for good stories, stephanie! 🙂 what a scamp of a dog!! so people aren’t the only ones who like to sneak candies and icing off the houses!!

  • Johanna B  On December 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Rach and I did decorate a house at home one year. What an experience (we had none) in getting those walls to stand up. She did not want to wait until the glue (aka icing) dried so we had a few cave ins. Came out cute in the end though and we put it up every year for several years. I also had the experience of making graham cracker houses with my girl scout troop. That was a fun mess. 10 girls, all that icing, all those candies…

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 23, 2011 at 9:42 am

      oh yes! i have seen “recipes”/directions for the graham cracker houses that you then decorate. wow – good for you for taking on that craft project with 10 girls!! i bet “the village” of their houses looked super cute, though! that’s fun that you and your daughter made a house, too! yes – icing does not have quite the same sticking power as real glue!! 🙂

  • Zo  On December 23, 2011 at 8:57 am

    That looks like so much fun! I went to a gingerbread house decorating party once, but think I was more interested in eating rather than building!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 23, 2011 at 9:06 am

      haha! thank goodness the premade kits are not that tempting (can you say stale?!) – if you put together your own selection, now then it would be different! happy friday, zo!

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