Saturday, November 29, 2008

Advent Activity Calendar - December 15

Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 45: 23-25 “By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, 'In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength.' " All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. But in the LORD all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult.”
Country Focus: Germany

Tradition: Gingerbread Houses

Activity: Make a gingerbread house!

Materials: gingerbread house pieces, candy decorations and icing.


1. I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted! I'm using a house form from the grocery store. But if you want to follow a recipe to make your gingerbread house from scratch you can find it here.
2. Decorate your gingerbread house using icing to hold on your candy.
3. Ask your children to use their imagination to come up with the decorations.
4. Some ideas...
  • Chicklets for the roof shingles
  • Mini wheats if you want a thatched roof
  • Twizzlers or sticks of gum for the house planks
  • Tootsie rolls for fence posts
  • Frost a ice cream cone green to make a Christmas tree and decorate it with sprinkles for ornaments and lights

These are my boys creations. They had a party with their friend!


Check out Pam's kids! Here are their gingerbread houses!


Ginger is a spice from Malaysia. The root is used to sooth upset stomach or to prevent a cold, which made it's use popular during the winter months. In the 11th century, ginger was introduced to the Europeans. The English invented ginger candy. Later, bread crumbs were added and gingerbread was developed.

In the Middle Ages, ginger was abundant in Germany. Germany was the center of the spice trade. Nuremberg, Germany became known as the gingerbread capital. Many types of craftsmen contributed to the making of elaborate gingerbread creations. Carpenters and sculptors carved wooden molds for the shapes. Artists decorated the bread with icing and gold paint.

At first hearts, angels, and wreaths were sold at fairs. During the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I gave her guests gingerbread portraits that looked like them! Later in the 17th century, the discovery of molasses made gingerbread more accessible. No longer just something for the wealthy, families started making their own gingerbread men cookies. But still the focus wasn't on houses. In the 19th century, while the Grimm brothers were collecting fairy tales, they found one about Hansel and Gretel.

Have fun decorating your gingerbread house! I know your kids will have fun eating it!

No comments: