Hi! I am KJ. I live in Toronto, Canada and write a little blog called let's go fly a kite. I like to sew and craft with my two daughters (age 2 and 5). My blog has a collaborative aspect as I often feature projects and the creative adventures of my friends and family. I also try to post an equal amount of girl and boy posts, or at least gender neutral ones. I have never guest blogged before so this is a new experience.
When Gwen offered me a spot in her Haul out the Holly event, I wasn't sure what I would post about. My favourite Christmas decoration is a popcorn garland, which needs no explanation and I am a traditionalist: my background is half Scandinavian so I lean toward a red and white Christmas, I love Nativity sets (the older the better), Christmas carols, cranberries and paper whites.
I also love gingerbread men. Each year, my sister and I celebrate gingerbread and today I am going to show you a few ideas to host a gingerbread celebration for young children. This year's party was a no-bake portable one as we brought it to my dad's house (about 350 miles away) to celebrate.
I strongly believe that every party needs a garland. This is an easy one.
Using a gingerbread man cookie cutter, cut out about a dozen men from brown felt.
Stitch them together with a single running seam, as shown (photo below, top right).
Next, have fun and decorate each gingerbread with Scribbles 3D paint in brilliant white. If you want to add a little colour, there are some terrific felt stick-ons at Michael's. I added some candy canes.
Cut out a circular wreath form out of cardboard and wrap with strips of brown kraft paper.
Purchase some gingerbread cookies and hot glue to the wreath form.
Before you get started with your gingerbread houses, you might want to have an activity for the kids while you are waiting for any late comers.
This year we created a little play dough center with gingerbread play dough mats (essentially these are a gingerbread paper cut out laminated). My girls love to use play dough in this way and it keeps things fairly tidy.
You can use store-bought or homemade play dough and it is nice to use a peppermint extract to enhance the sensory experience.
Sensory Experience: Cinnamon and Sandpaper Ornaments
This is an easy and interesting ornament.
Cut out a gingerbread shape out of sandpaper. If you want the shape to be an ornament, punch a hold and thread a string or pipe cleaner.
Depending on your age group, you may want to discuss what cinnamon is first and then start rubbing the stick on the sandpaper. It should give the sandpaper a nice scent.
What to Wear
For decoration, I like to use a lazy susan to display the candy. IKEA's SNUDDA lazy susan can easily be transformed with some gift wrap and pompom fringe.
These are some fantastic ideas, KJ! I love the cookie wreath and the favor bags, and that printable is so fun! I am constantly amazed by the projects that KJ shares over at her blog let's go fly a kite. Her ideas are so clever and unique. She shares some incredible projects for kids and great recycling/repurposing projects, too. And she can sew! Thanks, KJ, for sharing your gingerbread party ideas with us!