2 1/2 years old

Gingerbread Play Dough


We've got a bit of a thing for gingerbread at this time of year, especially after making our favourite Salt Dough Gingerbread Photo Keepsakes last year.  So we've been very busy making gingerbread play dough and playing with it for the past few days.  Such a fun way to spend a cold day inside being nice and cosy whilst we play and learn.

gingerbread play dough decorated with gems

Making Gingerbread Play Dough

What you'll need:
  • 2 cups flour (whole wheat or buckwheat flour are good for the colour)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp oil (I use sunflower oil)
  • mixing bowl and spoon
ingredients to make gingerbread play dough

I got Ivy to mix together the flour, salt and ground ginger.  I then take the bowl away and mix in the boiling water myself (just to be safe) then bring the bowl back to her, reminding her to be careful because it is now hot, and she added in the oil and mixed it all together with the spoon.  Once it starts to cool you can get your hands in there to knead the dough and make it a nice smooth consistency.

kneading the gingerbread play dough

Gingerbread Play Dough Invitation to Create

What you'll need:
  • gingerbread play dough
  • tray
  • rolling pin
  • cookie cutters
  • gems and sequins
set up for gingerbread play dough invitation to create

I set up the tray on the table for each of the children to have a turn at making some play dough gingerbread people.  This is intended to be their own free time to create with no rules and guidelines from me.  

rolling out the gingerbread play dough

They were able to take the ball of gingerbread play dough that I gave them, use their rolling pin to roll it out flat and then use their gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut it out.  This was all done independently by both Ivy (2 1/2) and Ethan (5).  You can see the difference in their abilities to roll out the dough flat and thin, but both had a real go at it and lots of fun decorating their gingerbread people.

cutting out the gingerbread play dough

Ethan chose to make a few different gingerbread people that really looked like gingerbread men, with eyes, nose, mouth and buttons.  Whilst Ivy prefers to be a bit more abstract and just put gems all over her gingerbread people.  

decorating a gingerbread play dough person

decorating a gingerbread play dough person with eyes

Playing and Learning with Gingerbread Play Dough

finished gingerbread play dough person

The great thing about this activity is that it is open ended and the children can take apart their play dough gingerbread people and make new ones over and over again.  They're working on skills like coordination, hand strength and creativity without even knowing it and having lots of fun.  Not to mention the smell of the gingerbread play dough is absolutely fantastic!

This post is part of a kids activities blog hop, check all of the other fun gingerbread themed activities!

Gingerbread Math - Making Five // Mrs. Jones' Creation Station
Gingerbread Pattern Cards // The STEM Laboratory
Initial Sound Gingerbread Puzzles // A Dab of Glue Will Do
Gingerbread Addition Mats // The Kindergarten Connection
Gingerbread Coverall Games // Recipe for Teaching
Gingerbread Man Counting Cards // Sara J Creations
Gingerbread Pre-Writing Strips // Letters of Literacy
Gingerbread Clip Cards // Fun With Mama
Gingerbread 2D Shape Match and Count // Liz's Early Learning Spot
Gingerbread Play Dough// Play and Learn Every Day
Gingerbread Man Busy Box // Teach Me Mommy
Gingerbread Man Sight Word Game // Playdough to Plato
Gingerbread Man Stamping // Simple Play Ideas

Take a peek at some of our other Christmas crafts, games and activities!

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