The kids will love this simple gingerbread house STEM project! Create engineering masterpieces by designing and building unique and edible structures.
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The holiday season calls for gingerbread, and lots of it! This gingerbread house STEM project is the perfect way to kick off the holidays. Scroll to the end to find 20 more AMAZING educational gingerbread activities for the kids!
Building gingerbread houses is a tradition we love at our house. This year we decided to take our gingerbread house building skills to the next level by making the process simpler, more creative, and more educational. We turned it into a holiday engineering activity the entire family loved!
This year we transformed our simple gingerbread houses into engineering masterpieces. Instead of pre-building the houses for the kids, we turned the design planning and building over to them. They loved having the freedom to make their own unique creations.
Gather the following supplies before you begin building your graham cracker gingerbread house:
- Graham crackers (we used both honey graham crackers and chocolate ones for variety)
- Royal icing (recipe below)
- Plastic sandwich baggies
- Paper plates
- Candy pieces of your choice (Dots, gumdrops, gummies, and peppermints are some of our favorites)
Edible Royal Icing Recipe
Usually royal icing calls for egg whites, but we wanted to whip up icing that the kids could eat without worrying about the bacteria in raw eggs. It worked perfectly and tasted great, too!
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 Tbsp cold water
- 4 Tbsp boiling water
Mix powdered sugar, gelatin, and cream of tartar together. Slowly add cold water while continuing to mix. When all the cold water is mixed in slowly add hot water. Mix with kitchen beaters on medium to work out any lumps. If the icing is too thick add water drop by drop until the desired consistency is reached. It should be thick, yet sticky.
Gingerbread House STEM
Once our supplies were gathered we started by cutting the graham crackers into various shapes and sizes. The kids got to choose which building blocks to use for their houses. They absolutely loved having the freedom to create the kind of house, castle, or shack they wanted.
We spooned the royal icing into plastic baggies to use as piping bags and carefully cut a tiny hole in the corner of the baggie. The icing is the “glue” for the gingerbread house.
Once the kids planned out their structures we helped them squirt the icing to glue all the pieces together. We started by gluing the graham cracker pieces to the paper plate so that the houses had a sturdy base. They trimmed their graham cracker pieces into the the exact shapes and sizes they needed for their structures.
After the kids built their houses and castles they were ready to decorate them. They used more royal icing to stick festive candies on the outside. When they were finished each of my kids proudly expressed how much they loved their unique engineering creations.
This gingerbread house STEM project was a real hit! I loved that it was simple and that I didn’t have to slave over the oven making actual gingerbread. The kids loved planning and creating their gingerbread houses from scratch. And we all enjoyed the time together and the yummy candies. 🙂
More Gingerbread Fun for Kids –>
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Gingerbread Pattern Cards // The STEM Laboratory
Science Christmas Ornaments: Long Lasting Gingerbread Ornaments // Schooling a Monkey
Initial Sound Gingerbread Puzzles // A Dab of Glue Will Do
Decorate a Gingerbread Man Art Activity // Mom Inspired Life
Gingerbread Addition Mats // The Kindergarten Connection
Gingerbread Coverall Games // Recipe for Teaching
Gingerbread Man Counting Cards // Sara J Creations
Gingerbread Clip Cards // Fun With Mama
Gingerbread 2D Shape Match and Count // Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Gingerbread Story Sequencing // DIY Farm Wife
Gingerbread Play Dough// Play and Learn Everyday
Gingerbread House Building STEM // Science Kiddo
Gingerbread Ten Frame Counting Mats // Modern Preschool
Gingerbread Man Busy Box // Teach Me Mommy
Gingerbread Man Stamping // Simple Play Ideas
Gingerbread Number Line Addition to 12 // Fairy Poppins
Gingerbread Man Addition Cork Board Game // Adventures of Adam