Friday, December 11, 2015

G is for Gingerbread Man

Where the T was for Turkey in November the G is for Gingerbread Man in December for this kindergarten classroom. 
Kindergartners have been totally immersed throughout the month with a variety of gingerbread man activities. I never knew there could be so many things to do from one story. My best memory of kindergarten was making gingerbread men with my class and Miss Ann.
Today it still reigns as a highlight for children in kindergarten. Who would have ever guessed that two boxes of gingerbread mix could provide so much fun.

The class had such a good time making one large gingerbread man and decorating it with all sorts of candies, cereals and raisins. The cooks baked it in the kitchen and the gingerbread man was enjoyed as an afternoon snack. 


If you decide to use a prepared mix rather than homemade cookie dough I would suggest using Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix. It takes two boxes to make one large gingerbread pictured above. 
Of course a gingerbread man needs a poem to be complete. So to refresh your memory...
Once there was a gingerbread man,
Baking in a gingerbread pan.
Raisin eyes and a cherry nose,
Trimmed right down to his fingers and toes.
A gingerbread man in a gingerbread pan!
Here's the old woman who made him so sweet,
A treat for her and her husband to eat,
She made him with flour and sugar and eggs,
She gave him a face and two arms and two legs.
A gingerbread man in a gingerbread pan!
Now open the oven to see if he's done,
This gingerbread man, he know how to run.
Out of the oven and onto the floor,
Now run away out the kitchen door.
The gingerbread man, he's out of the pan!
Now chase him old woman, now chase him old man
Chase him, yes chase him as fast as you can!
Through the garden and out the gate,
Catch him right now, before it's too late.
The gingerbread man, he's out of the pan!
Along came a cow who wanted a treat
And the gingerbread man, he looked good to eat
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan!
Along came a horse who wanted a snack
But the gingerbread man, he never looked back
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan!
Along came a farmer who wanted a treat
And the gingerbread man, he looked good to eat
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan!
Along came a dog who wanted a snack
But the gingerbread man, he never looked back
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan!
Along came a hog who wanted a treat
And the gingerbread man, he looked good to eat
Run, run, as fast as you can
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man
I'm the gingerbread man and I'm out of the pan!
Along came a fox who wanted a treat,
And this gingerbread man, he looked good to eat.
Jump on my back, my gingerbread pet,
And we'll cross the river, so you won't get wet
Mr. Gingerbread man, who's out of the pan!
There was no place to go, there was no place to run
And a ride on the river could be lots of fun!
So off with the fox did Gingerbread go
And what happened next, you already know
To the gingerbread man, who's out of the pan
That sly old fox had a de-lic-ious treat
And the old man and woman had nothing to eat
Not a bite was left for the cow or the dog,
The horse or the farmer or hungry old hog
There's no gingerbread man in or out of the pan!
So let us go home and get out the pan
And we'll make ourselves a new gingerbread man!
And when he is eaten, we'll make us some more
But this time we'll be certain to lock the back door!
A new gingerbread man, in a gingerbread pan!
Many different story versions of the story The Gingerbread Man had preceded cookie making as well as other related activities. I thought this one  was particularly creative.
An empty gingerbread box was filled with paper gingerbread men. A different sight word was placed on each gingerbread man as a review. But three gingerbread men each had a fox drawn on it. The box was passed around to a small group of children. The object was to see who could collect the most gingerbread men in an allotted time. If you drew a fox out of the gingerbread box you lost all your gingerbread men and had to start over. 


My all time favorite gingerbread man story is "The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School".
It is a fresh and funny twist on the original story. When a class leaves for recess, their just-baked Gingerbread Man is left behind. But he's a smart cookie and heads out to find them. He'll run, slide, skip, and (after a mishap with a soccer ball) limp as fast as he can because: "I can catch them! I'm their Gingerbread Man!"
With help from the gym teacher, the nurse, the art teacher and even the principal, a deliciously sweet ending is served up for both the Gingerbread Man and the children who made him. Suggested ages 4-7.
The class was gifted with their own gingerbread man. Target's bakery carries this wonderful gingerbread man cookie kit complete with cookies, icing and sprinkles. What's not to like!
Last, but not least this book was their holiday classroom gift. "J is for Jingle Bells" by Laura Purdie Salas.
It is an informative alphabet book about Christmas, perfect for young children. Especially this class who are working on their letters. 
Each letter has a Christmas holiday related word to go along with it (except Z is for daZZle). The definition or explanation of the given word is written so that it is both informative and easy to understand and is accompanied by photographs. The author includes Fun Facts about Christmas at the end of the book and also provides a glossary of unfamiliar words (example - anticipation) and additional resources.
Suggested ages 4-7.
For the adult reader I am sharing my favorite gingersnap cookie recipe. 
Joan's Old-Fashioned Gingersnaps
Recipe makes 2 dozen
Cook's notes: Highly addictive and the recipe makes 24 cookies
Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 2-1/4 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 
  • pinch(dash) nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar for rolling dough balls
Directions:
  • In a bowl beat butter, brown sugar, egg and molasses.
  • In a bowl mix flour, soda and spices.
  • Combine both mixtures and blend well.
  • Cover and chill dough in freezer for an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper 
  • Roll dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and then roll balls in sugar.
  • Place dough balls on a baking sheet, Flour bottom of a glass and slightly flatten each dough ball with the bottom ofthe glass.
  • Sprinkle each cookie with a little more sugar.
  • Bake cookies about 9-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Note: Healthy Friday posting will be combined with Weekend Round-Up. 

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