Need an open-ended activity to keep the little ones busy while you prepare for the holidays? Download our free gingerbread templates and check out these fun ideas on how to decorate a paper gingerbread man (or woman)!
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Is it just me, or are all the best crafts Christmas-themed?
Between the trees, the ornaments, the garlands, the wreaths, the cards, the gifts, the centrepieces and all the other things that come with the holidays, the possibilities are endless.
But the holidays also come with their fair share of craziness, especially when kids are involved. And sometimes, you just need an open-ended craft that can keep them occupied while you juggle a million and one obligations.
If that’s the case, you should try this easy DIY gingerbread man decorating activity that can work for both for school and home! It also happens to be appropriate for children of a variety of ages, ranging from toddlers to preschool to kindergarten to school age.
Plus, once you’ve downloaded and printed the gingerbread craft template I’ve provided, there are so many different ways to decorate it that your little ones will have plenty of opportunities to be creative and make their craft unique!
How to Download the Template
While you’re free to draw your own gingerbread man for this craft, I wanted to make things a little easier for you, so I created a printable template that you can use.
The template includes both a gingerbread man and a gingerbread woman, and each of the designs is quite large to give you ample room for decorating.
In order to download the free templates to your phone or computer, you’ll need to request them using the form below. (Note: There’s a second form at the bottom of the article if you’d rather keep reading and see all the cute gingerbread man decorating ideas I’ve provided.)
Once you’ve entered your email address, simply confirm your subscription to our mailing list using the link in your inbox to receive your printable gingerbread craft template PDF as a free gift. You should be redirected to the download as soon as you click the confirmation button!
How to Use the Template
To make a gingerbread man out of paper, simply print the template on Letter-sized paper or cardstock and use scissors to cut around the gingerbread girl and boy.
While regular paper can work in a pinch, I recommend using cardstock because it’s thicker than regular paper and will hold up better against liquid glue.
If you happen to have brown paper or cardstock handy, print the template on that. If you don’t, print the template on white or beige and cover it with brown paint before you cut it.
(Note: I decided to apply the paint with a sponge because I wanted to avoid visible paint strokes, but feel free to use whatever method you like.)
How to Decorate a Paper Gingerbread Man (or Woman)
This project is open-ended, so it’s really up to each child to decide how their want to decorate their own gingerbread man.
If your child is old enough, all you need to do is print out the template, cut out the paper gingerbread cookies and let them choose their own supplies—I know my kindergartener loves to come up with her own craft ideas and make all the decisions herself!
But if you’re crafting with younger kids, or if you’re doing this project in a school setting, you may need ideas on which craft supplies to offer the little ones so they can work on their gingerbread craft. If that’s the case, here are some ideas to get you started!
Fun ideas on how to decorate your paper gingerbread man:
- Buttons (used three of a kind or a quirky assortment of different-coloured craft buttons)
- Paint (use it to add colours, details or even clothing)
- Acrylic paint pens (these aren’t meant for younger kids, but they do a great job of covering up dark colours if ever you want to imitate the look of royal icing)
- Gel markers
- Glitter pens
- Nail polish
- Ribbons (use them as “icing” or to make a bowtie!)
- Decorative gems
- Fabric or felt scraps
- Googly eyes
- Rick rack trim (this works especially well as icing)
- Glitter snowflakes
- Confetti (buy it pre-made or make your own using a 1/4-inch hole punch)
- Construction paper (for a touch of whimsy, use a craft punch to create colourful shapes and glue them onto your gingerbread man)
Tip: If you don’t have markers that will cover brown, simply draw shapes using liquid school glue and cover it with salt or white glitter, gently shaking off the excess. When the glue dries, you’ll end up with a slightly raised version of the design you drew.
…And if you prefer a hand-sewn look, you can even use a 1/8-inch or 1/16-inch hole punch to make holes around all the edges of the gingerbread man. Then, use a plastic needle and white thread to “sew” all around!
More Gingerbread Art Ideas
The ideas listed above are great for paper gingerbread crafts, but there are many other ways you can shake things up and experiment with different materials. For instance:
- Use cardboard instead of paper
- Make your gingerbread man out of felt and decorate it using fabric markers or moveable felt shapes that you can reuse again and again
- Decorate a gingerbread man made from craft foam
- Use the template as a visual guide to draw your own giant gingerbread man on brown craft paper and decorate it as a team
Related Christmas Crafts
Looking for more fun crafts to make with kids this holiday season? Check out these articles:
- Crumpled Tissue Paper Christmas Art
- Easy Feather Ornaments
- Free Printable Holiday Cards to Print & Colour
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