Help your students make the most adorable gingerbread houses this year without baking a single cookie! These printable color your own gingerbread house templates are so much easier than decorating cookies and are a wonderful holiday activity for pre-K and primary students!
Your kids will absolutely love this gingerbread activity! It feels more like playing than learning, but it does both. They’ll each get a chance to make their gingerbread house their own, using their favorite coloring supplies. After cutting and gluing, these simple images will transform into three-dimensional structures!
This is a less messy alternative to decorating actual cookies and I promise – your kids will still love them.
In fact, these printable gingerbread houses are so much fun that you can easily use them during a class party! Just be sure to invite some adult volunteers to help with the careful cutting and gluing.
You may also like to make these as an activity to go with Jan Brett’s holiday favorite book Gingerbread Baby. At the end of that story, the gingerbread baby hides in a gingerbread house. You can adapt this craft to go with the story by cutting the door so that it opens.
If you want even more ideas for your gingerbread unit, your students will also love some of these Gingerbread Man Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten!
This is one of my favorite types of holiday activities to share with kids because it touches on so many great skills! It can be tricky to imagine how to turn a flat piece of paper into a three-dimensional shape, but the simple folds and lines make it easy.
- Fine motor skills (coloring, cutting, gluing, and folding)
- Building three-dimensional shapes
- Writing complete sentences (optional)
- Oral language (optional)
- Describing physical objects
This activity can be done just for fun or you can tie it to your writing or oral language goals. Older students can write 1-2 descriptive sentences about their gingerbread houses. Younger ones can dictate to an adult to see their words turned into writing.
What’s Included in the Free Printable
This free download includes the two-page gingerbread house template as well as a small color version. The template shows where to cut, fold, and glue to make this project as easy as possible!
Ready to start? Pop your email in the form at the end of this post to get the free download sent directly to your inbox.
Preparation & Materials
You’ll need these supplies:
- Printed copies of the free printable (two sheets per student)
- Glue sticks
- Small amount of double-sided tape for the last flap (optional), or regular tape
- Coloring supplies
- Construction paper (optional; use as a background for the writing sheet)
Tip: Because this activity is more time-consuming and has quite a few pieces to fold and glue, I recommend working 1:1 with young children. This would be a wonderful activity to send home with your students, too!
How to Use
Start by coloring in the gingerbread houses. Since there are fine details, this can take some time. I recommend using colored pencils or fresh crayons as they have fine tips that are easier to use for the smaller details.
Once the images are colored in, cut out the dashed lines around the house. Be careful not to cut off any sections – but know that you can tape any mistakes back together.
This part is pretty fiddly and probably needs an adult to complete while the child watches the “magic” transformation.
First, glue the separate sections together; it makes things easier. Take care to precisely line up the edges:
Next, fold all the solid lines into the shape of a cube with a roof.
Apply glue to one or two tabs at a time to build the house.
For the last flap, you may want to use tape instead of glue. You can use a bit of double-sided tape on the inside, or just use regular transparent tape on the outside.
Once their houses are built, the students can write about them. They can be factual or fanciful here – let them know what you expect.
Young kids (preschool or pre-K) can dictate their thoughts to an adult. Offer simple sentence stems for kindergarten or first graders. Older kids in second grade and up should be able to complete 1-2 sentences independently.
After they finish the writing activity, glue the house to the writing page and have them display their beautiful creations!
Download the Free Foldable Gingerbread House Template
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