Gingerbread Playdough Mats {Free Printable}

Inside: These free printable gingerbread playdough mats provide a playful experience with sequencing, a valuable early literacy skill.

gingerbread playdough mat with cookie cutter and light brown playdough

Every year at the holidays we make gingerbread playdough here – it’s turned into a tradition here.

I made up the batch shown here to try out the two new gingerbread playdough mats I made for you.

(FYI, it turns out that doubling the food coloring makes it a nicer color for these mats.)

Of course, you could also just use store-bought playdough. However, be warned that it is hard to buy just brown. It generally comes in a multi-color pack.

Gingerbread Playdough Mats

I know a lot of teachers plan a unit focused on different versions of Gingerbread Man books this time of year.

The Gingerbread Man is an ideal story for teaching story sequencing. Similarly, following steps to bake gingerbread men also helps children understand that events sometimes need to take place in a specific order.

gingerbread playdough mat with cookie cutter and light brown playdough

Gingerbread Playdough Mats, Step-by-Step

So, I made you two mats (which you can access further down in this post). The first one lists the steps numerically.

gingerbread playdough mat with cookie cutter and light brown playdough

I tried to keep the words and pictures simple enough for a beginning reader to follow. I think a pre-reader could also “read” these after you read it to them.

The other gingerbread playdough mat has the steps going clockwise around the perimeter of the mat.

gingerbread playdough mat with cookie cutter and light brown playdough

It has a nice blank work area in the middle. Each of the steps is in its own box, so all children will be able to “read” or read the step.

Extend the Activity

In addition to providing playdough to use with these mats, you might also like to set out some of these supplies:

  • Small rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Buttons or mini-erasers for decorating
  • Toy food, such as butter and eggs
  • Toy mixing bowl and spoon
  • Toy baking sheet, or some cardboard wrapped in foil like we used for these play cookies
  • Depending on your setup and the number of children you have, you may also want to let the kids use a play kitchen to “bake” their cookies

You might also like to bake real gingerbread cookies together! I looked around at a few recipes and I like this one because a) it more or less follows the ingredients and steps on the playdough mats (you can talk about the differences), and b) it is milder and simpler than other recipes.

Why Teach Sequencing?

Being able to sequence the events of a story is an important early literacy skill. It helps children retell stories, and builds a foundation for writing summaries and determining theme later on in school.

Most importantly, a child who can retell a story probably understands that story.

Following informational texts like recipes and how-to guides is the nonfiction sister of this skill.

In preschool and kindergarten, children learn how to recount the important details of an informational text. They may need support and prompting, though.

That’s where these playdough mats come in.

Download the Gingerbread Mats

Ready for the free gingerbread playdough mats?

To get your very own set, you can sign up right here:

    I’ll add you to my weekly-ish newsletter too – it’s full of ideas and more free printables. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

    More Gingerbread Activities

    If you’re looking for more to do with a gingerbread theme, you might like this cinnamon gingerbread ornament craft.

    cinnamon ornaments kids christmas

    If you’re looking for additional educational activities, I have several in my store. These Gingerbread Man sequencing hats have been popular, and children love them.

    printed and colored in story hat for The Gingerbread Man

    You might also like my new digital Gingerbread Alphabet Boom™ Card Activities. I’m really excited about these because they have a fun digital spinner in them!

    Gingerbread ABCs Boom Cards Activities shown on a tablet with a child's hand dragging a digital gingerbread man onto a cookie sheet.

    Finally, you also may appreciate this differentiated set of Gingerbread Man Emergent Readers. It includes 3 different levels so that you can find one for every student.

    Gingerbread Man Emergent Readers shown in color and black and white next to a small red rolling pin
    gingerbread playdough mat with cookie cutter and light brown playdough

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