Ever start one of those projects and silently cry “Why, oh why did we do this? If only we could go back in time 10 minutes ago when my kitchen was spotless and I’d just mopped…why???”


Then you remember “oh yeah, because my mom brought up gingerbread kits for my kids and started the mess while I was out shopping because she thought it would be fun.”


Every year we make these houses, trains, trees oh my! And EVERY year we vow to make the formation of the object and allow it to dry BEFORE letting the kids decorate.


And every year we forget to do that and end up with a house with a roof that slides off and a train that leans like the Tower of Pisa.DSC03695

This year we had the added pleasure of a small, okay large, icing snafu which resulted in white icing all over, and I mean ALL OVER my kitchen. I think at one point I decided we were going to have to throw out my kitchen table and bring in the big sander for the floor. (Which isn’t all bad, I’ve been wanting to re-stain my wood floor a lighter color anyway.)

I didn’t take pictures of the floor, it was too hard to see through the camera lens with the gluey mixture of tears and self-hardening icing.

Oh, and I have to remember that it wasn’t all a total failure, we did have the trees, the beloved flat stacking trees that my 4 year old was able to do virtually unattended!


So I chalk this one up to the failed craft heaven, and next year I vow to do graham cracker houses instead…or not.


  1. This is how gingerbread houses have always been for us. We even have trouble with those trees. That's why this year when I went to a gingerbread house workshop and the houses were already assembled, I wanted to throw myself on the floor, weeping tears of joy, and kiss the feet of whoever assembled the 200+ gingerbread houses! They should definitely be candidates for sainthood. I had to settle for leaving a gushing note of gratitude as the the assembly people had spent all night assembling the houses and were spending the day sleeping it off.

  2. My birthday falls before Christmas so every year my mom would put together graham cracker houses and set out all the candy and the icing and let us girls go to town. While she was redoing her dining room table(28 years later) she kept finding the icing on the bottom of our table where we had wiped it off of our hands. I have started this tradition with my own kids but we use a vinyl table cloth. Sigh… Memories.

  3. I switched to decorating a giant gingerbread man cookie. It is much less mess and we actually get to eat it afterwards. I may try the houses when my kids are a couple of years older. However, the fact that the train box said they had an online tutorial scared me off. I am crafty – but if I need an online tutorial to assemble, then that project might be one that causes more me stress instead of being fun. Merry Christmas Erica! Thank you for all you do. My little guy loved the Christmas pre-k pack!Liz

  4. I do graham cracker houses with my childcare kiddos every year. I buy Wilton frosting at Walmart because it dries like concrete. I assemble the houses at night (did 8 this past Sunday) using the bottle of frosting because it has a tip that makes assemby a breeze. I even "glue" it to a paper plate. The next day I use the tub of Wilton frosting and popsicle sticks as spreaders…the decorating makes hardly any mess at all!

  5. Just found your blog by googling for preschool Christmas crafts – and I have to laugh because we tried our first gingerbread house yesterday, and…yeah…what an adventure. Lol! One thing I did learn from another blog great was to hot glue the gingerbread pieces together for added strength – worked great!

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