Gingerbread house shadow box

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on December 30, 2013

in Creative Art, Gingerbread Shadow Box Houses

Gingerbread House Shadow Box

Preschoolers love to make gingerbread houses, especially if you get to use real candy but trying to glue together the walls of a gingerbread house without lots of help can be almost too challenging for really young preschoolers. However we found a way to make a gingerbread house with candy and the best part is, even my youngest preschoolers could do it all by themselves…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

For our Gingerbread Shadow Box icing, we used puffy paint made from a mixture of shave cream and glue.  I filled a large mixing bowl with a shave cream from the women’s selection of shave cream at the Dollar Tree. It comes in a tall pink can. I like this type of shave cream best for play or art because it has almost no odor at all and the very light odor it does have is raspberry.  This shave cream is also meant for sensitive skin although it still is considered a soap but I love it more than any other kind I have tried to date.  Anyway, fill a large mixing bowl with shave cream and then pour in probably about 3/4 cup of glue. Mix the glue and shave cream together really good so it is creamy but still fluffy…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

You will also want to gather some candy or other materials for decorating your gingerbread house shadow box. I filled our tray with gingerbread man cookies and an assortments of candies which was an invitation to every single child in the class and they just couldn’t wait to make their own box…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

We talked about the use of candy for our art rather than eating it and I assured the children that we could have a piece of each type of candy during snack time later so to be sure to not eat the art candy. My students are super cool about this and did a wonderful job.

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

The children started by adding their icing to the boxes (puffy paint) just like you would when making a real gingerbread house only they could put the icing on anyway they wished. We found it helpful to add the puffy paint by big spoonfuls from the bowl so it wouldn’t take so long to cover the bottom of our entire box…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

Once they had the entire bottom of the box covered with a thick layer of puffy paint icing, then the children were ready to get busy decorating. Most of the children started by adding a gingerbread man cookie (or two or three) and then moved on to decorating their houses with the candy…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

Some children made patterns with the candy. Others placed the candy randomly throughout the box. Well to me it looked random but when watching the children, it seemed every single piece of candy was intentionally selected and placed exactly where the children would like it to go…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

And some children spent a long time carefully selecting and placing LOTS and LOTS of candy inside their boxes…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

While some children were satisfied with just a little bit of candy…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

You will notice that we placed some wrapped candy as a choice too. This little guy came back to the table to make a second box only this time he didn’t want icing, he just wanted to sit and unwrap candy. A great work out for those fine motor skills…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

We make glue boxes often in my classroom but this was our first time to make a puffy paint glue box. You must know that the puffy paint dried over night and it dried beautifully! Absolutely stunning! Still bright white, puffy, and the candy stayed firmly in place…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

Also, I showed the children how to press their candy into the puffy paint and how to take the twizzlers apart to make thin strings – another good fine motor strengthening exercise…

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

Yep, we will add puffy paint shadow boxes to our list of Must Do’s in my classroom!

Gingerbread Shadow Boxes by Teach Preschool

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