Printable Gingerbread House Loose Parts Mats
Looking for a quick and easy Christmas themed play idea? Look no further, just print and add some loose parts or playdough....
Welcome to our Christmas themed blog post for this week! This is a very exciting time of the year for kids, with lots of fun options for play and learning ideas that are Christmas themed.
We enjoy simple play ideas that can be repeated many times over at this time of year. Things can get very busy at this time of the year, so simple works well for us. These gingerbread house loose parts play mats are both simple to set up and can be used over and over again for play and learning.
*Important - Please note this play idea is recommended for children ages 3+ as it contains small parts, which can be a choking hazard. All play was supervised by an adult.
There are 5 different designs of gingerbread house to use for play, as shown below. There is a very plain outline of a gingerbread house, which is the most open ended and allows for the most creative thinking about how to use it. The other options have some patterns or windows etc. that can be used for decorating.
Some of the possibilities for learning in a playful way:
Symmetry - Can you decorate the house so that it looks the same on both sides?
Colours - Can you match the colours? What colours did you use?
Matching - shapes on the houses with loose parts.
Making patterns with the loose parts.
Thinking creatively about how to use the loose parts or other materials
Working on developing hand strength and fine motor skills when using the playdough.
Developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills when picking up and manipulating the small loose parts.
Plus many more possibilities ...
How to use these printable play mats
Set up as an invitation to play
Have your child choose one of the gingerbread house mats or set one or more up yourself with some loose parts and or playdough to invite your child to play.
Here we used:
White playdough to look like snow.
Little Christmas erasers from Kmart
Let Them Play Christmas stampers
Mini acrylic cubes and gems from Pickwick and Sprout.
Kinfolk Pantry Christmas cutters
Decorate the gingerbread house with loose parts
Here Miss 3 used some Bauspiel lucite cubes and some gemstones to decorate the windows. She chose a heart shaped bead (from a jar of wooden beads from Kmart) to use for the little door handle, as the printable mat had a heart on it.
Use with Grapat Mandala pieces to decorate
A selection of red and green Grapat mandala pieces and some acrylic gemstones, is a fun way to decorate the gingerbread house too.
This would be a great pattern making activity or colour matching. Any coloured mandala pieces could be used to make pretty colourful gingerbread houses. We used red and green for Christmas colours.
Use with chalk markers or whiteboard markers
Choose a gingerbread house mat and either use with a reusable pouch or laminate it. Let you child decorate the house with chalk pens or draw with a whiteboard marker. Erase when finished to use again and again.
Set up with prompts to promote specific learning
Add in a prompt to promote learning for example:
Can you decorate the gingerbread house using only red and green loose parts?
Can you make a pattern on the gingerbread house?
Can you make the gingerbread house look ready for Christmas?
Can you use symmetry to decorate the gingerbread house?
What loose parts can you use to decorate the gingerbread house?
Can you make up a story about who lives in your gingerbread house?
This could be displayed on a little blackboard with the gingerbread house loose parts mats to prompt learning in a playful way.
How to get your copy of the gingerbread houses...
These loose parts gingerbread house play mats can be downloaded now for free in the VIP Free Playful Library, which can be found on the main menu.
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I hope you enjoy using these printable gingerbread houses
at home with your child/ren or with your students.
Until next time, have fun learning in a playful way!
For more play and learning ideas visit the homepage.
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