Gingerbread house decorating makeover! All the fun without the sugar crash.

Christmas Play Days

This week, I’m back with some of my favorite blogging friends to bring you a series called Christmas Play Days. These bloggers are all INCREDIBLY creative, so don’t miss their posts:

Ribbon Wreath Craft by Fantastic Fun and Learning

Recycled Play Dough Molds by Play Trains!

Snowy Christmas Tree Small World by Buggy and Buddy

Simple Christmas Sensory Play by My Nearest and Dearest

Christmas Pretend Play – Wrapping Presents by Fun-A-Day!

Gingerbread house makeover! All the fun without the sugar crash.

For this series, I wanted to start with an idea we tried last year when we had a newborn and a two-year-old. If this activity was easy enough for a frazzled, sleep-deprived new mom to manage, then you know the idea is a winner.

We repeated it this year, and it was even more fun now that my daughter is a little older!

Affiliate links included for your convenience.

Healthier Gingerbread House Decorating

Here’s the thing: I love the idea of listening to Christmas music while my little one happily adds icing and gum drops to her adorable gingerbread house. I do not love the idea of fighting to keep her from gobbling the whole thing all at once OR the toddler-tantrum-sugar-crash that is bound to follow.

This is my alternative.

Make no mistake–I’m not calling this a “superfood” recipe.

But it has fruit, protein, some healthier carbs–I may or may not have let my girls eat these and called it lunch. :)

Gingerbread House Decorating Makeover--all the fun without the sugar crash.

While both of my girls gladly ate the finished product, only my three-year-old helped me decorate. Did I leave my 15-month-old out because I was worried she’d choke on the dried fruit or have a reaction to the peanut butter? Nope! It’s because she wouldn’t actually decorate; she’d just eat! Sorry, darling. Maybe next year.

Healthier Gingerbread House Decorating--all the fun without the sugar crash.

My three-year-old was THRILLED with the snow (coconut), and she loved taste-testing the goodies.

Healthier gingerbread house decorating. All the fun without the sugar crash!

We used the dried fruits to talk about letter sounds: “What do you think pa-pa-pa-paya starts with?

Healthier Gingerbread Houses--all the fun without the sugar crash!

What you’ll need for these “gingerbread” houses:

  • Graham crackers (for the walls and frame of the house)
  • Peanut Butter (or allergy-friendly alternative–this is the glue that holds the house together). Cream cheese would work!
  • Coconut (for “snow”)
  • Dried fruit (for decorations)

Older kids could help with the actual building of the house. As you can see, my structures could use a little creative help.

My three-year-old did the decorating with no input from me!

As always, please supervise and use discretion when feeding your children dried fruit or nut butter.

Stick around–our Christmas Play Days series continues on Tuesday!

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