The cookies are in the oven, and as the smell wafts through the air, your gingerbread-making party almost seems perfect. Almost, that is, if not for the restless kids who are eyeballing the peppermint candies you’ve set aside for the decorating activity. With a few more minutes of baking time to go, perhaps it’s best to redirect their focus and expel some of their excited energy.
This collection of gingerbread-themed Christmas party games may contain just the thing you’re looking for to entertain... the kids at your winter holiday gathering.
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Gingerbread House Drawing Game
To play this game, have the kids sit around a table and give each child some crayons and a sheet of paper that has an outline of a gingerbread house printed on it. Hand out a pre-printed sheet of instructions for decorating a gingerbread house, numbered from one through 12.
- Draw a door on your gingerbread house.
- Draw a window on the left side of your gingerbread house.
- Draw a window on the right side of your gingerbread house.
- Add a chimney.
- Draw a candy cane on the right side of the door.
- Draw a candy cane on the left side of the door.
- Switch papers with the person sitting on your right.
- Draw a path to the door of your gingerbread house.
- Draw snow on the roof.
- Draw a wreath on the door.
- Add a decoration of your choice to the gingerbread house.
- Write your name at the top of the paper.
Have players take turns rolling a pair of dice and drawing the parts of a gingerbread house that correspond with the number they roll. The first player to complete all twelve instructions wins.
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Run, Run, Gingerbread Man!
This game is a revamped version of the classic children’s game of “Duck, Duck Goose!” To play, kids will sit on the floor, forming a circle. Choose one player to be the Gingerbread Man.
The Gingerbread Man will walk around the circle, chanting “Run, run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man!” When he pats a sitting player on the head, that player must get up and chase the Gingerbread Man around the circle.
If the Gingerbread Man manages to run around the circle and sit in the empty spot without being tagged, he gets to continue being the Gingerbread Man. If the other player tags him before he sits, however, that player gets to be the Gingerbread Man.
Play continues for a designated amount to time, or until everyone has had a turn to be the Gingerbread Man.
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Gingerbread Relay Race
This is a fun game to play just before a gingerbread decorating activity. To play, divide the children into two teams. Give each team a basket and have them line up on one side of the room. On the other side of the room, place two sets of the items they will use to decorate their gingerbread houses. Make sure there is at least one item per player on each team.
On the word “go,” the first players in line will run and place one of the items inside of their baskets. They will then return to their teammates, and hand the baskets off to the second players in line. The second players will add an item to the baskets, and hand them off the third players in line. The relay race continues in this manner until one team has collected all of their items and returns to the starting line with a full basket.
If kids will be doing the actual baking at your event, another variation is to have kids race to collect the ingredients needed to bake the gingerbread cookies.
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Blindfolded Cookie Decorating
To play this game, have kids in front of place settings that contain an undecorated gingerbread cookie and a variety of decorations. Give the players a few moments to memorize their settings, and then blindfold them.
Once the players are blindfolded, call out instructions such as, “Outline the gingerbread man with frosting” and “Place the gumdrops on his belly.” Players will try to find and place the decorations by memory and touch.
When the decorating is over, the player who created the best gingerbread man wins.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Build a Life Sized Gingerbread House
A fun activity for kids is to decorate their very own gingerbread playhouse. All you need is a large box, such as an appliance box. Cut a door and windows out of the structure, making sure to smooth over any rough edges before allowing kids to play inside. Paint the house and allow it to dry prior to the start of the party.
At the party, have kids decorate the gingerbread house with items such as candy, stickers, colored markers, glitter and various holiday decorations. Once complete, the kids can play inside of the gingerbread house they created.