The Gingerbread Man

This week we have been reading The Gingerbread Man. It has repetitive language which your child will be able to join in with. Below you will find some sensory, science, writing, maths, gross motor skills and science, engineering and maths activities. We have a lot of fun with these activities and we hope you do too!


Reading: The Gingerbread Man

Reading the story is the first thing that you should do. Asking your child questions as you go along helps with their comprehension.

Here are some questions that you could ask your child:

  • Why are the man, woman and boy chasing him?
  • Why can’t they all catch him?
  • What does the fox want to do?
  • How is the Gingerbread Man feeling when he is on the fox’s tail?
  • Where is the Gingerbread Man now? (Ask at the end of the story)
  • Do you think the fox is kind or unkind? Why?

Sensory: Reciting the Story

One you have read or watched the story it’s time to act it out, concentrating on the language patterns of the story.

  1. You will need: 2 trays, oven, leaves or grass the characters in the story – the man, woman, boy, cow, horse, gingerbread man and fox. Make a path for them to walk along – we used brown sugar, cornflakes and stones. You could use mud or paper. For the river we used blue card and tore up some foil.
  2. Together recite the story using the characters.
  3. Encourage your child to join in with the “Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Baking: Gingerbread Men

This was a highlight! As soon as we started to read The Gingerbread Man my daughter asked to bake some! We used this recipe here.

  1. You will need: Ingredients to make gingerbread men and decorations.
  2. Happy cooking and more importantly, happy eating!

Science: The Dissolving Gingerbread Man

This science experiment involves using observational skills, problem solving and predicting what they think might happen.

  1. You will need: Two gingerbread men, tongs, a clear container and water.
  2. This is the popular part – give your child a gingerbread man and ask them to test how crunchy it is. Ask them to look at the shape, colour, smell and texture too. If you would like, you could record your results on a table.
  3. Explain that you are going to see what happens to the gingerbread man when it is placed in the water.
  4. Pour water into your container. Discuss if it sinks or floats. What does floating and sinking mean?
  5. Does your child think the gingerbread man will change now that it’s in the water? If so, why?
  6. Watch what happens. Our changed very quickly. Look at the gingerbread man every 30 seconds and use the tongs to take it out to look at it. How has it changed? Is it still crunchy? Use the language of dissolving.
  7. Repeat a few times and look at the colour of the water. Has that changed too? If so why?
  8. If you have recorded your results on a table, write down the results.

Writing: Character Labels

We did not think it was fair that the fox was the only character from the story who got to eat a gingerbread man. We made a name label for all of the others, so that they could eat a gingerbread man too!

  1. You will need: The characters from the story, paper and writing implements.
  2. Write man, woman etc on separate pieces of paper with a gingerbread man.
  3. Ask your child to look at your writing and see if they can copy it.
  4. If you have an older child they could write the first sound themselves, or if ready they could sound out the whole word.

Language: Tasty Gingerbread Man

All of the characters have eaten their gingerbread man and they have used adjectives (describing words) to explain how tasty it was.

  1. You will need: The book characters, pieces of paper and a gingerbread man.
  2. The old man said that the gingerbread man tasted ‘tasty’. Ask your child to bite their gingerbread man. What does it taste like?
  3. Your child might come up with yummy or delicious and might need help with the other words.
  4. Write the words on the pieces of paper and read them with your child.

Maths: Biting the Gingerbread Man

Which part of the gingerbread man would you bite first? This is a chance to ask members of the family what they would do, record the results on a table by using a tick or sticker, count up the results and discuss which body part is the most popular.

  1. You will need: A table to record the results like the one in the photo above.
  2. Record everyone in your household’s results.
  3. Ask your family – we asked grandparents and aunts and uncles and record their results.
  4. Count up the ticks and discuss which was the most popular body part and which was the least popular.

Gross Motor: Jumping Superpower

A chance to use those jumping skills!

  1. You will need: Something to represent the river and a fox.
  2. Place the river and fox on the ground.
  3. Your child can use their jumping superpower and jump from one side of the river to the other!

Science, Engineering and Maths: Build a Bridge

To help the gingerbread man cross the river, you can build a bridge for him so that he doesn’t have to use the fox.

  1. You will need: Materials to build a bridge. We used: card, tape, lollipop sticks and Duplo.
  2. To start off with, we used the card and lollipop sticks and made a bridge which fell down because the lollipop sticks were too heavy. We discussed that the card wasn’t strong enough and thought that Duplo would be stronger.
  3. Make a new bridge using the Duplo and test to see if it will hold the gingerbread man.
  4. We also made so steps so that the gingerbread man could get to the bridge.

Maths: Positional Language

Set up an obstacle course for the fox to go on, using positional language such as: next to, on, in, under, in front of, behind, through or on top of.

  1. You will need: A fox and various things for the obstacle course – chair, ball, box, cushion, bag etc.
  2. You give positional language instructions while your child holds the fox and completes the obstacle course using your instructions.
  3. Instructions for the fox can include: sit on the chair, stand under the chair, walk around the ball, climb in the box, stand next to the cushion, stand behind the bag etc.
  4. Repeat again, using different instructions or if your child would like, they could have a go at giving the instructions.
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