Since Abigail was in preschool, it’s been a family tradition for each child to decorate an individual gingerbread house for me to display in our home. Some years we purchased premade kits, other years we baked our own gingerbread, and a few times we made our houses out of graham crackers like the ones displayed above. I have to admit I kind of like the small ones best of all, because they don’t take up a whole lot of space in our home. Also, the kids like the smaller ones, too, because the smaller houses are more manageable without feeling overwhelming.

As the kids glued different types of candy to their holiday house, there were moments of spontaneous laughter like when we watched Mimi’s house collapse from the weight of excessive frosting and candy on her roof. Even she could see the humor in the moment as I caught it on my camera.

Supplied with a box of gingerbread flavored graham crackers, a container of vanilla frosting, and an assortment of holiday candy, each child took immense pride in their colorful creation. Using a flipped over wood tray, I displayed their masterpieces along with a few candles and some green branches.

Collectively, their edible houses are now the perfect centerpiece for my dining room. Seriously, aren’t they so cute? At least to me they are. After all, I am my kids’ mama.

These mini gingerbread houses are a great activity to do with your child. No baking required.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • A box of gingerbread graham crackers
  • 1 can of vanilla frosting
  • a couple of sandwich bags
  • disposable plates
  • an assortment of candy

To assemble a house, fill a sandwich bag with 1/2 cup of vanilla frosting. Seal the bag and make a small snip in the corner of the bag. This is your piping bag. Pipe some frosting to a graham cracker square and glue it to a plate. This is the base of the house. Carefully pipe frosting around the edges of 4 other square crackers. Apply a little bit of pressure to make the “glue” stick. Take a perfect square piece and cut it diagonally to make two triangles. To form the gable roof, pipe frosting around the edges of the triangles. Carefully glue the triangles on top of the 2 sides of the house as shown above. To finish the roof, pipe more frosting around the edges of two squares and carefully place it on top.

If you prefer to let the frosting harden before decorating, allow the house to set overnight. However, if you prefer to decorate immediately, you can. After you’re done decorating, allow the frosting on the house to harden overnight. Voila, you have a beautifully decorated candy house!

The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Neha (4) and Mimi Narayan.
We at Kitchen Explorers would love to see your children’s creations. Starting today, we are inviting your kids to make and decorate their own graham cracker gingerbread house, and for you to submit a picture of their creative edible artwork! We will choose five winners to feature in an upcoming Kitchen Explorers post, and each winner will also receive a muffin tin provided by the kind folks at Chicago Metallic Bakeware.

To submit a photo, upload one photo to the Kitchen Explorers Flickr group. Tag the photo “Gingerbread” and add your child’s first name and age under description. Be sure to come back to this original post and leave a comment telling us you’ve submitted your photo. Deadline for submissions is December 14, 2011.

Additional Information on the Photo Submissions:

  • This challenge is open to US residents only.
  • One entry per child.
  • You will be notified via email if your child’s photo is selected as a winner. Please respond within 72 hours or your photo will be disqualified.
  • All submissions are to be made via Flickr, and are subject to Flickr’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Use.
  • No entrants will be paid any money or receive any form of compensation for submitting their photo.
  • All submissions must be made by the parent or guardian of the child for whom the photo is submitted.

Lastly, I am excited to announce that starting this Monday, Kitchen Explorers is kicking off five days in a row of holiday giveaways. Be sure to come back next week to see what we have in store for you!

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  • Gabrielle

    What an awesome idea. Your daughter looks like she’s having the best time!

  • mary

    When is the deadline for submissions

  • Tracey, PBS Parents

    Hi Mary. The deadline for submissions is December 14, 2011. Thanks for catching that! I just added it to the post.

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  • AKR

    Is it necessary to use graham crackers?? My family always bakes real gingerbread and I would prefer not to buy crackers.

    • Alice Currah

      Hi AKR: Feel free to use your own cookie recipe.

  • Mimi Narayan

    I submitted on the 14th, but just now realized I had to leave a message here…sorry. Hope it still counts!