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Age Range: 7-11 | 11-14
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • D&T
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics

Make your own gingerbread house recipe for kids

Kids can create a delicious gingerbread house with this fun and easy baking recipe for beginners

You may have seen gingerbread houses in the shops at Christmas, but have you ever thought about how the shapes and the structure used within them helps the house to stand up?

Use our free gingerbread house template and examine the design and engineering of structures while making a tasty Christmas treat in this fun baking activity for kids.

The history of gingerbread houses

Where did the tradition of gingerbread houses come from? Well, ginger was originally used to preserve flour and meat. In fact, the word gingerbread is an old French word that means preserved ginger. Ginger was baked into thin crisps to preserve the flour during the long winter months. These little biscuits were often sold at winter fairs, and the little treats became the basis of the gingerbread houses we are familiar with today.

The tradition of creating gingerbread houses became popular in Germany during the 16th century. It is believed that the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel” played a significant role in popularising the concept of gingerbread houses. Today, gingerbread houses are a beloved holiday tradition, with elaborate designs and decorations showcasing the creativity and festive spirit of the season.

Download our yummy recipe and free gingerbread house template below. Can you follow these and make your own delicious gingerbread house?

The structure of gingerbread houses

Now we know a little bit about the history of gingerbread, let’s think about the structure of a gingerbread house. We need to ensure that the structure is strong and stable, as then it is less likely to collapse.

Look at the different shapes used in the template. What shapes do you notice? Is there a shape that appears more than others? Why do you think this is? Look at pictures of bridges. Is there a shape that often appears in these structures? Why do you think engineers have chosen to use this shape so much?

The engineering context

Baking is engineering. Baking uses science, maths and technology skills to engineer and create solutions and new tasty products. So, you need all these skills – precision in weighing out ingredients and the structural engineer within you to create the best and most sturdy gingerbread house this Christmas!

Download the free recipe and template below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Oh ho ho, and please do share your baking and experiment highlights with us on Facebook and Twitter using our #SantaLovesSTEM hashtag.

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