As a teacher, I cannot say enough about screen-free activities for kids. But, as a parent, I know what a challenge this can be. I remember quite well when my own children were young. So, when Asia Citro sent me her new book 150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids, I could not wait to see her activities. It does help that I’ve been following Asia’s blog, Fun At Home With Kids since it was created. And I have shared her awesome ideas on my Facebook page numerous times. I only wish that I had this book in my hands 2 decades ago when my kids were small! I found a fun and simple recipe to make easy gingerbread ornaments for preschoolers.
It was a hit. So I’m going to share it with you all!
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Easy Gingerbread Ornaments for Preschoolers
Each December our toddlers and preschoolers make ornaments for their family Christmas trees. The week before winter break, we carefully wrap each ornament in tissue and place in handmade gift bags. My hope is that these ornaments are cherished for years and years, wonderful reminders of their children’s young years. We always make some sort of gingerbread ornament to go with our gingerbread theme, such as the clay gingerbread ornaments we made last year. This year I decided to use colored salt dough, and Asia’s recipe in Screen-Free Activities for Kids worked perfectly! I loved how soft it was and small hands were able to manipulate it easily. Clean up was a breeze, too, because it hardly crumbled.
What you will need:
Asia’s salt dough recipe from 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids – This salt-dough is super easy to make! Took me just minutes – even faster than play dough!
Brown coloring (I love using Wilton’s Cake Icing for play dough!)
And any other embellishments you might like.
First, I read a gingerbread man book. There are lots of variations of this book and we love to read several throughout the week. Then, I set up a table for 6 children to work at a time, placing the materials in the middle.
I found little gems that would work.
Googly eyes always add some personality!
I gave each child a ball of salt dough and a gingerbread man cookie cutter.
I had the preschoolers press their dough flat. I’ve found this works better than using rolling pins. I made sure they patted their hands in flour first so the dough did not stick to them.
Then, they adorned their gingerbread men with the googly eyes, buttons and beads. I took a pencil and created a small hole at the top of the ornament.
In her book, Asia says you can bake this dough or let it air dry. Since we do not have an oven in our classroom, I chose the air-dry option. I let them air-dry for a couple of days (flip them over to the other side on the second day). I was impressed with how strong the dough was once dry! I sprayed them with acrylic sealer for some extra shine and tied a piece of ribbon through the hole for hanging.
This was such a hit with our preschoolers that I want to make more of this salt dough for other activities!
Make sure to wrap your child’s gift in a handmade gift bag!
150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids is perfect for parents, teachers, babysitters, grandparents – anyone who has children in their lives! Each activity requires few ingredients that are probably in your classroom or kitchen right now. When you need a quick idea to keep kids busy, you are sure to find something in this book.
Christmas is around the corner and Asia’s book would make a wonderful gift. Consider wrapping it up with a few basic materials like Asia suggests here. The perfect gift to have on hand during the winter break, or any day!
“Where can I get a copy of this book?”
You can pick up a copy of Asia Citro’s book 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids at Amazon or any of your favorite bookstores.
Watch this short video to get a better idea of what Asia’s book offers:
And to give you a bit more of an idea of Asia’s fun and simple activities, check out these activities on her blog:
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Make sure to follow our Christmas pin board for lots more toddler and preschool activities!
More ideas to try: