Every year we kick off Christmas with a gingerbread theme. We have several different versions of the gingerbread man that we read each day. We make gingerbread cookies and gingerbread ornaments. This year I tried something new that our preschoolers have adored! This Christmas gingerbread sensory play activity involves filling, pouring, and counting. I scented the dyed rice for an extra sensory delight, since we were also exploring our five senses.
If you are looking for a fun sensory bin for your preschool gingerbread unit, you must try this!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
Christmas Gingerbread Sensory Play Activity
I will admit, I was having fun on Amazon when I noticed these paper mache gingerbread men boxes with lids.
I fell in love immediately. Our preschoolers love any containers with lids. But gingerbread men? I had never seen these before. I got all giddy, just like when I found the pumpkin jingle bells. Fellow teachers, please tell me I’m not alone here! And so then I knew we needed little gingerbread men bendables to put inside the gingerbread containers. And we already had a gingerbread house.
My mind was spinning, I tell you! When my purchases arrived over Thanksgiving break, I was in the kitchen dying rice red and green. While the turkey was defrosting and I needed to get the table cleared and set for guests. Just being real here!
But, I did have some restraint. I did NOT go into my classroom during the break. I actually waited until that Monday morning before the preschoolers arrived.
I got everything set up before the classroom door opened. We read our first gingerbread book before opening centers time.
When it was centers time, this Christmas gingerbread sensory play activity was an immediate hit. First they wanted to fill the gingerbread house with rice.
And then they started playing with the little gingerbread figures.
They decided to see if they could fit all 12 in one of the gingerbread man boxes. They counted them as they placed them inside.
They couldn’t all fit inside, so then they placed one gingerbread boy figure inside each cardboard gingerbread boy box. 1:1 correspondence!
Then I noticed the preschoolers lining them up along the edge of the sensory bin. More counting and figuring out that they all weren’t completely the same.
You can see a video of our preschoolers actually playing with this on Instagram.
We will expand on this activity with some gingerbread man cookie baking tomorrow!