Five years ago when we moved into our home we found out that we have the best neighbors around. Go ahead, try to challenge me on that, we’ll win. 😉 So when we were celebrating our first Christmas in our home I knew that I wanted to find something fun that we could do with them.
At the time our children (between the two families) were 1.5, 4, 5, 7, and 9 years old. I thought that making gingerbread houses would be the perfect activity, but I didn’t think that there was any way we could successfully create them while remaining sane. That was until I came across the concept of using milk cartons (like you get at school.) Hint: make sure that you wash the cartons out and let them dry first.
It’s honestly one of the simplest activities that we do around the holidays. I put a dab of icing on the plate before I place the milk carton on it (this keeps the milk carton from sliding around.) Then I slather each milk carton’s side and the “roof” with icing (I use pre-made icing from a container and put it in a sandwich bag with the corner cut off for an easier way to apply it.) After that I gently place graham crackers on all of the sides. As the kiddos have gotten older I let them do these steps with a little guidance and they seem to enjoy it!
Prior to everyone arriving at our home I set out all of the “decorations” in advance so that it’s not as hectic. My neighbor and I both supply various candies for the kiddos to use and I also place a bag and/or container of additional icing next to each child.
Each year it has been neat to see the progression of their houses and the effort that they put into their unique home. As they get older I’m sure they’ll want to making “actual” gingerbread house, and that will be great to, but there will always be a little part of me that will miss our milk carton houses.
Have a fun way to make a gingerbread house or a way that a group of kiddos can make one? I would love to hear about it in the comment section below!
Enjoy the moment (and the holidays!)