Looking for a fun activity to do at home with the kiddos? Discovery Station’s Gingerbread House STEAM Challenge will have your kiddos exploring engineering, math, and financial literacy concepts!
Supplies You’ll Need:
- Paper Plate
- Toothpicks (to help support the structure)
- Paper towels
- Graham Crackers
- Candy Canes
- Hershey Kisses
- Tiny Marshmallows
- Miscellaneous Candy
- Optional: Real currency for the activity.
For the adults: Set out all of the Gingerbread House making supplies on a table. Using the worksheet as a reference, label each of the supplies, and include their prices. This will help your kiddo immerse themselves in the “shopping” experience. If you’re using real currency, make sure you have enough cash on hand to “break” the $20.00. Depending on your child’s understanding of currency, you can also print off our Learning Money Worksheet for them to use when it’s time to “purchase” the supplies.
- Print off the Gingerbread House STEAM Challenge worksheet and follow along.
- Before building, have your child review the available “building supplies” and design their Gingerbread House. They must be sure that their house has four walls, a roof, a door, and at least two windows.
- Each child will start out with a paper plate and toothpicks to help keep their design together when it’s time to build the house.
- They have $20.00 to spend on building materials. If you’re using real currency, give them the money to shop with.
- Encourage your kiddo to leave extra money in their budget in case they need to purchase additional supplies later in the building process.
- When they have finished their budget, it is time for them to shop.
- For the adult: you can be the “shopkeeper” and supervise the spending. Encourage them to bring their budget list to the table with the supplies so that they can keep track of their spending.
Remember, you can use our Learning Money worksheet above to help your kiddo familiarize themself with US currency.
- Now it’s time for them to use the supplies that they “purchased” to construct their gingerbread house. They can use the toothpicks to help keep the grahamcrackers together.
- Allow them to “purchase” more items if needed. However, they cannot go over their $20.00 budget (unless you have chores that need done in the house, at which point, that would turn into a lesson of “earning” money).
Remind your kiddo that it’s OKAY if their design doesn’t work-out and it falls apart. Allow them to rebuild from scratch and you can even include toy dinosaurs in their creation if the construction process runs into issues!
What worked? What didn’t?
Building gingerbread houses is a fun way to explore basic engineering concepts. When the construction process is finished, review their projects. What worked? What didn’t? If they could go back and change anything, what would it be? Would they use different candy? More? Less? How much money do they have leftover? If they had more money to budget with, would their designs change at all?
We would love to see your designs! Email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might just feature them on our social media channels! Be sure to include your child’s first name, age, and any observations they had about the challenge!