Did you know we have Queen Elizabeth I to thank for gingerbread men?
It is said that she had her royal gingerbread maker create the biscuits in the form of her dinner guests and then served them up for a banquet. There's so much more you can do with them than eat them for Christmas though.
We've rounded up the best gingerbread man activities and crafts for kids so your children can make their very own adorable gingerbread friend. Looking for more crafts? We've got roar-some dinosaur activities and Harry Potter themed crafts for you to try too.
Gingerbread Man Plate
Suitable for: Age 2+
Gingerbread man crafts for little kids should be an easy activity. Pre-schoolers may need help to decorate their gingerbread man, but it's perfect for short attention spans.
White ric rac ribbon.
Step one: Paint your paper plate with brown paint and leave to dry.
Step two: Stick on googly eyes and draw on a gingerbread man mouth.
Step three: Glue pom poms to the corners of the smile and the bow at the bottom for a bow tie or the top for a hair bow.
Step four: Attach the ric rac around the entire circle.
Suitable for: Age 6+
Older kids will love to make their very own gingerbread slime! This is great for Christmas crafts for kids and can be used as gifts for friends. Just make sure kids wash their hands after playing with it.
One cup PVA glue.
One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
One tablespoon contact lens solution (this must list boric acid in the ingredients).
Gel food colouring.
One teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg.
Step one: Mix together the glue and the bicarbonate of soda. Add food colouring and contact lens solution.
Step two: Keep mixing until it starts to become stringy and pulls away from the bowl. Add spices and stir.
Step three: Remove from the bowl and knead. Within 30 seconds, it will start to stick to itself and become super-stretchy.
Step four: Once you're happy with the texture, put it back in the bowl and tip in gold glitter, working it through.
Suitable for: Ages 4+
This is a Christmas gingerbread man craft that you can eat! Gingerbread houses are the perfect Christmas craft, and it's easy for kids of all ages to get involved with this gingerbread activity.
250 grams unsalted butter.
200 grams dark muscovado sugar.
Seven tablespoons golden syrup.
600 grams plain flour.
Two teaspoons bicarbonate soda.
Four teaspoons ground ginger.
Step one: Heat oven to 200 C (180 C fan/gas mark 6). Melt together butter, sugar and syrup.
Step two: Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger, then stir in the melted mixture to form a stiff dough. Add water if needed.
Step three: Roll your dough out to four-millimetre thickness. Cut out shapes needed to make a house – four walls and two roof panels. Bake your gingerbread in the oven for around 12 minutes until it's firm. Cool.
Step four: Whisk together eggs whites and icing sugar to make a thick paste. Pipe along the edges and apply pressure to the pieces to stick them together. Allow to dry for two hours.
Step five: Using the same mix, stick on sweets to decorate.
Gingerbread Men Bookmarks
Suitable for: Age 2+
Have fun with easy gingerbread man crafts and make these adorable gingerbread men bookmarks out of lollipop sticks.
Brown and red card.
Brown, red and white paint.
Step one: Paint the lollipop stick brown and leave to dry.
Step two: Cut a circle out of the brown card and a bow tie out of the red card.
Step three: Stick on googly eyes and use a pen to draw on a smile. White paint can be used to to make the fun pattern around the circle, and red for the ends of his smile.
Step four: Use the white paint to make buttons on your lollipop stick, then attach the gingerbread man face to the stick. The final step is to fix on the bow tie.
Gingerbread Man Lacing Card
Suitable for: Age 3+
Give small hands a work-out with this fun lacing activity for Christmas. It's great for working on kids' fine motor skills.
Step one: Draw your gingerbread man shape out of the brown card and cut out. You can add on details like buttons and a face too.
Step two: Use the hole punch to make holes around the edge of the gingerbread man, and get kids to thread the lace in and out around the gingerbread man for fun.
Paper Gingerbread Men
Suitable for: Ages 2+
Gingerbread man crafts don't get much easier than this. Young kids will love this activity to craft their own gingerbread man.
Decorations – ric rac, buttons, sequins, googly eyes.
Step one: Cut out a fun gingerbread man shape from brown paper.
Step two: Let kids decorate their own gingerbread man craft for Christmas.
Gingerbread Man Ornament
Suitable for: Ages 7+
This adorable gingerbread man ornament is a perfect Christmas crafts for kids – make sure they get help from an adult to use the glue gun.
Step one: Paint your cork with the brown paint. Once dry use pens to draw on eyes, mouth and cheeks.
Step two: Use the glue gun to attach pieces of brown felt to each side for arms, and buttons down the gingerbread man body.
Step three: Use a corkscrew to make a hole in the top of the cork. Bend the craft wire into a loop and push the ends into the hole then secure with glue.
Finger Paint Gingerbread Man
Suitable for: Age 3+
This is a great craft for pre-schoolers – and one of the fun gingerbread man crafts to try for Christmas.
White piece of paper.
Step one: Get kids to dip their thumb into brown paint and place on the centre of the white paper.
Step two: Using their fingertips, get them to dip in the paint again and make marks for two arms and two legs. You can smear the print to make it longer.
Step three: Use their thumb to make a round face by dipping it in paint and then smearing it in a circle shape. Leave to dry.
Step four: Once dry, you can use paints to add bow ties, buttons and faces.
Gingerbread Men Sweetie Pots
Suitable for: Ages 3+
Fun crafts for kids don't come much easier than this quick make. It's perfect for stashing Christmas treats inside the adorable gingerbread pot.
Two mini terracotta pots.
Step one: Turn one of the pots upside down and use white and black chalk pens to draw on buttons and a wavy line along the bottom.
Step two: Twist your pipe cleaner into a figure of eight and glue on top of the upside-down pot. Glue the second pot, right way up, on top of the pipe cleaner.
Step three: Use the chalk pens to draw on a face to the top pot and then tie a ribbon around where the two pots meet. Fill with sweets.
Gingerbread Man Puppets
Suitable for: Age 4+
These adorable gingerbread men puppets make fun crafts for kids to do over Christmas.
Craft foam sheet in brown.
Puffy paint pens.
Step one: Trace out a gingerbread man shape onto your foam – but instead of giving him legs give him a wide flat bottom edge. Cut out.
Step two: Use paint pens to draw your gingerbread man's details like buttons and a face.
Step three: Cut out two circles along the bottom edge that are large enough to fit your kids' fingers through.
Fuzzy Felt Gingerbread Men
Suitable for: Age 2+
This fun craft can be adapted for all ages. At Christmas time toddlers can have fun with the felt pieces to make their own gingerbread man, while older kids will enjoy gingerbread man crafts like this which they can cut out themselves.
Felt sheets in brown, and any other colours you like.
Step one: Cut out a gingerbread man shape from brown felt. Cut out other shapes from the other colours which can be used to dress your gingerbread man. Try circles for eyes and buttons, bow ties, zig-zags and hearts.
Step two: This is one of those Christmas crafts you can re-use over again. Let children dress the gingerbread man; then you can remove the pieces and start again.
Cora Lydon is a freelance journalist living in Suffolk with her husband and two children. She’s also a children’s book author who loves finding activities and place to inspire her children. Her dining table bears the scars of many craft activities attempts (many unsuccessful).