Yes yes, we do love candy at our house, maybe too much... so this challenge is a new take on the old Christmas favorite, making gingerbread houses!
At preschool, we read a lot of awesome books about Gingerbread: Gingerbread Man, Gingerbread Girl, Gingerbread Family (which talks SPECIFICALLY about gingerbread houses!) Gingerbread Pirates. Then we made our own gingerbread houses:
This had the kids busy for DAYS! I had printed off pictures from the internet of candy canes, lollipops, bubble gum, etc. Then gave everyone markers and a glue stick. The kids giggled and had some very serious conversations while making their own gingerbread house. But it didn't end with decorating! Most of the kids enjoyed acting out the books we read during their free play time in their gingerbread house!
You don't have to have a HUGE box like we had to make this activity fun. Most kids will squeeze themselves into a diaper box when given an opportunity. If you have three-four little boxes, you could connect them even. The kids could let their dolls be the characters in a smaller version of the gingerbread house.
I love activities that link books and real life. It really gives them an opportunity to work through the story on their own, and it's a great chance for us to see what they have been taking in!
So find a box tomorrow, read a story about gingerbread, and see how long you can make the fun last :-)
If you're really adventurous, when the kids seem to get "bored" with the gingerbread house, you could add an extra dimension: