December 5, 2020

How to Make a Milk Carton Gingerbread House

Making milk carton gingerbread houses is a traditional craft that elementary school teachers have been making with their students for decades.  They are fun to make, wildly popular with the students, and can be integrated with a wide variety of children's literature.  (Need I go down the endless list of gingerbread themed books, poems, fingerplays, and rhymes?)  To make milk carton gingerbread houses, you will need empty milk cartons from the school cafeteria, royal icing, and lots and lots of holiday candies.  Keep reading for more information!

Learn how to make little gingerbread houses out of milk cartons, graham crackers, royal icing, and holiday candies. Perfect for your class's Christmas parties!  #kellysclassroomonline
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2015.)

Making gingerbread houses out of milk cartons in your classroom can be a fun experience... as long as you plan ahead and recruit a parent volunteer or two to lend a hand.  

Things You Need to Prepare Ahead of Time

  1. Collect your empty milk cartons from the school cafeteria.  You will need one per student.  Rinse the milk cartons with warm soapy water so your classroom won't smell of sour milk.  Gross!
  2. Arrange for some parent volunteers to come into your classroom to help with this project.  The more students you have and the younger they are, the more parent volunteers you may need.
  3. Seriously consider sending home a letter, requesting for families to send in ingredients and paper products.  This will reduce the amount of time and money you will have to spend.
  4. This is a time-consuming project.  Plan for an hour or so in the afternoon, maybe longer you have younger students.
  5. Prepare a large batch of royal icing ahead of time.  You can use this recipe from Saving Cent by Cent... The Best Gingerbread House Frosting... if needed.  Some people have experienced success with using canned icing.  I've never tried using canned icing, so I can't vouch for it one way or another.

Learn how to make little gingerbread houses out of milk cartons, graham crackers, royal icing, and holiday candies. Perfect for your class's Christmas parties!  #kellysclassroomonline

What You Will Need

  • paper plates
  • plastic knives
  • paper towels
  • milk cartons with the tops stapled closed
  • large Ziploc bags
  • graham crackers (at least four per student)
  • royal icing or canned frosting
  • bags and bags and bags of wrapped and unwrapped holiday-themed candy 

Learn how to make little gingerbread houses out of milk cartons, graham crackers, royal icing, and holiday candies. Perfect for your class's Christmas parties!  #kellysclassroomonline

Directions

  1. Give each student one paper plate, one plastic knife, and one milk carton.
  2. Give each student a dollop of royal icing or frosting on their plates.  This will be the glue that holds everything together.
  3. Give each student four graham crackers to be used as the walls and roof.  
  4. Give each student a handful of holiday candy to glue onto their gingerbread houses.
  5. Stand back and let your students and parent volunteers have at it.
  6. Assist as needed.
  7. When done, let the gingerbread houses air dry.
  8. Carefully place the gingerbread houses (with or without the plates) into the Ziploc bags and send them home at the end of the day.
Learn how to make little gingerbread houses out of milk cartons, graham crackers, royal icing, and holiday candies. Perfect for your class's Christmas parties!  #kellysclassroomonline

There is a new trend in gingerbread houses that is gaining popularity.  Instead of using graham crackers... people are now experimenting with using PopTarts!  Check out this cute little gingerbread house by Susanne Hoff.


More books and activities you will enjoy...

3 comments:

  1. So cute! Love your creativity!! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed your video about how to make a gingerbread house out of Pop Tarts... I think children would love trying to make one of their own!

      Delete