We decided to make gingerbread houses this year. Here are some photos of the process with some tips, in case you want to try it out.
I was going to buy the individual ingredients separately, but my husband found pre-assembled kits at Home Depot. I bought two kits so that each of my boys could decorate their own house. The kits came with the gingerbread, two colors of icing, decorating bags and icing tips, and candies. The first step of the instructions did not make any sense, by the way. A very confusing jumble of words basically said... squeeze the icing into the decorating bag.
Here are my little guys using the icing to glue the walls together. My husband was helping with this part. The icing was a bit stiff and it was difficult to squeeze it onto the house (even after we 'softened' the icing for several minutes). For some reason, the icing was not working out so good for my three-year-old. He was doing a great job holding the walls together, but the poor house started tilting like some Fun House from a circus!
Once the roof pieces started going on, the houses became a little more stable. Then, FINALLY, they could begin decorating! It was rather fun. The candy looked like little Christmas lights and the boys did a really great job making the houses looks very yummy. However, the icing did not taste too good. Every piece of the kit is supposed to be edible, but who knows how long those boxes were sitting on the shelf at Home Depot. We also ate some of the candies. They weren't too bad, tasting a little like stale NERDS. My boys are counting the days until Christmas has passed when they get to eat some of the house. Ewww.
I had a lot of fun helping out with this project. The whole thing probably took about an hour to do (with two adults helping). If I do another gingerbread house in the future, I will probably let the kids pick out the gram crackers, candy, and icing from a regular grocery store. I think these pre-assembled houses were perfect for us beginners this year, but next time, we are going to need a challenge.