Last year about this time one of my wonderful co-workers wanted to do a Gingerbread House program for our tweens. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints she was not able to make it happen.
This year I wanted to do a some type of similar program for my school agers, grades K-5th. We decided to combine our target age groups and hold a more family oriented Gingerbread House Extravaganza!!
We expected a good number to participate, but our expectations were exceeded. We had over 150 people join us at the library to spend time with family and make some adorable gingerbread house creations.
This program was not too hard to plan, just some guesstimating with numbers and some strategic setup beforehand. Here's how it all went down.
We gave each participant a plate with six graham cracker squares on it, (enough to build a basic house) and then let them choose whatever add on's they would like to create their gingerbread house.
Below are some pictures of the various toppings, candies, cereals, etc. that we used for decoration. We had them form a buffet line of sorts and the library staff helped them scoop their topping onto their plates.
At the end of the line we gave them a scoop of white icing for constructing the house, and a scoop of green icing if they wanted grass or green for their ice cream cone trees.
On the tables we had piping bags of icing for additional decorating. Icing is the only thing we came very close to running out of, so if we do this again we would have to buy a bigger supply.
All our tablecloths were disposable for easy cleanup, as well as plastic cutlery, lots of paper towels and some sani-hands wipes. Most of the mess from the icing ended up on the kids and not on our floors, with very few exceptions.
As I said earlier, our program numbers were very high, because of this we ended up opening our storytime room and we even had some families spread out at various tables in the children's department to work on their houses. I see our department as very flexible, I believe we handed the amount of people very well, especially for an open house program with no registration required.
All the feedback we heard was very positive, accompanied by numerous thank yous. I am constantly proud of the fact that we can offer programs without turning people away. I'm glad we had so many families come to the library to make some special memories together.
Below are some examples of the wonderful creations that were made during the program!