Making gingerbread houses with kids is a Christmas tradition for most of us. Store-bought kits look pretty, but from my experience with them, they are incredibly messy and hard to work with. Building one can also be frustrating as you try to hold everything together as you build! You can still make memories with your kids for the holiday season with this genius idea: Milk Carton “Gingerbread” Houses. Instead of gingerbread, use graham crackers!
This craft ends all frustration around making the perfect gingerbread houses with your kids! It’s . So. Easy. Best part is, the older kids get, the more independent they can be with this. Throw on some Christmas PJ’s, grab a Santa hat, turn on some Christmas music, and let’s get started!
Holiday Craft: Milk Carton Gingerbread Houses
If are working with toddlers, this easy gingerbread house is going to be a lifesaver! All you need to create the structure of the “house” is a school milk carton, or you can use a half and half/ heavy whipping cream carton like I did this year. I used to teach Kindergarten, but now that I stay at home with my son, I don’t have access to the school milk cartons as I used to. The heavy whipping cream containers are a little shorter, but you can definitely make it work once decorations are added. These houses are always a big hit with kids!
All Supplies You’ll Need:
Milk Cartons ( I used 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream cartons and they worked out perfectly)
Round dessert plates
Hot Glue gun
Vanilla Frosting (the “glue”)
Jumbo Craft Sticks to Spread “glue”
Mini Candy Canes
Fruity Cheerios or Fruit Loops
Red Hots Candy
Sectioned Tray or cupcake/muffin tins
- The day before building, empty out, wash and air dry milk or heavy whipping cream cartons.
- Use hot glue gun to glue the opening shut of the empty cartons. It should look just like it did before opening. If you are making more than one, now’s the time to write names on the bottom of the plate to avoid mix-ups.
- Use the hot glue gun to glue the bottom of each milk carton to the center of the dessert plate for each child.
- Use a sectioned tray or cupcake tray to sort each type of treat you’ll be using to decorate. This makes it super easy for kids to reach in and get just what they need for their little “gingerbread” creation 🙂
How to Build and Decorate:
- Break the graham crackers in half so that you have 6 halves per house. Have the child frost one side of the graham cracker half (like glue) and place it on each side of the milk carton. This creates the walls and the roof of the gingerbread house. The icing works like a charm so you are not holding things together praying that they don’t come crashing down as you build haha!
- Be creative and continue on using icing as glue and then sticking the candy on the gingerbread house. It helps with really small children to make a model with them, letting them watch you make one first. Then they can use your model as a guide when building their own 🙂 This worked great with my 2, almost 3-year-old.
That’s all! When kids are all done, these cute little houses make the room smell good and look so festive for the holidays! They work great as a craft for kid parties, too. Here’s a look at JP’s and at mine!
We hope you enjoyed this post!