The sticky, gooey sweetness of frosting, graham crackers and candy wafted through the halls of the South Haven Early Childhood Center in the South Country Central School District as parents and other caregivers joined the district’s youngest students to craft gingerbread houses. All the visitors and their student-partners needed was a bit of imagination.

The event was a culminating activity for an interdisciplinary unit on the gingerbread man and gingerbread houses, a favorite of young students everywhere. During the week, students read various story versions about the gingerbread man and discussed the similarities and differences in the plots and characters of each book. After cutting out construction paper gingerbread men, the students sorted buttons and placed them in patterns on what would be the gingerbread man’s and woman’s clothes. The students also strengthened their alphabet skills in an alphabet partner activity. Paper gingerbread men were labeled with random letters of the alphabet and students were instructed to find a partner by matching the letters. The favorite activity, however, was decorating their gingerbread houses and nibbling on the delicious candy and frosting that became, not only an essential part of their creations, but memories to last a lifetime.