Holiday Tradition of Building Gingerbread Houses Stimulates Creative Free Play!

Holiday Tradition of Building Gingerbread Houses
Stimulates Creative Free Play!

Building a gingerbread house is a fantastic way to include creative folks of all ages in creating a delicious, well-engineered work of art, along with skills in architectural design, engineering, communication, and collaboration.

It may seem as if the holiday season is far away in the distance, but now that Halloween has come and gone, preparations are beginning for holiday celebrations in western Massachusetts! One of the most important parts of any community celebration of a holiday (winter or otherwise) is the food. An important part of every culture, the food associated with a specific event plays an important role in its celebration and says a lot about those who celebrate. The preparation of specific traditional dishes often brings families together, and creates a tradition that can be a part of each holiday for years to come.

One of the most iconic food-related ways to celebrate early winter’s holidays is by making a gingerbread house. Constructed out of delicious (and also sturdy and long-lasting) spicy gingerbread, festive gingerbread houses represent not only the role of food in holiday celebrations, but also the importance of creativity and intergenerational collaboration. Building a gingerbread house is a fantastic way to include creative folks of all ages in creating a delicious, well-engineered work of art, and skills in architectural design, engineering, communication, and collaboration will all come into play during such an activity. And speaking of play – play you shall! Even if the family gingerbread masterpiece isn’t an architectural wonder, the process of decorating it is a fantastic opportunity to participate in creative free play together! Read the rest of this entry »

Build a Gingerbread Home to Benefit Habitat for Humanity

Build a House Out of Gingerbread for Habitat for Humanity

On December 8th, from 2-4:30, at the Eastworks Building in Easthampton, teams of families, children, and professionals will build gingerbread homes to raise money for Habitat. River Valley Market Co-op is donating the gingerbread home pieces and the frosting “glue.” Every team is asked to raise at least $100 for their build. After the Build, teams have the option to donate their houses to Habitat, which auction them to raise additional funds. Register your team(s) by November 21st by emailing (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity (PVHH) is hosting a gingerbread house competition on Dec. 8th in Easthampton, MA.  Teams of gingerbread architects are asked to raise $100 for PVHH from their community in order to participate in the event, and will be provided with gingerbread pieces and frosting donated by River Valley Market Co-op with which to create their gingerbread homes or historical building!

Each team should bring their own edible decorations (the more unique, the better!) with which to dress their gingerbread structure.  Youth teams can be formed too with at least one adult team member, practicing basic principles of architecture and explorations of spatial relations… all while being creative!  Teams can pick a theme in which to decorate their house, or pick a home or historic building to model their gingerbread structures after.

Pastry arts is a fun creative medium!  Families can compete together as a team, making the event part of their holiday celebrations – spend time discussing the role that Habitat for Humanity plays in the community, and discuss how the money raised in order to participate will benefit the organization.  Kids will enjoy participating even more once they understand the true value of the event!

The gingerbread build will take place at 2pm on December 8th at the Eastworks Building in Easthampton.  Community members not participating are invited to stop by at 4pm to view the creations and bid on a house to take home!  Teams can register before the event via phone (413-586-5430) or e-mail ( – groups with members under the age of 12 must include at least one adult.

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