When I was teaching, I loved this time of year in my classroom. I would try and do at least one or two holiday crafts each week and the kid always had a blast doing them. One of my favorites to make were these stuffed diy paper bag gingerbread men. They took a bit to make them, but the kids really enjoyed them, and they had the extra added bonus of helping with their small motor skills with the yarn weaving.
This week, I decided to make some with my own kids and they loved them just as much as my students had! These cuties are made with recycled materials too, so that makes them even better!
Here’s what you will need to make these DIY paper bag gingerbread men:
one large paper grocery bag
newspaper (for stuffing)
felt to make the face (or you could use foam stickers or just draw with markers or crayons)
Step one would be to cut the bag apart so you have two large plain sides. Draw the ginger man shape on one and then cut them out together so you have two identical pieces; one for the front and one for the back.
Next, while they are stacked, hole punch around the gingerbread about 3/4 of an inch apart. If you are going to have your kids just draw faces on your stuffed gingerbread men, I would suggest doing it now before you stuff them, since after they are stuffed it is harder to draw on.
Next it’s time to start weaving. You will need enough yarn to roughly go around the length of your gingerbread twice. Begin by tying one end to a hole. To make it easier to weave the yarn through the holes tape the other side with some tape very tightly. This will keep the yarn from fraying as they weave.
Younger kids will probably need help with this but older kids can do it on their own. Show them how to put the string UNDER the hole and then PULL IT ALL OF THE WAY THROUGH. Repeat this again and again and again as you go around the gingerbread.
Do about 3/4 of the gingerbread and then start to stuff it with torn squares of newspaper. Have them push it into the legs and arms so it fills out their gingerbread man (or girl!). After they have stuffed some, weave a bit more, and then finish stuffing and weave the last new holes and tie the last piece off with the first knot you made.
Once the whole gingerbread man is closed up, you can decorate his or her face and body with pieces of felt to foam shapes or even paint! It’s totally up to you!
This is a fun project that works on your child’s small motor skills as well as allowing them to express their own personal creativity by decorating the gingerbread any way they like!
What’s your favorite recycled craft to do with you kids during the holiday season?
This post is apart of a series of Christmas related posts called Countdown to Christmas!