Gingerbread Creches

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This is a great activity for preschoolers to do as part of a
Christmas celebration. A crèche is a display of the nativity where
Jesus was born.

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Have parents save 1-pound butter boxes. Then tape the open end of
each box, and slice each box in half with a wallpaper knife. This
makes one box for every two children.

To make this project, you’ll also need sturdy paper plates,
markers, cake frosting, plastic knives, graham crackers, pretzels,
coconut, animal crackers, cut-out star cookies, and E.L. Fudge
cookies or cut-out people cookies. Dye the coconut yellow by
shaking yellow food coloring and the coconut in a resealable
plastic bag until the coconut is entirely covered. Pour out onto a
flat surface to dry overnight.

Make a three-dimensional instructional board for each phase of
this project, including these instructions and models glued to the
board.

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1. Write your name on a plate. Frost all five sides of each box,
and “glue” the box to the plate with frosting. Keep the open end
facing forward. Attach graham crackers to the frosted sides.

2. Add animal crackers to the inside and outside of the box and a
star on top, using frosting as your glue.

3. Build a manger with a glob of frosting, pretzels, and yellow
coconut (and a baby Jesus if you like).

4. Add Mary and Joseph beside the manger, using frosting as your
glue.

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Sue Retzlaff
Mount Horeb, Wisconsin

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