Home Care Activities: Gingerbread Man Christmas Ornaments

Home Care in Pittsford, NY

Home-Care-in-Pittsford-NYThere are few things as iconic around the holiday season as gingerbread men. These adorable little guys are not only delicious, they make fantastic decorations, including ornaments. A fantastic activity for your aging loved ones to do with their home care provider, with you, or even with your children for a multigenerational seasonal activity, making gingerbread man Christmas tree ornaments allows everyone to get creative, express themselves, and add their own personal contribution to the family Christmas celebrations.

Start by making your gingerbread men. The base of the ornaments is completely edible, so feel free to make up some extra to snack on or to give as gifts to friends, neighbors, or your parents’ in home health care services provider.
What You Will Need

  • 3 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of margarine
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of clove
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ginger
  • 1/2 cup of molasses
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • A medium saucepan
  • A fork
  • Flour for creating a floured working surface
  • Plastic wrap
  • A rolling pin
  • Dough cutters
  • A cookie sheet
  • A wire cooling rack

What to Do

  • Heat the molasses, allspice, sugar, ginger, cloves and cinnamon on high in the medium saucepan
  • Allow to boil, while occasionally stirring
  • Remove from the heat once it has boiled
  • Stir in the baking soda, allowing it to foam up
  • Slowly stir in the margarine until it has melted all the way, pushing it down off the sides and into the mix so that it is well incorporated
  • Stir in the egg with a fork, making sure to incorporate it well into the mixture
  • Add in the flour and continue to mix well
  • Continue mixing until a dough has been created
  • Lightly flour the working surface and rolling pin
  • Carefully remove the dough from the saucepan and place on the floured working surface
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  • Knead the dough with your hands until it is well mixed
  • Divide the dough into two even halves
  • Wrap one half of the dough in plastic wrap and set it aside
  • Using the lightly floured rolling pin, roll the remaining half of the dough
  • Roll until the dough is just under 1/4 of an inch
  • Cut the dough into gingerbread man shapes with the dough cutters
  • Place the gingerbread men on the cookie sheet
  • Put the cookie sheet in the oven and allow to bake
  • Bake for up to 12 minutes or until the gingerbread men are hard and golden brown
  • Remove from the oven and place on the wire cooling rack
  • Roll the second half of the dough out to less than 1/4 of an inch
  • If you are creating a family of different gingerbread people, cut new shapes, otherwise continue cutting them the same way as before
  • Remove the first batch from the cookie sheet and place on a serving plate
  • Place the second batch on the cookie sheet and place in the oven
  • Bake again for 12 minutes or until golden brown
  • Remove and place on the wire cooling rack
  • Allow the cookies to cool and harden for two days
  • Once all cookies have cooled, remove them from the cookie rack

Now that you have your gingerbread men, it is time to decorate them. Since you are using these as ornaments rather than to eat, you can use non-edible decorations that are more durable than the edible versions. Caulking material looks just like whipped white frosting when piped on, making it the perfect option for adding details that you would usually make with icing. It also works as “glue” to add on non-edible versions of decorations such as seed beads as sprinkles and tiny buttons as candy eyes. Allow all decorations to dry completely before moving on. Make sure that anyone that comes in the home knows that those cookies are not edible, particularly if there are children or seniors with cognitive limitations around.

Finish off your cookies by applying two coats of glossy clear varnish or acrylic paint. Make sure that you add in the hole at the top of the head and coat this area with paint as well to prevent molding and pests.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Pittsford, NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.