DIY Gingerbread Man Felt Play

For the 24th and final day in our Advent Calendar of Christmassy Activities I made a Gingerbread Man felt set for Penguin to play with. Or rather, for us both, to be honest!


I cut the shape of a gingerbread man out of brown felt, placed him on a green piece of felt as base/background, and the cut out various small pieces in different colours, to be added as buttons, hair, clothes, eyes and other facial features etc.

I played around with the shapes and made a few versions of how this gingerbread fellow could be ‘dressed up’, and I took pictures of each of them. I then printed and laminated those images, so that Penguin would have a few suggestions to copy, to get him going. Play that is open ended can be tricky for some autistic children, and it is for Penguin. Having pictures to copy offers a clear idea of what to do, avoiding uncertainty and confusion.

Printing images of what to do with a play set like this might seem restrictive to the childs creativity and imagination. But for us it works as a great ‘gateway’ into the activity. Copying the pictures helps in getting the hang of how the materials work, and opens up for own ideas further on.

Playing with these tactile materials helps in developing visual discrimination and fine motor skills, and offers learning opportunities regarding facial expressions, shapes, colours, body parts, and simple numeracy. It can also be used for practicing communication.

We started by copying the most simple of my pictures, after which it developed into a more collaborative play/exercise, where we took turns in adding or changing details in the Gingerbread Man’s outfit. So turn-taking, joint attention, and social interaction can also be developed with the help of this festive felt figure.

If you’ve got some felt in the same colours as ours and would like to replicate this activity, you can download the pictures I made for copying, here:

Gingerbread felt play – Sensational Learning with Penguin

And if you love The Gingerbread Man just like us, you might also like to have a look at these posts:

Run, run, as fast as you can…

Playdough mats (incl. Gingerbread Man) – Free printables!

Scented playdough – Gingerbread, cinnamon, and mint!

Baking gingerbread

Icing on our gingerbread cookies, and a house!

Gingerbread Man Felt Play - Fine Motor Skills, Learning & Fun! - Sensational Learning with Penguin #FeltPlay #KidsCraft #Gingerbread #LearningDifferences #OccupationalTherapy #HomeEd #Homeschooling #SpecialEd

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29 thoughts on “DIY Gingerbread Man Felt Play

  1. This is a great idea. I made a big felt Christmas tree for the wall with felt baubles etc but this looks much more manageable. I like the idea of giving some suggestions to start with, completely open ended play can be really overwhelming at first so it’s a great way to get them started.

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  2. This is a lovely idea! I love felt, it always has that cute feel to it, and I love that you tailored the activity so well to your son. It’s so nice to bring in all the tie-in activities too, my son loves decorating gingerbread men (I tend to end up baking them myself as he gets bored!)

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  3. I love to see these action filled advent calender alternatives. I wish we had done things like this a kids. What a fun and creative thing to make for your children. Mine love tanagrams and this reminds of those. #kidsandkreativity


    1. Thank you! I like tangrams too, but my son hasn’t really got into them (yet). I too wish my parents had done more things like this when I was a kid. But at least I get to play with this now! 😊


  4. What a fab idea, and so cute too! I loved Fuzzy felt as a child. I need to do something like this for my two! Thanks for the the idea, and thanks for linking up to #KidsandKreativity. I really hope you come back next time. Kerry x


    1. If I’d had Fuzzy Felt as a child I think I would have been mesmerised by it 😊 I’ve always loved the feel of felt, and it’s such a great material for simple craft projects etc. Have fun making something similar for your kiddos, perhaps based around Their favorite literary characters..? I look forward to more rounds of your linky, love the theme 👏😀x


  5. What a lovely craft idea – my daughters would absolutely love this. They are crafts fanatics!! A great suggestion for kids, thank you for linking this to #globalblogging x

    Liked by 1 person

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