Here's something I have done with all my children when they were about four years old during the winter season. I told the story of The Gingerbread Man to them and then, together, we made a huge gingerbread man. We were very careful to keep the oven door closed tightly so that he wouldn't try to escape. When baked, I sneaked and took out the man while my little one wasn't in the room, hiding it, tray and all, somewhere near a window. When I opened the oven door a few minutes later to take him out I gave a little scream saying the Gingerbread Man has escaped. We all went on a search for him and I or my DH would find the gingerbread man just about to escape out the window, but we'd catch him in time. Then we decorated him with icing and candies together and ate him up.
Recently, we played the game with my little guy. His eyes were as big as saucers when we found Mr. Gingerbread Man about to escape. After that close call, he wouldn't let his eyes off of the culprit while decorating.
Here's my recipe:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup veg oil
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup molasses
1and1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
Preheat oven 350 F degrees or 180 C. Mix into a ball. I chill the dough a little while and then roll it out on a floured non-stick tray, or put foil underneath. I then cut out the shape of the man with a butter knife. We make little gingerbread men with the leftover dough. It rises in the oven nicely and tastes like a soft molasses cookie. Bake approx. 15 minutes or until slightly brown. Yum!