The Melting Gingerbread Man


The dissolving Gingerbread Man is a fun activity for kids to extend readings of the Gingerbread Man.  In many versions, the Gingerbread Man is afraid to cross the river for fear that if he does, he will get wet and melt!

Materials needed: Gingerbread Man cookies, small container, milk, paper to chart students’ guesses, markers, and a timer.

Explain to the students that you are going to place the gingerbread cookie in a glass or container of milk to see how long it takes for the gingerbread cookie to dissolve (melt) in the milk.

  • Have each child make a guess as to how long it will take the gingerbread cookie to dissolve.  Chart the responses/guesses from the children on a separate sheet of paper.
  • Place the cookie in a container of milk and start a timer.
  • Stop the timer when the cookie is dissolved (or mostly dissolved) and see if any of the children had a guess that was relatively close.

For younger children, do the activity several times and explore the concept of “passing” time.  Be sure to invite the children to explore the timer and discuss how the timer works. Compare the timer to the hands (or digital display) on a clock, a watch, or a stopwatch at home or in the classroom.  It is also fun to explore how different timers work.

Extension idea for older children:  Place the students’ guesses in order from shortest to longest time.

For young children:  arrange the students’ guesses by seconds or by placing all guesses under one minute in one category, 1-2 minute guesses in a second category, 2-3 minute guesses in a third category, and so on.

Extension idea: Use different types of liquids to see if it has an effect on how fast or slow the gingerbread man will melt. Other suggested liquids could include: chocolate vs. white milk, cold water vs. hot water, juice, hot chocolate, etc.

The Gingerbread Science Activity is just one of over 50 activity suggestions available in the Gingerbread Theme.  To download the theme for use at home or in the classroom, see the Thematic Units page on this blog!

The Gingerbread Man from Childrens’ Classic Fairy Tales and The Gingerbread Man by Eric A. Kimmel:

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