Sign-Ups for the 2016 Gingerbread Man Exchange have Closed
Sign-Ups for the 2017 Valentine Exchange will open in early January!
Thanks to everyone for making this year so much fun for the kids!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of the year in an elementary classroom.  The joy in the children’s eyes is a daily reminder of why I became a teacher in the first place.  

One of my favorite holiday activities during this time of the year is participating in a gingerbread man exchange with other classrooms from all over the United States.  This year, I am excited to be hosting the third annual gingerbread man exchange.

What’s a gingerbread man exchange you ask?  During the month of November, your class will create fifteen gingerbread men and decorate them in any way you would like.  No later than December 5th, you will also need to include in the envelope a brief letter from your class telling about your school, the area you live in, etc.  This can be a letter that you write together with your students and simply make a copy to send with each gingerbread man exchange.  Then, sit back and wait for the gingerbread friends to arrive at your school.

Picture Courtesy of Growing in Pre-K via Pinterest

The kids can’t wait to find out where each gingerbread man and letter is from and to read a little bit about the kids who sent it.  I like to display the gingerbread men and the letter with a map so that the kids can get a better idea of where each gingerbread man came from.  In past years, I have opened the gingerbread letters and shared with the class on the day that they arrived.  This year, I am planning to save all the letters and open them during a special Gingerbread Celebration.  We can snack on gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate while we open all the special letters to our class.  

Due to the postage expense, participating classrooms must be in the United States.  The gingerbread man exchange is also limited to kindergarten through fourth grade classes.  By signing up, you are agreeing to have your class create twenty gingerbread men and mailing them on or before Monday, December 5th so that they will arrive at their destinations in time to be enjoyed before the Christmas holiday breaks.  If you would like for your class to be part of this year’s gingerbread man exchange, you can sign up by clicking on the image below.  

If you are interested, don’t delay in signing up.  I ran out of spots very quickly last year.  The sign-ups will only be open for the next couple of days or until the maximum number of participants have signed up.  Once the sign-up period has closed, I will send out an email with more details to the participants.  After signing up, you will receive an email with all the details no later than November 12, 2016.

The concept behind the gingerbread man exchange is simple yet it is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding activities of the year.  I want to personally thank the approximately 80 teachers from across the country who joined together to make this exchange possible.  Here is a look at this year’s gingerbread man exchange.

During the week before the Thanksgiving holiday, I set up a gingerbread “factory”…..I basically took out all my extra craft supplies and spread them out across the table.  Each of my lil’ pups had a chance to create their own gingerbread man using their choice of supplies.

We gathered all of our special gingerbread friends together for a picture before we packaged them up to be sent off to their new homes.   

Photo Courtesy of Ms. Hathcoat’s Class

We wrote a letter for our gingerbread man to take with them to their new home.  Our letter told a little bit about our school and our town.

We packed each gingerbread man and I took them all to the post office to begin their journey to their new homes.

Then, we waited for our new friends to arrive.  Most days we received one or two envelopes containing special friends.  We couldn’t wait to see the gingerbread man and really LOVED reading about the class that sent it.  

When each friend arrived we displayed them near our class map so we could see where they came from.  

My kids just LOVED reading the letters….they have probably read each one a hundred times this month!

Here is a look at our class display.  We had a few late arriving gingerbread friends but this is most of them.
Photo Courtesy of Ms. Hathcoat’s Class
Here is another look at a classroom display.

Did your class love the Gingerbread Exchange?  Missed out?  Well….you are in luck!  I will be hosting a Valentine Exchange that will work in the same way as the Gingerbread man exchange.  Sign ups will begin on January 3rd.  If you participated in the Gingerbread Man exchange, I will be emailing you the link to sign up on January 3rd.  If you did not participate in the Gingerbread Man exchange, I will also post the sign up link on my blog.  Be sure to follow my blog on Blog Lovin’ if so you don’t miss the sign up window.   

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of the year in an elementary classroom.  The joy in the children’s eyes is a daily reminder of why I became a teacher in the first place.

One of my favorite holiday activities during this time of the year is participating in a gingerbread man exchange with other classrooms from all over the United States.  This year I am excited to be hosting a gingerbread man exchange.

What’s a gingerbread man exchange you ask?  During the month of November, your class will create fifteen gingerbread men and decorate them in any way you would like.  No later than December 2nd, you will mail 15 gingerbread men to other classrooms across the United States.  You will also need to include in the envelope a brief letter from your class telling about your school, the area you live in, etc.  This can be a letter that you write together with your students and simply make a copy to send with each gingerbread man.  Then, sit back and wait for the gingerbread friends to arrive at your school.  

Picture Courtesy of Growing in Pre-K via Pinterest

The kids can’t wait to find out where each gingerbread man and letter is from and to read a little bit about the kids who sent it.  I like to display the gingerbread men and the letter with a map so that the kids can get a better idea of where each gingerbread man came from.

In past years, I have opened the gingerbread letters and shared with the class on the day that they arrived.  This year, I am planning to save all the letters and open them during a special Gingerbread Celebration.  We can snack on gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate while we open all the special letters to our class.  

Due to the postage expense, participating classrooms must be in the United States.  The gingerbread man exchange is also limited to kindergarten through fourth grade classes.  By signing up, you are agreeing to have your class create fifteen gingerbread men and mailing them on or before Tuesday, December 2nd so that they will arrive at their destinations in time to be enjoyed before the Christmas holiday breaks.  If you would like for your class to be part of this year’s gingerbread man exchange, you can sign up by clicking on the image below.  

The sign-ups will only be open for the next couple of days or until the maximum number of participants have signed up.  Once the sign-up period has closed, I will send out an email with more details to the participants.  

I love being able to “give” during the holiday season!  I am excited to be joining up with an amazing group of bloggers for this spectacular giveaway!  You will definitely want to take a moment to enter the giveaway below.  You will have a chance to win over twenty products for your classroom and $170 Amazon gift card….that could translate into some serious Christmas shopping!

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I am so excited to check out the other posts that are part of the Holidays Around the Blog Linky.  There are so many fabulous ideas to be discovered!  If you have a fun holiday tradition in your classroom, we would love for you to link up below and share it with us!

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