Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Gingerbread Man

Griffin goes to preschool three mornings per week.  I happen to think his preschool teachers are some of the best EVER.  Nolan was in their class two years ago, and I hope to send Nora to their class in two years.

A couple months ago, Griffin's teachers arranged a super cute activity for the kids.  They read about the Gingerbread Man and then made their own gingerbread men out of construction paper.

But then their gingerbread men ran away!  They went on a scavenger hunt, following clues left by the gingerbread men.  They went to the "big kid" classes at the adjacent school, checked with the janitor, and visited the principal.

Griffin absolutely loved it!  And it wasn't just a fun morning for him.  He told me every detail of his morning at school that day, and then the adventure continued at home.

Griffin took his Gingerbread Man everywhere he went.  When Nolan came home from school, he joined in the fun in a rare cooperative big brother moment.  Griffin truly believed that his Gingerbread Man was running around the house and leaving notes as clues.  So Nolan started writing the notes on behalf of the Gingerbread Man.

Jared joined in the fun when he got home from work.

There were even more notes that I didn't get pictures of.  Griffin would run to his room, then Nolan would hide the Gingerbread Man, and then we would leave a note to help Griffin find him.  Griffin loved every second of it!

He played with the Gingerbread Man so much that the construction paper started to tear.  So I removed the buttons, laminated the paper man, and then glued the buttons back on over the lamination.

Griffin wanted to make a house for the Gingerbread Man, so we used a cardboard box.  Griffin used a couple of towels to make a little bed for his friend.

He didn't want the Gingerbread Man to run away while he was sleeping, so he closed the box and placed a heavy flashlight on top to keep him from getting out.

He originally made the Gingerbread Man on September 17, and the Gingerbread Man still lives in his house next to Griffin's bed and pops up here and there around the house.

A couple weeks ago, we "misplaced" the Gingerbread Man.  When Griffin noticed that he hadn't seen him in a few days, I had to act fast to buy us some time.  I hurriedly wrote this note while he was out of the room:

 (I'm having photo quality issues, but that says, "I'm sorry I have been so busy playing and hiding.  I will try to stop running and spend time with you soon!")

Once I found the Gingerbread Man, I hid him and left this note for Griffin:

It's a good thing that Griffin hasn't noticed how much the Gingerbread Man's handwriting changes!

Griffin's birthday is coming up (December 1), so I have been talking to him about what he might want to do for his birthday party theme.  We looked through some ideas online.  We considered doing a Candyland theme because candy is one of Griffin's favorite things in life.

Then I saw that Oriental Trading was offering free shipping on any order, and I picked up several little items for Christmas gifts.  While I was browsing their site, I had an epiphany when I saw this:

This is the "Candytown" Party Supplies line from Oriental Trading.  It's gingerbread men and candy!  How perfect!  So I ordered plates, napkins, invitations, and a few little decorations and activities for the kids.

I really really enjoy personalizing my kids' birthday parties to reflect who they are and what they enjoy at the time of their birthday.  I can't even begin to predict what they'll be into next year, but I know it will be fun choosing and carrying out their themes.

We do have another December birthday in our house:  Miss Nora on December 27th.  Want to know her theme?  Here are your clues:


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