Children off school for the Christmas holidays now?

nativity-sceneMine are. And I’m going to set them to work making a gluten free gingerbread nativity scene. We’ve done this for a couple of years now, and the results (while not always perfect) have a naive charm all their own and make the house smell absolutely wonderful.

It’s an excellent activity that takes up much of an afternoon, what with the mixing, the rolling, the cutting out, the decorating and the sticking together… the washing up can often take a while too!

Last time I posted about this, I couldn’t find any nativity scene cutters available any more in the UK, but I’ve noticed at least two sources recently. One is via Cakes Cookies and Crafts, where the set costs £10.99 + postage; the other is via Lakeland (though I have a feeling they may be out of stock, as I can’t see them this morning).

And if today is too late to buy online, or even to nip down to Lakeland to see what they have in stock, you could try drawing the shapes onto paper, and creating templates to cut the gingerbread to shape – just remember to keep it simple, with no narrow arms/legs or necks, because those are the bits that break…

Or, you could create salt dough Christmas shapes to decorate your house or tree. There’s a recipe available here for microwaveable salt dough figures (for quick drying), or for air-drying salt dough figures here, but remember that if there’s any risk that your child will eat the dough (or lick their fingers) then you should make it gluten free – even if salt dough is inedible because of the salt!

Note that the image is taken from the Lakeland site; our gingerbread nativity scenes don’t look nearly as polished as this one…