Gingerbread house-building brings kids, dads together

By Gini Davis

The Creswell Chroncle

It’s a beloved tradition for Creslane Elementary School kindergarten classes, and on Dec. 15 this year’s kindergarteners continued that tradition, crafting gingerbread houses with the help of their fathers, grandfathers or another significant male relative or friend.

Kindergartners in Cheryl Clancey’s, Debbie Larson’s, Chemen Clearwaters’ and Shawna Bradley’s classrooms worked with their special guests to cover clean, empty milk cartons with graham crackers, cementing seams and covering their houses with icing.

Some duos constructed traditional cottages, while others built two-storey houses or more fanciful structures, kids and dads sharing affectionate smiles and sampling icing and candy as they worked.

Once built, the houses were decorated with an array of colorful candies – peppermints, gumdrops, candy canes, licorice and more. Finally, they were carefully wrapped in cellophane for the trip home.

In Bradley’s classroom, her husband, Eugene Symphony cellist Dale Bradley set the mood with live holiday music, and Santa paid a surprise visit to each of the four classes, giving out “ho-ho-hos” and miniature candy canes.

The gingerbread house event is one of several at Creslane that involves kindergartners’ families. In May, mothers are invited to the Mothers’ Tea, and in June, families are welcomed to the kindergarten promotion ceremony and Teddy Bear Picnic.