Sooo with us being in FULL Christmas Baking mode…. we are making all sorts from Vanilla Kipferl to Gingerbread Men. We ALSO love to read lots of Christmas books at this time of year (we have a number of “Christmas books” list for you to check out – one set here, and another set here, with our favourite Christmas Movies here)… but today’s topic of excitement, are these GINGERBREAD MAN BOOKS. Who knew that there were SO MANY different ones. Lots of fun reading to keep you busy through December. Simply Wonderful.
I have popped them all into one handy (affiliate) “list”, as well as included some quirky Gingerbread men products for you to take a peak at, just click on the links below for full info.
I have vivid memories of playing board games with my family on Sunday afternoons. It was a great time to come together, play some games and while away some lazy hours, whilst doing something together. Now, with a family of my own and children who are just getting old enough to play board games (they are 5yrs and 7yrs), I am keen to “stock up” on a set of different games for us all to enjoy together. Here, I list my favourite from years gone bye! You will probably recognise a number of them and I would LOVE to HEAR from you, what YOUR favourite games were as a child!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience!
I have shared a set of games for older kids, as well as younger ones. Some to play with 2 players and some to play with more. Hopefully something for everyone, with any skill or ability!
Yes, no article about family board games would be complete without Monopoly. Most definitely a worth game to start with and I am sure top of people’s minds when you are asked about which games you know and play. A timeless classic for sure and available in so many different versions. The aim of the game – is to move around the board, buying “land” and building property.
I confess to being terrible at spelling (I am sure you have noticed throughout all of my blogs! Ha!). But for some reason, I still very much enjoyed playing scrabble, I rarely won, but I think I got the satisfaction from doing well in enough in an area that was my “weakness”. And no doubt this was good for helping me develop my vocabulary and and spelling! But that is me. Many people enjoy the crossword type challenge that this game brings!
Oh what was it about this game that we ALL enjoyed? Was it the fact that you had to little cars with pink and blue pegs, that represented yourself and your “spouse”, that you got to add “kids to the car” as the game continued? Or was it that you got to experience “life” with adventures and work? Great feature of this game, is that you can make it “shorter or longer”, depending on how much time you have to play.
Another game that I have fond memories and that also come in lots of different additions to suit you and your family – from junior versions, through to master mind versions. I sometimes suspect that my parents liked this game, as we would always beat them at all the others. Ha!
An article about family games would not be the same without a sharing a Game Compendium of sorts! There are LOTS of sets out there – mini sets, big sets, delux sets. Wooden sets, travel sets, plastic sets. Whatever takes your fancy. What is important is these oh so traditional games – chess, checkers, backgammon, cards, dominoes amongst others. Though we love the “modern classics” such as Monopoly and Cluedo above, I am keen for my kids to learn these traditional games too – they have been around for years and years and have stood the test of time. They are challenging and make you think and they are fun. The great things about Compendiums, is that they come in one box, but contain so many different games. Something to have in any family store cupboard!
PS I am pretty certain that “Ludo” was also called “Sorry” in my hey day…..
US Readers –
Who doesn’t love a game of UNO – bright, colourful and simple to learn this is a card game of generations. I used to play a version of this with an “ordinary deck” of cards, but there is something attractive about UNO. This set of cards, makes it super easy for younger kids to pick up and learn and introduce them to the wonderful world of card playing. I still enjoy this game as an adult!
I am ashamed to say, that we do not have this game YET!!! Eventhough this is another game I loved as a child. A two player game, the aim is to get “four in a row”. It is great for a quick 10minutes here or there.. or play it for hours over and over again. We have told Santa that we NEED it this year!
I shared “Who is it Here”, simply because, I enjoy the graphics on this particular version, but Guess Who essentially it is. A 2 player game of logic and deduction and asking the right questions to figure out “who” has been picked. Again this game comes in a 1000 variations.. from Moshi Monsters through to superheros!
Another two player game that I used to love – Mastermind – the aim of the game is to work out the sequence of colours that you opponent has chosen. Your opponent gives you an indication of what you have right or wrong and getting those grey cells ticking you too can break the code!
If Scrabble always took far too long for you, you would probably enjoy Boggle – the principle is similar, but the pace if fast and furious. You have 3 minutes to make as many word combinations as possible.
Making Christmas magic or magical.. does not necessarily mean spending lots of money. It is about the little and exciting things that make Christmas special. I first read about this lovely idea from Mama Pea Pod.
Anyway, we tried last year, but the kids couldn’t settle.. we are trying again this year…. how lovely to go to sleep under those twinkling lights!
Such a simple thing for the kids to do at Christmas time and it doesn’t really cost you much (extra). Whether you have a small or a large tree, real or fake, any child will enjoy going to sleep looking at special Christmas Ornaments and fairy lights. Ah. To be little again. I may just go and snuggle down with them!!!
In our house when it comes to Gingerbread houses, MORE IS MORE! Yes, the kids need to add as many sweets as they possibly can. None of these “pretty dainty designs”. No, not for our Gingerbread Houses.. only more will do. So, I present you with: our annual Gingerbread House Recipe!
Our Gingerbread house is MASSIVE and I totally blame Domestic Goddesque for it… as a couple of years ago she **kindly** gave me a Gingerbread House Cutter set. Pfft.
Each year, I also forget which recipe I used LAST year. I always get paranoid about using NEW recipes, in case they don’t work. So this year, I am writing it down.. ha. (I am pretty certain that I have used this Gingerbread Men Recipe before and just doubled it..)
I think the key however, is to let your Gingerbread rest overnight, so it can harden a little before assembly.
The other key thing in OUR house, is for ME to assemble the house when the kids are not around. That way we have no “impatient” “Can we do the sweets now, Mummy?”, whilst I sweat buckets wondering whether it will ever stick together.
So, the Gingerbread House Recipe:
625g plain flour
2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
250g unsalted butter
150g brown sugar
4 tlbsp of golden syrup
2 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of ground clover
White chocolate cake covering (we don’t like icing!)
LOTS of sweets – more than you think!
Gingerbread House Method
1) Start mixing the butter and sugar, gradually add the eggs and golden syrup and spices.
2) Then add the flour bit by bit, as well as the bicarbonate soda.
3) Once thoroughly mixed, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to harden for 30min
4) Roll out your dough 5mm thick and cut out your shapes. I always worry, I won’t have enough and then we always have extra to make a few additional shapes…
5) Bake in the oven for 12-15 min. Remove. Whilst still hot, take your cutters and recut any shapes if they have “spread” too much in the cooking process. After 5 min transfer to a rack and them cool fully and harden a little overnight.
Gingerbread House Assembly
1) Lazy person that I am, I melt the white chocolate cake covering in the microwave. I am thinking now, that normal chocolate may be just as good, if not better, as it actually tastes nicer too.
2) I dribble some of the chocolate on the plate and stand the first side up. Then get the next side along, dip in the chocolate and hold to the first side. Dribble more chocolate down the seem… wait 5 min if need before it to set a little before moving on to the next side.
3) Add each side and roof…..
Let fully set and then DECORATE WITH THE KIDS!!!!!