New this week in the shop is a set of activity packs to accompany The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers by Lisa Campbell Ernst. In this pack, we do all kinds of measurement activities, mainly focusing on measuring length. But there are so many ways we can measure! And length is only one of the attributes that we can measure. Let’s put together a sensory bin for our preschool and kindergarten friends!

The invitation to play here is that we’re going to make gingerbread cookies just like The Gingerbread Girl! We’re going to measure and mix. We’ll roll and cut!

So, let’s put it together!


  • A Bin
    • You DO NOT need a fancy sensory table! Just some type of bin to contain the corn! I use this bin and it works fabulously. If you’re looking for a bigger bin, I’ve seen bus tubs at Sams and Costco that would be great!
  • Corn
    • I love corn as a sensory bin filler. It feels so nice running through fingers! Plus, it’s inexpensive and small enough that it’s easy to measure in our cups. And, it’s much less messy than flour for measuring!
    • I buy a 8 lb bag of popcorn at Sams for $13 and it lasts forever
    • Rice would also be a good filler here.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
    • Offer a wide variety, including dry and wet measuring cups and spoons. Offer plastic and metal, for sound comparison if you have them. But, don’t stress or rush out to buy new cups. Just use what you have!
    • If measuring becomes a favorite activity and you’d like to get a separate set for your kids, the dollar store has sets that would be perfect for sensory bins!
  • Mixing Bowls
    • Put out a variety of bowls for kids to measure into. I like to use different colors, but again, use what you have. I would suggest plastic or metal bowls, glass mixing bowls might end up broken.
  • Silicone Cupcake Liners
    • These make the perfect “little” bowl. And they’re just the right size to fit in kids’ hands. I use mine for all kinds of non-cupcake things!
  • Playdough
    • I used gingerbread playdough that I made myself using this base recipe
    • I customized the base by
      • Replacing 1/4 cup flour with cinnamon.
      • Adding 12 drops ginger essential oil, 9 drops clove essential oil, and 3 drops vanilla essential oil to the dough.
    • Commercial playdoh is absolutely fine, but it won’t have the look and smell of gingerbread. That’s okay, we can imagine!
  • A Silpat or Parchment Paper
    • I like to give kids a specific place to roll out their playdough and a silpat is great for this. They can also roll right on the counter and that works too!
  • Rolling Pin
    • A small rolling pin to practice rolling out dough
  • Cookie Cutters
    • Using gingerbread girls and boys to match the theme is fun!

Put the measuring tools in the bin with the corn and set the playdough tools up to the side and you’re done! Invite kids to play and watch learning happen!