This is a great Christmassy science activity you can combine with some lovely seasonal baking.
Ask the children to make predictions drawing on existing knowledge as to which substance will hold the house together most effectively.
This is also a great activity for practising designing a fair test and carrying our correct experimental procedures.
How to make a Gingerbread House
What you need
Icing sugar / marshmallow fluff / royal icing / liquid glucose
The easiest way to do this is to bake a thin sheet of gingerbread and use cutters to cut immediately after taking out of the oven. This ensures all the pieces are exactly the same size.
We used two squares and two smaller rectangles, but you could use any shape you wanted.
Build a gingerbread house for each type of sticky substance you are testing. Try to use a similar amount for each wall on each house.
Leave overnight to harden.
Factors to keep constant
Size of gingerbread pieces
Amount of sticky substance used
Time left to harden
Type of sticky substance
How to test for strength
Pick up the house and see if it stays intact.
Roll a marble or small ball at the house. Does it fall over?
Suitable for Key Stage 1 Science
Using observations to suggest answers to questions
Performing simple tests
Using scientific language to answer a question describing how to carry out a fair test.
If you don’t want to bake, try using three rectangular biscuits. You could even give them to friends as gifts.
Biscuit houses inspired by the lovely Red Ted Art.