The Gingerbread Man Science Experiments

In the story of The Gingerbread Man an old woman bakes gingerbread men. One comes to life and races away. Eventually, he meets a fox who tricks him into climbing onto his nose to cross a river. The poor gingerbread man then gets eaten!

I have a few Gingerbread Man science experiments to share today, which sit beautifully alongside the book and could be adapted for Early Years to Key Stage 2 ( 4-11 ). In the first experiment, gingerbread biscuits are placed in different substances to see how they change over time. You can also build a boat or bridge to help the Gingerbread Man cross the river, make gingerbread play dough or make gingerbread biscuits!

If you prefer to work from printable instructions, you might like my Fairy Tale STEM challenge cards or the Cross the River Activity.

What happens to gingerbread biscuits in different substances?

This investigation is great for encouraging children to start thinking scientifically, as well as drawing on current knowledge to make predictions.

The idea is that gingerbread men biscuits are placed in different substances to see how they change over time.

You’ll need

Small gingerbread men biscuits

Cooking oil






Measuring cylinder

Gingerbread Man Experiment Instructions

First, ask the children what they think might happen to each gingerbread man.

Questions to ask

How do you think the gingerbread men will change in each substance?

Do you think the gingerbread men will get bigger or smaller?

Do you think the gingerbread men will change colour?

Place gingerbread men in separate bowls or trays.

Measure the same amount of each substance you want to test and pour over different gingerbread men.

Start the timer.

Make observations every 10 minutes and record them in a table.

We found that the gingerbread man in oil changed the least, and the gingerbread man in water changed the most. This one lost most of its colour and became very soft.

Another way to do this activity is to place the biscuits into small plastic cups containing about 50ml of each liquid and record how long it takes for each to collapse into the cup.

More Gingerbread Man Science Experiments

Build a Bridge for the Gingerbread Man

Stop the Gingerbread Man taking a ride on the fox by building him a bridge. Paper, craft sticks and straws are all great bridge-building materials.

Build a boat for the Gingerbread Man

Instead of a bridge, build a boat or raft for the Gingerbread Man. Remember, it needs to float and be able to support the weight of a gingerbread man.

Bake Gingerbread Men

Try baking gingerbread men using different ingredients. Investigate what happens if you add extra bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, plain or self-raising flour. Try to predict how adding different ingredients will change the look and feel of the gingerbread men.

A House for the Gingerbread Man

Design and build a gingerbread house for The Gingerbread Man. Try testing different sticky substances ( icing sugar, marshmallow fluff or glucose syrup ) to investigate which sticks it together the best.

If you enjoyed these science experiments, you’ll love my collection of Fairy Tale science experiments and Fairy Tale STEM Challenges.

Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Emma Vanstone

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