Encourage Every Child to be A Talker

Supporting parents to engage with and be committed to their child’s speech, language and communication development.

The Gingerbread Man is a folktale about a gingerbread man’s escape from various pursuers with the refrain ‘Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!’


The moral of the story is to be careful who you trust.

What to think about before you start?

  1. Choose the best environment, somewhere that compliments the story, somewhere quiet and comfortable.
  2. Switch your phone to silent, better still don’t use your phone.
  3. Make sure you have no distractions, for you or your child
  4. Before you snuggle down, make sure you have read all the pages beforehand.

Things to remember whilst reading the story

  • Make it interesting
  • Voice /Variation
  • Always have eye contact with your child
  • Discussion around the pictures
  • Elaborate on different vocabulary

Opening words/actions or prompts

Front cover of the book;

  • What is the story about?
  • Why are they all running?
  • Where do you think they are running to?
  • Have you ever seen a real life ginger bread man?
  • How many people are on the front cover?
  • Where are they?

Take the opportunity to stop reading and ask your child a few questions after each page or section.

Possible questions you could ask after each section

(page numbers or sections may differ depending on the book)

  • What is a baker?
  • What else would they sell in a bakers shop?
  • What are the bakers wearing?
  • Why would you need to wear a hat indoors?
  • Whose voice do they think is shouting from the oven?
  • Where is the little gingerbread man going?
  • The elderly people say ‘look at that’- why do you think they said this?
  • Discuss the speech bubbles in the pictures and what they mean.
  • What are rhyming words? Discuss the rhyming words.
  • Do you think the gingerbread man is fast at running?
  • What is the hungry boy wearing?
  • Have you got any clothes like this?

Take the opportunity to stop reading and ask your child a few questions after each page or section.

  • Why is the boy and the animals hungry? Do you think nobody has fed them? Do you think they will be full after eating the gingerbread man?
  • How do you think the gingerbread man is feeling as he continues to run?
  • What happens to our bodies when we run for a long time?
  • What is a river? Have you ever seen a river before?
  • The gingerbread man says ‘I can’t swim’ – do you know how to swim? Would you like to swim now?
  • Do you think the fox is trying to be helpful by taking the gingerbread man across the river?
  • What other animals have tails?
  • Can you see anything else in the picture? Do you think the fish is trying to help the gingerbread man?
  • Could you eat the gingerbread man in one mouthful?

What could you do or say when you get to the end of the story?

  • Can you remember where the gingerbread man came from?
  • Do you think the baker would have made anymore at his bakery?
  • Why was he made in the first place?
  • What ingredients were used to make him?
  • Should the fox have shared the gingerbread man with everyone else?
  • What was your favourite part of the story?
  • How do you think the fox is feeling at the end of the story?
  • How do you think everyone else is feeling?
  • Learn the rhyme below and say it to your child as you both close your eyes. Encourage your child to be the gingerbread man whilst they hide, and you find them.

The baker baked the gingerbread man,

as fast as he can, out the shop he ran,

I am the fox,

I’m going to find the little ginger socks

let’s start the chase, little ginger face,

Where could you be,

let us see. 

Possible follow-up activities?

Activity 1 Create a role-play area of your home into a baker’s shop. How much does your child think gingerbread men cost to buy? Maybe count coins or handle them. Sing the song 5 current buns to 5 gingerbread men and use kitchen utensils or pretend shop to act this out. To develop this activity further take your child to buy their own gingerbread men from the nearest bakery.

Activity 2 Baking gingerbread men and gingerbread houses. Create a story about the gingerbread man’s family who live in the house. Perhaps this is where the gingerbread man was trying to run to. What decorations do the children want to use? Can they create a pattern? (see recipe).

Activity 3 The wolf tosses the gingerbread man up  into the air. Pretend to your child he is going to do this with the water from the river. Attach a laminated picture of the wolf to a full coca cola  bottle, drop a full packet of Mentos into the bottle shake and release the lid and watch the water explode up, up into the air. ( Try to do this experiment outside as it can be very messy)

Activity 4 Using a variety of sweets that you would use to decorate a gingerbread man, spread them over a blue tissue paper (the river) can the children use tweezers to pick each matching sweet out of the river and put them in the correct labelled sweet box. This could also be done in water.

BBC Gingerbread men Recipe



1.Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

2.Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

3.Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

4.Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.

5.Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations, if using.