Made from brown paper bags and puffy paint, this gingerbread town is a breeze to construct, and it has a much longer shelf life than the classic cookie version.
Have your child stuff each bag about half full with newspaper, then fold down the top so that it resembles a pitched roof. If you prefer a colored-paper roof, cut out a rectangle that's at least double the size of the folded top. Fold the rectangle in half, as shown below. For a decorative touch, trim the lower edges of the roof with craft scissors or pinking shears. Then use puffy paint to create shingle lines.
While the paint dries, cut windows and doors from colored paper and glue them onto the houses. Use the puffy paint or colored markers to add trim and other decorative details.
For a chimney, fold a 1 1/2- by 5 1/2-inch strip of colored paper into a rectangle and tape the ends together. Snip small triangles from the bottoms of two opposite sides. Then paint on brick lines and set the chimney atop the roof peak.