The bird house had corn nuts for the shingles, dried cranberries, and popcorn, Complete with two cardinals to enjoy the house. My son won second place with his bird house last year.
This year my boys decided on something a little more elaborate. My youngest kept with the religious them like last year and went from a little chapel in the woods to the manger scene. I did not have a pattern so I just drew up a pattern used cookie cutters for the star, angles, cow, sheep, and camel. The people I drew on paper and cut out of gingerbread. It is complete with shredded wheat for straw and thatching on the roof, and graham cracker sand. The shepherd is holding a candy cane. Which I thought was very symbolic. Since the candy cane was designed to represent Jesus and the shepherds staff.
My older son kept with his love for nature and moved on from a bird house to a log cabin that was made complete with fir trees and deer. The roof is shingled with frosted shredded wheat and the chimney and stone path is made from chocolate rocks. It turned out great!! I also did not have a pattern for this and just drew one up. It is kind of big but it turned out beautiful.
Their gingerbread contest is on Friday so we will see how they do this year!! The boys helped cut out, assemble, and decorate their gingerbread creations. We made them over the course of 3 days. One day to design, cut out, and bake. The next day we assembled and let dry over night. The last day we decorated and put them on the cardboard bases. We did not have to buy a lot of candy for them which was nice. I used what I could find in the cupboards except for the chocolate rocks!! I am sure we will continue to do this every year. It is becoming a great tradition. And the boys are already thinking how they can make something bigger and better for next year!!! For some reason my boys are under the delusion that I can make anything!!!