Studio21 Architects held our 6th Annual Gingerbread House Building Event on December 7th, after a one-year hiatus due to the move to our new offices in late December of 2018. The community shared our excitement at having the annual event return and 90 children registered to build homes for Jack the Gingerbread Man! Our new studio space worked exceptionally well and there was plenty of room to build, move about, and mingle with the other participants.

Upon checking in at the event, each child was given a cardboard base and 3 rectangular foam blocks. The junior architects then selected additional foam blocks in various shapes and sizes which they proceeded to use to create their own unique gingerbread house designs. Our architects were on hand to offer design advice and assist when needed. Once the design phase was complete, frosting was used to attach graham cracker siding and the kids then chose the candies that they would incorporate into their final structure.

Architect Gregg Stahr assists design advice and assistance.

The event was a resounding success due to our hardworking staff, volunteers, and excellent community participation. The staff prepared in advance by cutting foam and cardboard, shopping for candy and other goodies, and preparing over 40 batches of frosting! The kids used 40 boxes of graham crackers and approximately 30 pounds of candy to create their sweet structures. By 3pm, the floors were sticky and the studio was a mess but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. The season felt as if it had officially begun and even though there was no snow to be seen outside, there was plenty inside our studio that day!

We offer this event for free to our community and simply request that families bring a toy donation for Toys for Tots or make a monetary donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities. This year, we collected three huge boxes of toys that will help spread joy to even more children this holiday season. Our donation to RMHC totaled $205. Once again, we took all of the necessary supplies to the Ronald McDonald House in Winfield so that children and their families staying there could build their own gingerbread houses.

Toys collected at the event were donated to Toys for Tots.

After the event, we invited the community to vote for their favorite Gingerbread House via our Facebook page. The “junior architect” whose house received the most “likes” was given a Target gift card. In addition to the Facebook vote, our staff chose their favorite design and that child also won a Target gift card. The decision was a difficult one as all of the homes that were built for Jack were outstanding!

For many of us in the office, this event signals the kickoff to the holiday season. Seeing kids from ages 2 to 12 put their creativity to work is inspiring and perhaps we’ll see one of our participants become an architect, designer, or structural engineer one day. The fact that many families return year after year, warms our hearts and we look forward to continuing this event for many years to come.

Just some of the many wonderful houses that our “Junior Architects” built for Jack the Gingerbread Man.

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