Gumdrop Dog and Gingerbread Doghouse

Photograph: Gumdrop dog and gingerbread house


  • A piece of cardboard
  • Scissors
  • One sealable freezer bag
  • Two whole graham crackers
  • Vanilla frosting
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.2 milliliters) cream of tartar
  • Cinnamon gum
  • Gumdrops
  • Licorice whips
  • Shredded coconut


Frosting is the "glue" that holds the doghouse together. Combine a can of ready-made vanilla frosting with one-quarter teaspoon (1.2 milliliters) of cream of tartar. To apply the frosting, squeeze it out of a sealed freezer bag with a whole cut in one corner.

Cut a one foot by one foot (.3 meter by .3 meter) square piece of cardboard.

Break the graham crackers into quarters. The side walls are each made of a quarter graham cracker turned horizontally. Ask a parent to create the front and back. For each, use a serrated knife to gently saw one of the narrow ends of a graham cracker quarter into a peak. Run a bead of icing along the bottom edge and sides of the crackers. "Glue" them together in a rectangle while you work.

Run icing along the tops of the walls. Place two quarter graham crackers—turned horizontally—on top of the sides, using icing to hold them in place. Let the icing set overnight.

"Glue" sticks of gum along the roof for shingles and a licorice whip turned in an upside-down U shape for the door. Use extra icing to create icicles.

Next, make the dog. "Glue" two gumdrops together to form the body. Stick on pieces of gumdrops for the ears, nose, and tail. "Glue" the bottom of the dog to the cardboard.

Add other decorations if you would like. For example, create trees by gluing gumdrops to ice cream cones.

Let everything set overnight. Cover the cardboard base with shredded coconut to finish your snowy scene.

Text by National Geographic Kids staff
Photograph by Rebecca Hale/NGS staff