The holidays are a time to celebrate many traditions, and at Wilmot Elementary School, the second-graders’ tradition of performing “The Gingerbread Kid Caper” continued its 11-year legacy last week.
The 18 children in Susan Jeffres’ class wore aprons and homemade chef’s hats, and stood behind tables with paper scenery that looked like a kitchen. Strewn on the tables were cookie cutters and rolling pins.
The children, who seemed a bit nervous at first, sang songs and performed in front of a roomful of family members the play, which tells of a gingerbread kid running away.
The children look for him all over the school, including by the pencil sharpener, under a table and behind one child’s mom. He was seen running down the halls, which is definitely against the rules at Wilmot.
The students finally decide that they might be able to lure him back if they baked more gingerbread cookies with cinnamon buttons and icing hair. Their plan works, and the gingerbread kid returns.
The children sing songs with a gingerbread theme such as “Gingerbread Rock” sung to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock” and a song about making the cookies sung to the tune of “Little Drummer Boy.”
The play is fast-paced, with the children delivering their lines quickly, showing the amount of practice that went into their performance. Parents were excited about everything having to do with the play — the children’s performances, costumes and scenery. It was a picture-perfect second-grade moment.
The play, which had been in a magazine for teachers 14 years ago, is performed by each Wilmot second-grade class before the holiday break, according to Jeffres. The lines, the songs — everything is broken down and is easily re-created each year by the second-grade teachers and their students.
“It’s timeless,” Jeffres said. “(The children) have been practicing and working really hard. This is a tradition for Wilmot.”
After performing the play and eating treats, the children individually read from a paper they wrote about their family traditions. Some wrote about visiting relatives; others wrote about putting up holiday decorations and decorating trees; others told about baking cookies.
Another wrote about making cut-out snowflakes that were “unique, magical and beautiful.” One girl said that, in her family, each person opens a gift one at a time on Christmas Eve, not “like a bunch of monkeys fighting for bananas.”
“The Gingerbread Kid Caper” was a fitting send-off before winter break, and as the song goes, “Shakin’ and bakin’, it’s wintery fun, now that gingerbread time has come.”
Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at email@example.com or 303-350-1041.