Crackershacks easier than gingerbread houses |

Crackershacks easier than gingerbread houses

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Photos by Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Duke Langson, 4, smiles with glee as he finished his crackershack at The Children's Museum of Northern Nevada on Thursday. At left, Lauryn Bailey, 7, from Carson City, puts the finishing touches on her crackershack.

There was a massive construction boom on Carson Street on Thursday afternoon with more than 50 houses being erected in just under four hours. The master builder said the houses were able to be completed because of a fast-drying bonding material – frosting.

“It’s a crackershack workshop, an inexpensive version of a gingerbread house that’s easier to manipulate and more toddler-friendly to work with,” said Erin Lehman, executive director of the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada.

Lehman and museum staff constructed the houses out of graham crackers and a frosting mix for children to decorate. Full houses were made with two graham crackers for sides, one cracker split in half for the ends, one for the foundation of the roof and two for the sides of the roof. Each house also came with a Christmas tree in the form of a small sugar cone.

The houses were held together by a frosting mixture consisting of meringue powder, powdered sugar and a little bit of water.

“I knew the kids were out of school and parents would be looking for fun things to do. My neighbor showed me how to do this last year and we thought it would be good for the children’s museum,” Lehman said.

While Lehman toiled in the kitchen making the houses, 4-year-old Duke Langson was working on cramming more sweet treats onto his house. At the time he was adding little fruit rolls, which he said he was sampling to make sure they were OK.

“Yep, they’re good,” he said.

Langson said after he was done, he wanted to take it home and eat it and scoffed at the idea of sharing his creation with a white-bearded Christmas visitor.

“I’m gonna eat it. No, these (houses) are mine. He gets cookies,” Langson said.

As Langson was finishing up his second house, 8-year-old Tristan Fox and her sister Ariel, 10, worked on houses of their own. Even though the sisters had the same goal, get as much candy on the house as possible, they went about it in different ways. Tristan favored the hodge-podge technique while Ariel’s was more precise with row after row of candy.

“I want to get more gummi bears on it and then maybe some M&Ms in the middle,” Ariel said.

Lehman said they had more than 20 finished houses within the first half-hour, including several houses that were designated as “hit by earthquakes.”

“We had a few collapse, but it worked out all right. The most important thing is that (the kids) have fun and they’re happy,” Lehman said.

— Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.