Making gingerbread houses is a riot for kids, especially when there’s plenty of candy to choose from. Some candy ideas:
Peppermint and spearmint candies (the round ones)
Sour punch straws
Licorice (especially Twizzlers pull-aparts for thin strings)
Chex (for shingles)
Gummy Christmas trees
Shredded coconut (for snow)
Pretzel sticks and squares
Ice cream cones (to use and decorate as trees)
You can simply use royal icing and graham crackers for your house bases. Or, you can make gingerbread of your own. This article from AllRecipes includes thorough instructions for making, cutting, and assembling your own gingerbread houses.
Here are a couple other top-rated recipes for gingerbread usable for houses:
Next, you'll need templates for gingerbread houses:
For grown ups or more intense gingerbread house makers, Sweetopia has some great ideas for creating snowmen, Christmas trees (ice cream cones with icing piped on), and more.
Photo from Sweetopia
When the decorating is done, select three judges to vote on the top houses. The winner gets to eat some of the remaining candy and is exempt from cleaning up.