Cookie-decorating parties can a great way to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Easter and many other special occasions with kids. Cookie decorating may be a small part of a larger party or the focus of an entire event. Preparation is relatively simple, although expect cleanup to be a little more demanding. All you need is a selection of cookies, toppings and a group of creative kids. This activity works well regardless of the size of the group.
Prepare a large, low table where the kids can get a little messy. Cover a tabletop with a plastic tablecloth or white butcher paper so you don’t have to worry about icing and sprinkles ruining the furniture. Have many small bowls on hand for toppings. Have multiple bowls for each kind of topping so they can be spread around the table and easily accessed. Each child should have at least three cookies to decorate, but keep extras just in case the cookies break. Adults can enjoy any extra cookies.
Types of Cookies and Toppings
Sugar cookies are the traditional choice for a cookie-decorating party. Use a simple recipe so the cookies taste great no matter how what toppings the children decide to use. If you want to make a plain sugar cookie look a little more fun, use cookie cutters in fun shapes such as stars, flowers or animals. Bake a day in advance so the cookies have time to harden for decorating. Possible toppings for the party include miniature marshmallows, sprinkles, chocolate chips, edible glitter, coconut shreds, Oreo crumbs and gumdrops. Have a variety of icing gels available. Put different colors of frosting in shallow bowls with a few wood craft sticks in each bowl for spreading.
Drinks and Other Snacks
Complement the decorating activities with a hot chocolate bar. Set out plenty of mugs and an insulated beverage dispenser filled with hot cocoa. Let guests add cinnamon, peppermint sticks, marshmallows and whipped cream. If you would like to serve cold drinks, Italian sodas are a nice choice. Set out a few bottles of club soda and a variety of Italian soda syrups such as strawberry, hazelnut and vanilla. Let the kids design their own sodas to complement their cookies. Have adults on hand to pour and mix the sodas to prevent sugar overload. Have some healthy and savory snacks available to provide a sense of balance. Carrot sticks, pretzels or pigs in a blanket are simple snacks you can keep nearby for those seeking a break from all the sugar.
Packing the Cookies to Take Home
Once the guests have decorated their cookies, give them an opportunity to share their creations with the group. Go around the table and have each child present his favorite sweet masterpiece. Have small cardboard boxes or reusable plastic boxes ready to pack each child’s goodies, with wax-paper sheets to place between each cookie so they don’t stick together.
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