If you’re looking for something different but not really too crazy for your child’s next birthday party, why not have a cookie decorating party?
Sure, it makes a mess, but you can contain the mess to the kitchen and the kids will have a treat as well as a take-home favor all in one.
And they’ll have a lot of fun and so will you, if you let yourself. Have it in the afternoon so the kids can work off their “sugar high” before bedtime.
You can make it easy on yourself by buying the cookies already made. Younger kids should have bigger cookies because they are easier for them to handle while older kids can decorate smaller cookies.
For fun, you could get animal cookies for older kids. Plain sugar cookies would work well for younger kids but depending on the time of the year you might find other shapes like ovals for Easter or gingerbread men around the winter holidays.
Whatever the ages, you will need a good supply of decorations and colored icing and icing tips if you want to use them.
One container of silver balls, one of red hots, one of some kind of sprinkles and a few containers of different colors of colored sugar should cover the decorations. Follow your own creativity to decide what else, if anything, to have on hand.
For the frosting or icing, again make it easy on yourself and buy a couple of premade containers of white frosting. Spoon it out into several bowls, then dip a toothpick in food color and swirl it into the bowl of frosting, stirring until the color is uniform.
Add more color to intensify it or more frosting to mellow it. Mix food color to get different colors. Older kids might even want to do this themselves. The more colors, the better the results.
If you want to let the kids do some finer decorating, you can buy disposable decorating bags and tips. This isn’t necessary but for older kids, it could prove to be entertaining.
- Give the parents notice of what their kids will be doing and tell them to send the kids in old clothes.
- Provide plenty of spatulas or butter knives for spreading the frosting. You’ll need more than there are kids.
- Cover the table with a vinyl table cloth or heavy cloth that you don’t mind getting stained. If you use cloth, put a plastic cover on your table to keep stains from leaking through.
- Use small disposable bowls to divide the sprinkles, balls and so on and put them in convenient spots around the table.
- Set out plates (disposable, again) on which to put the finished coookies. Give each child a napkin on which to place the special cookies to take home.
- Provide aprons for the kids. You can buy disposable paper aprons which will be huge for most kids, but they will help keep the mess off their clothes.
Have plenty of milk, almond milk or coconut milk on hand to drink while eating cookies!