Looking for something new to try this holiday season with the kids? Try hosting a cookie decorating party! It’s fun and a great way to have a playdate and mingle with other parents who need as much socialization as you do. It’s simple, really and once you decide on how many children to invite you can move onto the fun party planning process. I talked it over with friends what day would work best and we all decided that Saturday was the optimal day so we blocked off a few hours and I started prepping.
Step#1. Make your guest list and decide how many children and adults you want to invite. Keep in mind, the more children you invite, the more cookies you will need. Also, if space is an issue in your house, you may want to limit the number of guests or ask a friend if she would be willing to host at her place or find a local spot with more space. Our house is pretty good sized but we don’t have a ton of seating so I wanted to keep the number of guests below 20.
Decide if you want the parents to stay or do you feel comfortable handling several children on your own? I wanted to socialize as well, so I gave the parents the option to drop their kiddos and get a few hours of alone time or they were more than welcome to stay and chat.
After deciding all the basic stuff, I set up a Facebook event and began inviting guests. My life and work primarily revolves around social media but you could also send invitations depending on your time frame. I have a few mom friends I am not Facebook friends with or they choose to not be on social media (oh, the horror!!!!), so a quick text or phone call was in order.
Step#2. Decide if you are going to make your own cookies or use store brought. I already knew a head of time I would be using store bought cookies that I would need to pre-bake prior to the party. I opted for the Gordan’s brand of pre-made sugar cookies that you only need to bake. They are $9.99 for a 72 count box. A total deal!
The day before the party I spent a few hours baking the cookies while the kids were at school and stored them in large pans separated by parchment paper until we were ready to decorate.
Step#3. Choose your toppings! This was my absolute favorite part. I am a sprinkle hoarder, err, junkie. Well, whatever you want to call it, I like sprinkles. I’d be embarrassed to show you my pantry right now. I’m willing to bet 1/8 of it is entirely sprinkles. I have yet to meet a sprinkle I haven’t liked but I digress. I decided to go with store bought tub frosting for the cookies and a friend offered to make royal icing so I took her up on it. We like variety! I also asked that each family attending bring a sprinkle and frosting of their choice. It was fun to see what flavor everyone brought and mix and match sprinkles.
Step#4. Let the kids go town frosting and sprinkling their cookies however they would like! I did ask that guests bring a container to take cookies home in but I also provided large Ziploc type bags in case anyone needed once the kiddos were finished with their masterpieces.
I covered our large kitchen table with an ugly Chritmas tablecloth and we used basic paper plates to keep things fairly neat and tidy. The kids each got to pick out 6-8 cookies to decorate and could happily munch on them while working.
I used a muffin tin to separate the larger sprinkles and multiple sprinkles containers of the good old fashioned red and green sugar sprinkles on both ends of the table. The kids had a ton of choices so there was no squabbling or fighting over decor.
What I learned –
- This was my first cookie decorating party and we had a blast so I definitely think this will become a yearly tradition.
- There was a bit of a learning curve: we have a lot more cookies leftover than I thought we would so I plan on buying less next year. I also allotted 3 hours for our party but I think 2 hours would have sufficed. The kids all had a fantastic time and there was plenty of time to run around and play before and after decorating cookies.
- Have munchies. I provided a cheese and cracker platter and chips and dip. I also set up a hot cocoa station.