The holidays are approaching quickly and so is the long break from school. There’s always a rushed feeling we have as parents when it comes to preparing for the holidays, but when they finally get here I hope that you all take some time to slow down and enjoy the magic of the season. One way we’re going to do that is by hosting a cookie decorating party for kids!
We love hosting a cookie decorating party for kids during Winter break from school because it gives them a fun activity to do with friends and it also instills a positive relationship with food that is so important for little ones with celiac disease and food allergies. You can send out invitations or just call or text the parents of the other kids in advance, depending on how formal you want to get.
Cookie Decorating Party for Kids – The Toddler Years
This year, our party is going to be themed with “Chocolate Peppermint” Desserts. My kids are 2 and 5, so I wanted to come up with a simple but fun task that they could have fun with, and not worry about perfectly decorating gingerbread people or sugar cookies.
They are beyond excited for the party and my daughter came up with the idea of having an ornament exchange at the party too. So, the children are going to each bring a wrapped ornament (homemade are the best!) and they’ll all go in a box when they arrive to be handed out later.
Each child will need the following at their place setting:
- One bowl of melted Enjoy Life mini chips semi sweet chocolate
- 5 mini candy canes
- Gluten free pretzels
- 2 Enjoy Life snickerdoodle cookies
- 2 Enjoy Life vanilla graham cookies
- 2 chocolate sandwich cookies
- Small paper plate
- Large paper plate covered with parchment paper
At this young age, I recommend setting up individual place settings with supplies so that the kids don’t argue over who gets to use the chocolate first, and so that you don’t have to worry about one spill affecting the supplies for everyone. Having it set up in advance also makes the presentation super cute when the other kids arrive, adding to the excitement of the cookie decorating party for kids.
You can increase the number of cookies, but for us two of each is plenty since it makes six cookies per child plus the dipped candy cane. We use Enjoy Life products because our family thinks they’re delicious and because they’re free of the top 8 most common allergens making them safe for so many kids to enjoy freely.
When it’s time to get started, give each child a plastic ziploc bag to place four of their candy canes inside of and a wooden spoon or spatula that they can use to crush them up. Alternatively, the bottom of a cup works too. The plastic bag will keep the crushed candy canes from making a mess. Once they’re done making the crushed candy canes, have them transfer it onto a small paper plate.
Now they’re all set up! Here are the instructions for each of the chocolate peppermint desserts:
- Vanilla Graham Cookies – Dip the cookie 1/3 of the way into the chocolate and then press the chocolate part onto the crushed candy canes to coat it. Place the finished cookie on the parchment lined plate.
- Chocolate Sandwich Cookies – Dip the cookie to completely cover it, place it on the parchment lined plate and sprinkle some crushed peppermint on top with their clean hand.
- Coated Candy Canes – Dip the candy cane that hasn’t been crushed into the chocolate so the bottom inch or so is covered in chocolate. Roll the chocolate portion in the crushed candy cane and place on the parchment lined sheet.
- Reindeer Cookies – The Snickerdoodle cookies are soft, so they’re perfect for this. Take two pretzels and press them into the cookie where you’d like the reindeer antlers to be. There should be an indent where they’ll go. Add the chocolate chips for eyes and a cinnamon candy for the nose. Dip the pretzels in chocolate and then place them back on the indented portions of the cookie. Transfer with a spatula to the parchment lined plate. Alternately, the kids can make this one directly on the parchment paper so there’s no need to transfer. The reindeer holds together well once it’s chilled.
Once the kids are done making their cookies, place the plates in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. This is a great time to get them somewhat cleaned up if they haven’t licked their fingers clean yet and give them a quick lunch to get some protein in their bellies while they wait for the cookies to be ready. If they’ve already had lunch, you can do the ornament exchange while they wait. I like to set a timer to add to the fun and watch the kids go crazy when it beeps and the cookies are ready.
Once the cookies are ready, kids can have a blast eating their works of art, or they can save some for family and place them in clear cellophane bags with cute ribbons as gifts.
Cookie Decorating Party for Kids – Older Kids through Teenager
The chocolate peppermint desserts are fun for kids and adults of all ages to make, but if your kids are ready for more of a challenge then try decorating my gluten free gingerbread men cookies and cut out sugar cookies. All you’ll need is icing, sprinkles, and a spoon for spreading the icing so that it’s even.
Have Fun and Happy Cookie Decorating!!