How to host a cookie decorating party without losing your mind

I know, it’s a little late for me to be posting tips on this topic, but a cookie decorating party could still be lots of fun after Christmas. After all, we’ve got two solid weeks at home with our kids and that can be a lot of days to fill!

We’ve been hosting a gingerbread cookie decorating party for 4 years now and I think I’ve finally got a pretty good system down. This year we had a total of 12 kids, ranging in age from almost two to five years old, decorating cookies. There were 3 baby siblings and 7 parents so it made for a full house! Two tables was a necessity. Having an excellent gingerbread cookie and icing recipe is key and this one has never let me down!

2014CookiePartyTableIt’s taken a lot of trial and error, but I really liked this setup. I put the cookies on extra large cupcake liners that I had flattened, so that I could just pick up the liners and slide the decorated cookies into cellophane bags to take them home. I’ve done icing in faux piping bags (sandwich bags with holes cut in one corner) but this year I gave each child their own little container of icing and a plastic knife to spread it around. Easier for kids to do themselves and much less messy! Then I throw all of the decorations into one cupcake liner per child. No one wants multiple grubby hands reaching into a communal sprinkle bowl, and this avoids fights too!

Of course, in addition to decorating, there was also a lot of sampling! It was really funny to see which kids ate every scrap of icing they were given (mine sure did!) and which kids were more focused on the candy.

Everything went on top of a plastic disposable tablecloth, so cleanup was literally a matter of rolling up the tablecloth and putting it in the garbage. With so much sticky icing and candy all over, it’s not worth the hassle of trying to clean a fabric tablecloth to me!

It’s loud and chaotic, but our annual cookie decorating party is something that my daughters and I look forward to all year! Give it a try yourself and let me know how it goes!

13 Comments on How to host a cookie decorating party without losing your mind

  1. Carol Denny
    January 7, 2015 at 7:09 AM (3 years ago)

    We do this at Christmas every year.

  2. Sandy Klocinski
    January 7, 2015 at 1:43 PM (3 years ago)

    It helps to mix the dough a day or two before and let it hang out in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

  3. Karen N.
    January 12, 2015 at 4:49 PM (3 years ago)

    thats a super cute idea to get the kids together I will have to do one of these parties for my own kids

  4. Celia
    January 14, 2015 at 11:34 AM (3 years ago)

    DD birthday is in April. What a great idea!

  5. Lynea
    January 14, 2015 at 1:11 PM (3 years ago)

    I keep thinking about doing a cookie decorating party with my kids and some of their friends, we just haven’t made it happen yet!
    Lynea recently posted..Further behind than I thought…

  6. Veronica S.
    January 14, 2015 at 5:49 PM (3 years ago)

    OH my gosh, the cupcake liners are a GENIUS idea!

  7. Samantha
    January 15, 2015 at 1:04 PM (3 years ago)

    Made gingerbread cookies for Christmas too!

  8. Huguette E.
    January 19, 2015 at 12:05 PM (3 years ago)

    How fun! A wonderful tradition, one that the kids will remember.

  9. InezbyDesign
    January 20, 2015 at 5:02 PM (3 years ago)

    I love doing this with the grandboys. Not quite as many people but can be as much fun. I let them each have their own knife and made bowls of sprinkles with little spoons. They enjoyed it; eat cookies and I got some great pictures.
    InezbyDesign recently posted..Watercolor and Acrylic

  10. Nicole B
    January 21, 2015 at 1:46 PM (3 years ago)

    what a great idea!!!!

  11. lynn clayton
    January 23, 2015 at 12:54 AM (3 years ago)

    love the idea of using paper muffin cups


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