Last Friday, I co-hosted a Kids' Christmas Cookie Party with a friend from MOPS (moms of preschoolers). It was at her gorgeous house and she did ALL the cookie baking and icing making. I totally got off easy on this party. Ha! But, seriously, it was SO much fun and I thought I'd share a few tips I picked up through the experience.
1) Consider the Menu: Serve a few non-sweet, kid-friendly dishes to balance out all that (yummy) cookie sugar. Perhaps even consider serving lunch. Milk is a great alternate to sugary party punch and, hello, it's the perfect match for cookies!
For our party, I made a veggie and hummus platter (arranged in a cute Christmas tree!) and cheese Rudolph sandwiches.
To make Rudolph sandwiches: 1) build the sandwich as you choose, trim the crust and cut the sandwich in half, diagonally 2) add two mini pretzel twists for antlers using preferred sticky ingredient (ie. dab of cream cheese, icing, peanut butter, honey, etc.) 3) add two chocolate chip eyes using same sticky ingredient 4) add a red nose from a package of holiday chocolate chips or a red M&M.
3) Contain the mess: Purchase inexpensive trays with a rim to help contain the sprinkles and candies. The tray will also serve as a party favor for the guests and allow them an easy way to carry their cookies home! These Santa trays were purchased at the dollar store.
4) Bake extras: Plan on the kids eating a cookie or two as they decorate. And, then you'll probably want to send a few cookies home on their party favor trays. And, the mommas
5) Expect a mess: Messy clothes, messy table linens, messy hands. Make sure to wear and use items that are totally washable. A plain, white tablecloth is perfect because it can be bleached if needed. Believe me, you will have green icing globs to contend with after the party ends! Another good idea is to have wet wipes available for easy face and hand clean-up.
6) Have fun and lower your expectations: Let's face it, you'll put in a lot of effort and the kids will only be interested in the activity for about 5-20 minutes, depending on their age and personality. Expect them to run off before you've even caught your breath from all the baking! They'll still have the sweet memory and you'll still have a few photos to cherish later. To keep the party going, have other activities available for after the cookie decorating. At our party, we let the kids go crazy with toys and Veggie Tales. It ended up being a super-fun playdate!
Last Friday, I shared the free place card printable that I used on each tray. Go download and print it if you're interested!
I'll be sharing this project over at Grocery Shop For Free as part of a fun, weekly Christmas series called Making a Merry Christmas! Visit me there every Tuesday from now until Christmas.