This year I hosted our first ever Christmas Cookie Decorating party for my 4 younger kids and their friends. We had a blast! Thanks to partnering with GIANT Food Stores and on behalf of the Build Your Influence Summit, I’m sharing my best tips for hosting a cookie decorating party in your home with your kids and their friends. You’ll find lots of tips and coupons for fun holiday celebrations in GIANT’s Savory Magazine, available at your local GIANT Food store or online.
My #1 tip for hosting any type of food making party with kids is doing all the prep work ahead of time. Have the cookies already made. Ditto with the cookie decorating supplies. You can find all the cookie decorating supplies you’ll need in the baking aisle of your local GIANT Food store. Check the Savory magazine for coupons
8 Tips for a Successful Cookie Decorating Party with Kids
1. Keep It Simple.
I used only 3 cookie cutters with my favorite sugar cookie recipe: Snowflake, Candy Cane, and Star. All 3 are easy for kids to decorate without too much fuss. This holiday 5-spice cookie recipe from GIANT Food Store’s Savory magazine is a fantastic roll-out cookie recipe. If the Chinese 5-spice blend or pumpkin pie spice blend are too spicy for your kids, try 1 tsp cinnamon combined with 1 tsp nutmeg or 1 tsp of cardamom.
Holiday 5-Spice Cookies
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tsp Chinese five-spice blend or pumpkin pie spice
- pinch salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Find the rest of the recipe for Holiday 5-Spice Cookies on Giant Food Store’s Savory Magazine site.
More Christmas cookie recipes on the Savory magazine site:
2. Set up in as big a space as possible.
This gives you and kids room around the table and reduces the possibility of mishaps. I set up our cookie decorating area in our dining room. Our dining room table seats 8 people and fit 12 kids standing up.
I divided the cookie decorating supplies up and spread them around the table. Our 3 icing colors, red, blue, and green, were divided into half and put in paper bowls, making for easy clean up at the end. The larger sprinkles went into bowls with plastic spoons and the smaller sprinkles remained in the shaker containers.
3. Set up an alternate activity in another room in case someone gets tired of making cookies.
I found a foam Christmas wreath ornament kit at Michael’s Craft store and set it up on our smaller kitchen table. I removed the chairs from the table making it easy for the kids to move around the table while working on their ornament.
4. Have a play area elsewhere.
My 7 year old and his friend spent a lot of time playing with Legos in the basement.
We laid pieces of wax paper on the kitchen counter for the finished cookies and wrote the children’s names along the bottom of the wax paper. This made packing the boxes easy at the end of the party.
5. Set up staging areas ahead of time.
The cookie decorating took place in the dining room. I put the boxes of undecorated cookies on our buffet in the dining room with a stack of small paper plates and napkins next to them.
The decorated cookies were placed on sheets of wax paper on the kitchen counter with names of kids written on the sheets. Cookie boxes were put together and placed near by on the stove. Healthy snacks and water were on another kitchen counter.
6. I ended up placing clear plastic tablecloths over the tables.
To go with the Christmas theme, I put a pink tablecloth over the table and laid sparkly tulle over top. Then, I put a plastic tablecloth over the pink tablecloth. When we were finished decorating cookies, I simply rolled up the plastic tablecloth and tossed it in the trash.
We stacked the premade cookie boxes on the stove in the kitchen.
7. Have an adult monitor anyone under 6.
Our one mishap was the result of a 4 year old dumping sprinkles on his cookie. He grabbed a sprinkle container and turned it over quickly while I was nearby. I was able to scoop up the extra and put it back in the container.
8. Have the kids decorate their cookies on disposable appetizer plates.
These were the perfect size and kept the mess contained. We carried the cookies into the kitchen on the plates and put them on the wax paper on the counter. If the plate wasn’t too messy, the kid reused it with a new cookie. Otherwise the plate went into the nearby trashcan.
Wrapping Up the Christmas Cookie Decorating Party
About 30 minutes before the party ended, my husband and I started packing the cookie boxes for the kids. We wrote the name of each kid on the box before filling it with the cookies they had decorated. Thanks to being organized with cookies as they were made, we made quick work on packing the boxes. We were also able to chat with the parents as they came to pick up their kids and cookies.