Gotta have cookies at a baking party!
If nothing else happened at this party, frosting cookies was a must. Jenna adores frosting and decorating anything. Much more even than eating what she's decorated. We debated for a while whether to frost cupcakes or cookies, and then decided cookies were easier and more fun to frost and package to go later.
While this was a very enjoyable and easy party to put together, the nature of the theme meant a lot of perishable items needed to be prepared as fresh as possible at the last minute. So in spite of doing most of the crafts and sewing much earlier, the few days before the party were still our busiest. I suppose we could have baked these weeks in advance and frozen them, but where was the fun in that? It was all about the kids helping, and all three girls enjoyed the lead up to the party during the one manic week preceding it.
On the Thursday before the party, we baked blank cookies.
Everybody helped. Everybody also ate ("Quality control", we told each other).
We turned some into lollipops.
On the day itself, we collected all the sprinkles we could lay our hands on, and prepared vast quantities of frosting in all the colors of the rainbow and put some in piping bags and some in bowls. This we did because we expected most of the kids to be familiar with (and might therefore pick) the spreading-with-knives method, but we also hoped some might be adventurous enough to use the piping bags, which were infinitely more fun.
And so the kids frosted their cookies.
"How many can we frost?" they asked hopefully.
"Let's start with one." I said.
(They ended up doing five before it was time to go).
We had this be the last activity so that as soon as they were finished, we laid their creations in a partitioned dinner tray, covered that with an upside-down second tray, taped them together, wrote their names on top, and let them head out the door with their parents.
The kids did really well with the icing bags, even though some of them were using them for the first time. We told them the bags were like fat markers and they caught on quickly after that.
Was it messy? Yes and no. The icing bags helped a lot, and we put the younger (and thus messier) guests in the kitchen where the floor was tiled. We laid a splat sheet under the living room table where the floor was carpeted but it never had even a drop on it at the end of the party. The kids were great about washing their hands the minute they were done, or else using wet wipes. All in, I was very impressed and surprised that it wasn't Stickyfest throughout the house. Hurrah!