Baking and decorating are wonderful ways for kids to interact with each other and explore their creativity at the same time. Most children have a natural affinity to cooking, after all, hardwired in all of us is the belief that being able to feed yourself is an important first step to becoming a real grown-up.
So, the next time you plan a birthday, think about making it a cake decorating party for your kids. It works just as well for boys as for girls. Cake decorating can be pretty – think pastel flowers and pink buttercream, realistic – a miniature volcano of molten red lava icing with plastic dinosaurs fleeing the scene and even gory – yes, all those Halloween themed cakes you’ve seen would probably qualify for this category. So there really is no limit to the themes this party can take.
The Set Up
Set up a table with enough space for all your kids to sit at. If you are inviting fairly young children and their parents will be there, make sure you have enough space for parents to sit with their kids too.
Cover the table with a large disposable plastic tablecloth and tie each corner firmly to your table legs so that it forms a nice flat surface. Lay out all the ingredients and decorating tools at each setting.
If each child will be decorating a cake, make sure they have mini-cakes of about 4 to 6 inches in diameter, for an easier alternative, get the kids to decorate cupcakes instead. You can either buy cupcakes from your local bakery, or use a boxed mix to make a batch.
Lay out tubs of buttercream icing which you can either make yourself or buy from cake supply shops. Choose different colours and place them along the table and give each child a spatula for spreading. Add several bowls of sugar decorations, sprinkles, candies and coloured sanding sugar to the table and you are all set to go.
Basic instructions such as no licking and no food fights should apply. Other than that, you should probably leave any design decisions to the kids and simply enjoy the outcome. Make sure you have small cupcake boxes so that if there are any uneaten cupcakes at the end of the party, that each child can bring his or her creations home.
How to Make Clean Up a Snap
Clean up is easy if you’ve planned in advance.
- First, remember to lay the plastic tablecloth over the work table before the party begins.
- You can also place a large clear plastic painter’s sheet on the ground beneath the table. You can get these at most DIY shops or paint suppliers, some are even large enough to cover an entire room. Tape the edges down with clear duct tape so they don’t trip anyone up.
- Use disposable plates, bowls and spatulas for all the icing, decorations and individual place settings.
- Put several big pull-out dispensers of wet wipes and kitchen towels on the table so that any “accidents” get taken care of quickly and efficiently.
- Have take-home cupcake boxes ready to pack away any uneaten works or art for the kids to bring back.
- When all the decorating is done and your guests are gone, simple gather up the edges of your plastic table cloth and tie the corners up. All the post-party mess will now be contained in your very own self-made garbage bag.
- The same can be done with the plastic floor sheet, and ta-da! No-one would guess that you had just hosted a group of kids for a cake decorating party in your living room.
And if You Don’t Feel Like Doing it Yourself…
If you don’t have the time or the space to host a cake decorating party yourself, it’s also something which you can do with several party and event planners. An online search will give you a wide selection with different prices and themes to choose from too.