My mom works at a preschool and was approached by the mother of one of her preschoolers back in December. The woman asked my mom if one of her daughters made cookies, to which my mom responded yes. The lady wanted to know if her daughter would be interested in leading a cookie baking/decorating birthday party for her preschooler who was about to turn 3.
Between preparing to leave for our cruise, going on vacation and the holidays, the party never happened.
And I had forgotten about it.
Until the beginning of February when the preschooler's mom contacted me saying she would still love to have me lead a party and would I still be interested?
Now...leading a cookie birthday party had never crossed my mind. Afterall, most of us cookie decorators ( I took a poll, really!) take our decorating pretty seriously and three year olds don't really care about the difference between dragees or sanding sugar, or 10 second or 20 second royal icing.
I knew, in order for this to be a success, I had to let go...A LOT.
Henry, the 3 year old birthday boy, loves CARS; Lightning McQueen especially.
But his older sister, Beverly, was going to be around too (and some of her friends). Beverly is into princesses.
So the theme ended up being The Princess saves McQueen.
The mom and I settled on having three stations
1) Making: The kids would actually help pour in the ingredients, start the mixer, scrape the bowl...etc.
2) Rolling out and cutting: The kids would actually be able to use a rolling pin to roll out the dough and then use fun cutters to cut out the cookies. They would then pass their creations along to me who would pop them in the oven.
3) Decorating: The kids would be able to decorate their cookies using a variety of fun doo-das.
SIMPLIFYING THE STATIONS
Station 1: Making: For this station, I had the ingredients pre-measured into individual cups. This way more kids could help pour in the ingredients. For the vanilla, I had a child hold the measuring spoon over the mixing bowl while I poured in the vanilla. This allowed for the exact amount of vanilla to make it into the dough. We all know what would have happened if the children had poured the vanilla! The kids seemed to like turning the mixer on and off the most.
Station 2: Rolling out and cutting: Actually, we had 2 locations for this one station. The older kids were able to sit on the bar stools at the kitchen counter and the litte kids used a bench which was in the kitchen. It was the perfect height for the three and four year olds to stand at and roll the dough. Before the party, I had wax paper out at both locations. We used three rolling pins. Two for each of the barstools for the big kids and one for the little kids. I was sure to have lots of flour on hand. Afterall, you're not really making cookies unless there's flour all over everything! I brought cookie cutters that kept with the theme including my princessy ones (a castle and tiara), a generic car, and some basic shapes. And I threw in my awesome Ecrandal Ice Cream Cone cutter because it's so much fun!
Big kid location:
Little kid location:
Check out my AMAZING last minute find for the birthday party.
And by last minute, I literally mean I stopped by Ross' and Marshall's on my way to the party.
Seriously, those cookie cutters saved the day!!!
Station 3: Decorating: Yikes! This is the station that was causing me the most anxiety. The first thing I knew I definitely needed to do was to take pre-iced cookies with an image on them for the kids to simply color. I brought two packs of fun colored edible food color markers as well as these cookies.
I wanted them to look like an edible coloring book page.
I gave each child a clear plastic cup and a plastic knife at their seat and I brought the perfect consistency flood icing with me, but I left it white. Most preschoolers love colors, so I brought all my gel food colors with me and gave my mom (who came to help) specific instructions to squeeze the coloring into the cups herself. Those gel colors are expensive!! The kids were able to ice a freshly baked cookie any shade they wanted.
On the table I had all sorts of fun doo-das. Some clear and colored sanding sugar, some pre-made thick consistency icing in piping bags with fun star tips, some pre-made royal icing flowers and ribbon roses, gold spray food coloring and these awesome pearl balls I found on my last minute run to the store.
I was so excited when I found these pearls...in so many colors. I knew these would be perfect for little fingers to grab.
Here's a picture of the decorating table pre-children!!!
More decoration goodies.
Here's a look at what's to come tomorrow!!
Little Henry getting into the swing of things.
Tomorrow I'll break down what went right, what went wrong and have lots of helpful hints!
So be sure to come back as we continue Kooking in
Kate Henry's Kitchen!
P.S. Sorry for the lame picture of me. I was showing off my brand new apron which I absolutely love! (This was pre-party can you tell?)
3 Comments »