While I can’t take credit for this gem of a party, I can give props to my friend Nicole for knowing how to organize! She “began” this tradition last year (I’m hoping it continues!) and I was looking forward to it this year since Cooper is slowly getting to an age where he will enjoy it for himself. Here he was last year…mommy attempted to decorate while holding little Cooper in her lap. =) Now, before I show you an even more enjoyable party pic from this year, let me explain some tips to hosting a successful gingerbread decorating party…
Tip #1: Cover the tables! Note that the tables have throw away plastic table cloths on them.
Tip #2: Provide a stable structure! There are 2 key elements to this part. One, provide a cardboard base for the house. We had cake rounds, but really, any sturdy cardboard surface will do. But it does need to be sturdy. I attended another one where we had paper plates. Yeah….didn’t cut it! The second element – pre-assemble the houses themselves! Bless Nicole’s foresight! She had the graham cracker houses assembled and dried, ready to decorate. No more tears or frustration while trying to hold the structure together while the icing stiffens, AND you have an antsy little decorator ready to slap on some candy.
Tip #3: Get your icing under control! Have plenty of icing on hand, and be sure it is at the correct consistency. If it’s too thick, it’s difficult to work with, if it’s too thin, the candy won’t stick. Nicole’s got a fantastic blend! Just add water or more powdered sugar to get it just right. Also, have it in a form that’s easy for the kids to work with. We had little sandwich bags with the frosting in them already. Just cut a corner and you’re ready to decorate!
Tip #4: Provide plenty of candy! And utilize your guests to do so! Each guest brought candy to share. Usually the host provides some gingerbread men to help adorn the houses. What’s a gingerbread house without a gingerbread man, right? Here’s a list of other fun candies to suggest:
- Mini candy canes
- Gum drops
- Marshmallows (for those cute little snowmen!)
- Mini chocolate chips
- Mini M&M’s (they stick better than the regular size)
- Red hots/Hot tamales
- Hershey kisses
- Nilla wafers
- Cotton candy (smoke for a chimney perhaps?)
- Ice cream cones (to create Christmas trees)
- Peach rings
Tip #5: Provide other snacks too! Little kiddos (and adults like myself without self control for that matter) on sugar highs do not make for a fun party. Having other healthy or varying snacks available MAY cut down on such a vast sugar intake. MAY I say…but it’s worth having around to help!
One final tip for attending with your child? Just let them eat candy!! I mean, obviously watch the amount, because they will make themselves sick, but let them partake more than normal. Can you blame their desire? Check out this series of pictures with my son’s temptation…
Picture #1: Say Cheese!
Picture #2: Beginning to eye the candy…