Holiday Cookie Decorating Party
"What do you think about hosting a cookie decorating party?"
The idea came from my friend Amy, who makes her living enticing children of all ages with baked goods through her LuLu's bakery business. She would provide all the fixings for the edible craft and for kid contentment; I'd be responsible for the invites - and for making my house toddler-proof. Because while I'm totally cool with inviting nine 1- to 4-year-olds into my home on a Tuesday evening, I don't actually have any kids of my own. (Which may be why I'm totally cool with inviting nine one- to four-year-olds into my home on a Tuesday evening: to me, it's a giant explosion of cute. To their parents? Well, they have 24/7 access to the cute.)
The gals from LuLu's perched in the kitchen, assisting kids with the icing and decorating of the pre-baked sugar cookies they'd provided for the event. Meanwhile we set up a table in the living room for foam sticker art. The den became a gym of sorts with a yoga ball, hula hoop and couches to climb. (Place the Bananagram Tiles in the Couch Cushions was another popular game.)
The adults pitched in for pizza. I bought boxed wine - the good kind - and some beer. (Why should the shorter-than-4-feet demographic have all the fun?) Oh, and, of course, cookies. Report: Adults ate the pizza for dinner; kids ate the icing.
Amy brought snacks, milk cups labeled with each kid's name, and handmade aprons (sewn together from holiday themed towels). I tried to send each child home with stickers and Play-Doh, but some parents strategically left these items behind.
What I learned
First: Sprinkles. I found them everywhere. In between floor boards. In the laundry room. Under the fridge. It's been a year, and they're still appearing. I didn't actually see Connor or Evan or Ella physically hiding thousands of colored candy balls throughout my house, but they did it with passion and thoroughness. I can't deny kids the joy that comes from sprinkles, but next time, I'll at least put a sheet under the table.
Second: With toddlers, no room is off limits. While I'd cleaned my bedroom, I didn't quite kid-proof it. I'd just shut the door; the party was on a different floor. An hour or so into the party (or two glasses of wine in, however you want to measure it), I realized that the kitchen was quiet. Too quiet. Kids were missing. Moments later, I found four of them in the aforementioned bedroom, jumping on the bed, with several parents cheering them on.
Icing for dinner, an unlimited supply of sprinkles and adult-condoned bed-jumping? Kid heaven. I'm not going to lie: I think we grownups had a little fun, as well.
Want to book a Cookie Decorating Party with LuLu's bakery? A party for six kids (including cookies, icing, aprons, milk, snacks, knives and plates will cost $75.) Visit luluscolumbus.com
- Jill Moorhead is still angry that her parents wouldn't let her choose the fun, sugary cereal. She doesn't have children, but borrows her friends' kids with a dual purpose: to actually see her friends, and to find ways to spoil their offspring. She writes about food in Columbus Crave and Columbus Monthly, as well asitinerantfoodies.com.