Christmas cookies have been a tradition for many, many decades. We all seem to have memories of making Christmas cookies when we were little. It’s a memory that many of us want to share with our children. Of course, we want the experience to be fun, but is that possible with today’s hectic lifestyles? Yes. There are many tricks you can use to make decorating Christmas cookies with young children a simple and fun experience.
Get the Kids Ready
Young children can get quite messy when it comes to food. To avoid ruining good clothes, have children change into play clothes. You may even want to purchase child sized aprons, which will help prevent stains and let your children feel like little chefs. Either way, you’ll be a lot less stressed if your children aren’t staining their good clothes. Lastly, don’t forget to have kids wash their hands before getting started.
Start With Store Bought Cookie Dough
Young children aren’t interested in making cookie dough. To them, the fun part is decorating. Using store bought cookie dough can save you a lot of time. Store bought cookie dough usually features directions to alter the dough so that it can be rolled out. You honestly won’t believe how much time this will save. Instead of spending a couple hours making and chilling your dough, you’ll be ready to start cutting your dough in a fraction of the time.
Choose Child Safe Cookie Cutters
While metal cookie cutters may offer the most effortless cutting, they can sometimes be sharp. Hollow plastic cookie cutters are the best option for young children. Young children can use these cutters without you having to worry about their safety. Best of all, these cutters are usually quite sturdy and won’t be easily bent or broken by small hands.
Lay Out a Vinyl Tablecloth
The kitchen table is the best place for young children to decorate Christmas cookies. There’s no worrying about them slipping off stools or chairs trying to reach the counter. Of course, decorating Christmas cookies can also be quite messy. Laying down a vinyl tablecloth will save you a lot of cleanup time. All you’ll have to do is wipe the tablecloth down with a damp cloth and the mess will be cleaned up.
Keep Kids Busy During the Baking and Cooling Time
It can be hard to distract young children from cookies, but for their own safety, it’s important to do so. One trick you can use is to put in their favorite Christmas movie. Another great tip is to have another craft ready to work on while the cookies bake and cool. Count on keeping the kids distracted for at least 30 minutes to an hour. You want the cookies to be cool enough to decorate without the decorations melting and running off the cookies.
Choose Simple Decorating Methods
Young children are creative, but some decorating methods can be discouraging and even frustrating for them. That’s why it’s important to choose decorating supplies that are kid friendly. One of the best decorating tools you can purchase are food markers. These markers are filled with food coloring and are a natural method of decorating for young children. Another option is frosting with a combination of colored sugar or Christmas sprinkles. You can frost the cookies and then let the kids add the sprinkles.