12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids

Decorating cookies with kids is one of those activities when you need to throw your hands up in the air and let almost everything slide – expect a mess, a few tears, a sugar-crazed kid and you might actually enjoy the experience.

My daughter is almost two and she knows what a cookie is, but decorating one is still a little difficult for her. I tried a few different ways to simplify the process, including the use of squeeze bottles, but they were kind of a pain and she didn’t really understand how to use them. I ended up doing most of the frosting while she added some sprinkles and ate her weight in cookies – she had a blast and that was entirely the point.

I am hosting a cookie decorating party in a few days so these pictures are from a trial run. You will notice some shopping bags and disarray in the background of these photos because my living room was messy that day – I’m not perfect in real life, so I’m definitely not trying to portray that on my blog {end rant.}

12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids

 12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids

1. Unless you are an absolute saint and have patience for days, bake the cookies ahead of time. Depending on the age of your little one, you might be able to accept some help in the kitchen, but my daughter is a little young at two years old. Not to mention, baking cookies takes a lot of concentration for me!

2. I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Basic Sugar Cookies – this recipe is so simple. I also tried this sugar cookie trick and it seemed to help.

3. Muffin liners or a muffin tin make for great decoration organizers, especially for a party {I used Christmas colored sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, and mini marshmallows}.

4.  Prepare the work station ahead of time with disposable table cloths, napkins, wipes, and a tray or platter with a few cookies and decorating supplies – not that you need reminding, but toddlers don’t tend to be very patient.

12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids

Squeeze Bottles for Decorating

Squeeze bottles are a good way to decorate with a large group of kids and help limit the mess, but they are not as easy as they look {don’t trust the pretty pictures on Pinterest}.

1.Thick royal icing recipes will need to be thinned-out to squeeze through the bottles – I added a few teaspoons of water to mine. I also clipped the end of the nozzle to make the tip a little wider, but don’t do this if you want to create detailed decorations.

2. Pipe the icing with a bag into the squeeze bottle, it will save you a lot of time and frustration.

3. The squeeze bottles need to be filled at least half way in order to work properly – unfortunately air doesn’t frost cookies.

4. I used these 16 oz. bottles – depending on how many decorators you have, a smaller size would definitely work and ultimately it’s less to fill.

5. I used a royal icing recipe from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle – it was uniquely fluffy, delicious, and very, very sweet. I halved her recipe {for the trial run} and got about 14-16 oz, enough to fill two bottles approximately half way.

6. This might be an obvious tip, but be very careful with the food coloring dye – clothing and hands are very susceptible. When I experimented with getting the icing into the squeeze bottles I ended up with dye all over me, but maybe I’m just a hazard.

12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids

7. If you are decorating with one or two little children, ditch the squeeze bottles and use small individual sized bowls with a popsicle stick or plastic spoon – you will thank me later.

8. If you don’t own a tot-sized table and chairs, lay a disposable table cloth or brown paper canvas down like I did in the photos – worked great.

12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids

12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids decoratingcookieswithkids5Enjoy!



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2 Responses to 12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids

  1. Jennifer (aka Hint Mama) December 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Love the idea of using popsicle sticks – great tip and going to try it:)


  1. My Favorite Links of the Week: 12.19.14 - The Baby Bump Diaries - December 19, 2014

    […] I mentioned in my 12 Tips for Decorating Cookies with Kids post, I ditched the squeeze bottles and filled small plastic bowls with icing and supplied the kids […]

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