It is really funny how fast things can get out of hand. When the girls came home from Texas on Sunday, I had Halloween sugar cookies waiting for them. This led Elaina to ask if we could bake and decorate cookies next weekend. Sounded like a plan, one that would be fun and fairly easy. While we were eating on the patio on Monday, my neighbor let me know that this was going to be their last weekend in Arizona before the Army shipped his family to Italy for three years, so it seemed right to invite them over for some cookies (and because their household goods are already packed up, their house is pretty much empty). As we were leaving for school, the girls spotted our other neighbor (whose son is in Elaina’s kindergarten class) and begged that they could come too. It still seemed to be manageable, so I did and they accepted. Elaina then told her best friend at school that she was having a cookie party, after which her friend begged to be invited. After I told Elaina that we could do that the Saturday after, her friend wrote a handwritten card to Elaina asking to please come to her cookie party. Like I was going to say no after that. So, I started planning for a Halloween cookie decorating party… for 17 (Note: One of the families cancelled the day before, so while it did not change the spread, the event itself was a lot more manageable).
The night before, we went to the commissary so that we could stock up on sprinkles, powdered sugar, and butter; the last thing I wanted was to run out of buttercream frosting during a decorating party. I let the girls pick out the sprinkles, which they must have done a good job given that the candy eyes were a big hit.
While staying up late the night before making two batches of sugar cookies was not particularly difficult, making four batches of frosting (and then coloring them) while tending to the girls was a bit of a challenge (Wash hands, mix frosting for a minute, someone needs a snack. Wash hands, mix frosting for a minute, someone needs help in the bathroom. Wash hands [twice], mix frosting for a minute, someone wants a glass of water… for an hour).
We finally got it accomplished though, and with the table prepared, we were ready to receive guests.
When our neighbors arrived, the girls and them wasted not time before they dove into decorating.
The younger kids needed a little help getting their first few cookies frosted, but they all seemed to be experts in using sprinkles. Even Gabriella only took three turns before she was telling me that she was a big girl and could frost her own cookie.
Overall, the event went very well and surprisingly smooth. Gabriella almost had a meltdown when she knocked over a container of sprinkles, but my quick reaction to console her let her know that I was not mad and that she was not in trouble (It was bound to happen eventually, and to be honest, I was surprised it did not happen earlier). That was it though. No one licked a spatula and then put it back in the frosting. No one used buttercream to paint a wall. Not a single cookie was dropped on the floor (seriously). It was a simple gathering of friends and everyone big and small seemed to have a great time.
Eventually though, the sugar rush set in and the girls started to act a little crazy.
Elaina at least calmed down after chasing her best friend Elora around the house for five minutes. Gabriella just kept getting crazier.
And since we had plenty of cookies, everyone got to eat a few at the house and then take some more home. Any event where you can leave with cookies can be considered a win.
So another successful cookie decorating party is in the books. If you are looking for a low-resource, high-satisfaction kids activity for Halloween or Christmas, I would highly suggest hosting a cookie decorating party. And for the extremely busy or pastry-illiterate, you can make things a little easier by buying pre-made sugar cookies and/or frosting from the store.
And of course, like they deserved, the girls got to enjoy some of the fruits of their labor (the rest can be had over the course of the next week). And then they brushed their teeth twice in the evening, just in case. Important note: The girls barely made it through Calkins Family Movie Night, going to sleep before 7pm. Guess the sugar crash happened just at the right time…
Thanks again for checking in on us.