Looking for a non-traditional party idea for kids? Want to make it educational, even if the children don’t realize it? Consider a baking party, where kids can build their own treats and be entertained while doing it.
First, prep the work area. This is going to get messy. Also, this is likely a birthday party, so let’s dress it up to celebrate! For your own sanity, cover work areas with plastic table cloths or butcher paper, then decorate with strips of colorful wrapping paper.
Second, prepare all of the needed tools. Make sure you have enough bowls, spatulas, sprinkles, cookie cutters, whatever is appropriate for your project. You’d hate to discover something is missing halfway through preparations, forcing things to stop or limiting how many children can participate.
Once the kids arrive, get them dressed for the part. Buy paper chef hats and cheap aprons, then get out the markers, glue, glitter, even scrapbooking materials. Every child gets a keepsake that just might encourage them to continue cooking long after the party’s over.
Make sure your project is age appropriate. Younger children are going to be more messy, have shorter attention spans and need more supervision. Older children, on the other hand, will want a challenge. Plan your project accordingly. Possibilities include:
- Cookies. Cookies are a great project for all ages. For younger children, buy store bought dough, then let kids roll it out, cut it up with cookie cutters and decorate with sprinkles. Older kids can make dough from scratch. And, of course, there will be enough for kids to bring a few home.
- Cupcakes. Cupcake projects can also be adjusted by age. Buy a mix or make from scratch, prep some of the ingredients beforehand or let the kids do all the work.
- Personal pizzas. Pizza is the ultimate is baking party personalization. Kids can decide which ingredients to add and how much. You might want to ask parents what toppings their kids like so you’re prepared. You’ll want to use store-bought dough: making your own is extremely time consuming.
If you have a sizable number of children, break them into small groups when each group having its own project. These projects might all be the same, or they can differ from one another, so that every group makes a different kid of cookie, for example. Small groups allow every child to be actively involved in their project rather than being relegated to observation. You may want an adult assisting each group, depending on the complexity of the project and the ages of the children.
Baking parties are great year-round activities that teach kids to love a skill they’ll need for the rest of their lives. They’re affordable and scalable, able to be tailored to any number of kids and their ages. Just remember this is one of the more messy options for a party, so plan accordingly, prepping the space and potentially employing other adults for assistance.