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Cookie decorating class for kids...advice or ideas appreciated!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

 I was contacted by the events coordinator from my neighborhood housing office(military post).
They are planning a cookie decorating event for the children & want me to be the 'teacher'. For the most part I do cakes, cake pops, and cupcakes....but I dabble in decorated cookies. 
 

Anyway, I was hoping to get some tips or advice on holding a simple cookie decorating class for children. The cookies will be round and I was thinking of showing 3 different design ideas. Perhaps santa's belly, ornament, and the melted snowman design?

I normally use royal icing and pipe onto my cookies....but I'm not sure if this is the best idea for children? What do you think? Any suggestions for an easier way to decorate?
 

I also need to keep budget in mind, because this will be a free event. So, suggestions on how to keep the cost down are welcome as well. 

Thanks!

post #2 of 7

A little more info would be helpful: What ages are the kids? how many in a class? Length of class time. Who is providing the supplies? What precautions/recommendations/guidelines for kids with food allergies?

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, Spuddysmom
The ages would vary. This is a free event for the children in the various housing areas here on post. The housing office is providing supplies, but they need a supply list from me. They are also on a small budget. From what I was told, I'm estimating 40 kids and a 2 hour class. I don't believe there will be any special precautions for food allergies.
post #4 of 7

What about a piping gel transfer on round cookies? The older ones could do their own, and maybe you could have some already done for the younger ones and they could just fill in the design? You would just need photocopies of some designs (I would think the office would have access to a copier), some tape (basic office supply), and a couple of rolls of waxed paper. Then you would just need some decorating bags with icing and tips they could share around. You could show them some basic things like the star tip and how to pipe lines, things like that. If you group the kids at tables by general age, you could show the different tables different things based on how old they are.

post #5 of 7

It is much easier to do decorations in fondant. Might be cheaper also.

I have been doing cookies for some time, and I still can not do a decent one in anything but fondant. You can see my gallery. I am a hobbyst.

 I also think in order to have a more manageable class it should be smaller size. This way you could  be able to do some teaching. 

http://www.karenscookies.net/Cookie-Decorating-Tutorials_ep_41-1.html

 

The link I am sending you is very informative.

Good luckthumbs_up.gif

 

Ciao!

post #6 of 7
  • If the type of cookie decoration is up to you - here are some suggestions from someone who has taught a large variety of kids a wide variety of skills:
  • You are on the right track of keeping it simple - the three designs sound good.
  • Forty kids for two hours? That is waay too many kids of varied ages. You need to divide the class into different age groups. You cannot teach a large group of various aged children the same way you would teach a large group of interested adults. Also you are setting yourself up for some big problems in combining age groups. 
  •   Make sure that you have enough adult helpers, whether or not you divide the class.
  • For the youngest ones: have all prep done ahead (yes, use some of your adult helpers for this part, too)- royal icing may not be the best choice since the cookies will likely not even make it home, you can do an easy buttercream, however if you are in HI you understand what works best in your climate (and what is easiest to clean, but you shouldn't do raw egg whites with young children, right?). I had individual ziplock bags pre-filled with frosting, and sometimes a small plastic knife (not sharp), or paint brush to spread icing. Don't expect neat/tidy/perfect results and be surprised at how pleased they are with whatever they make.
  • For the older ones, they can much of the prep work -if you have the time - you can show them more intricate patterns, etc.
  • Figure an exit strategy for kids who finish quickly, are whiney, bored, want to leave. Often, putting them to work with an adult helper, helping clean up, etc.
  • If you are showing only three cookie designs I think 2 hours is too long.
  • After class is over - if any child gives you a "present" of a cookie, accept it with a big smile, thank them graciously and for heaven's sake do NOT eat it...
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyhawke917 View Post

What about a piping gel transfer on round cookies? The older ones could do their own, and maybe you could have some already done for the younger ones and they could just fill in the design? You would just need photocopies of some designs (I would think the office would have access to a copier), some tape (basic office supply), and a couple of rolls of waxed paper. Then you would just need some decorating bags with icing and tips they could share around. You could show them some basic things like the star tip and how to pipe lines, things like that. If you group the kids at tables by general age, you could show the different tables different things based on how old they are.

Thanks for your suggestions, ladyhawke917. I like the idea of grouping them at tables by age. I've never tried piping gel transfers, I'll have to look that up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soledad View Post

It is much easier to do decorations in fondant. Might be cheaper also.

I have been doing cookies for some time, and I still can not do a decent one in anything but fondant. You can see my gallery. I am a hobbyst.

 I also think in order to have a more manageable class it should be smaller size. This way you could  be able to do some teaching. 

http://www.karenscookies.net/Cookie-Decorating-Tutorials_ep_41-1.html

 

The link I am sending you is very informative.

Good luckthumbs_up.gif

 

Ciao!

Thank you, soledad. I'm thinking fondant might be a good idea...and less mess. I agree that a smaller class size would be more manageable, but I don't have control over that. Thank you for the link :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuddysmom View Post

  • If the type of cookie decoration is up to you - here are some suggestions from someone who has taught a large variety of kids a wide variety of skills:
  • You are on the right track of keeping it simple - the three designs sound good.
  • Forty kids for two hours? That is waay too many kids of varied ages. You need to divide the class into different age groups. You cannot teach a large group of various aged children the same way you would teach a large group of interested adults. Also you are setting yourself up for some big problems in combining age groups. 
  •   Make sure that you have enough adult helpers, whether or not you divide the class.
  • For the youngest ones: have all prep done ahead (yes, use some of your adult helpers for this part, too)- royal icing may not be the best choice since the cookies will likely not even make it home, you can do an easy buttercream, however if you are in HI you understand what works best in your climate (and what is easiest to clean, but you shouldn't do raw egg whites with young children, right?). I had individual ziplock bags pre-filled with frosting, and sometimes a small plastic knife (not sharp), or paint brush to spread icing. Don't expect neat/tidy/perfect results and be surprised at how pleased they are with whatever they make.
  • For the older ones, they can much of the prep work -if you have the time - you can show them more intricate patterns, etc.
  • Figure an exit strategy for kids who finish quickly, are whiney, bored, want to leave. Often, putting them to work with an adult helper, helping clean up, etc.
  • If you are showing only three cookie designs I think 2 hours is too long.
  • After class is over - if any child gives you a "present" of a cookie, accept it with a big smile, thank them graciously and for heaven's sake do NOT eat it...

Thanks Spuddysmom, great tips and suggestions. I think most of the children will have at least one parent present to help them out. I did intend to have atleast 2 'helpers' with me. 
I agree that 40 kids is a lot for one class, but again, I don't have control over that. I was only asked to 'teach' the class....and I use teach loosely, because I believe this is intended to be more of a fun activity than an actual class. 
 

and LOL at the cookie presents! 

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