Kid-Friendly Cupcake Decorating
Decorating cupcakes with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. Just a few kid-friendly cupcake decorating tips will help everyone to have a fun and memorable time!
Have you ever tried decorating cupcakes (or cookies, or cake, or ANYthing crafty) with kids? As a new mom I couldn’t wait for my little guy to help out in the kitchen.
“I’m making cookies!! Do you want to come help mommy crack the eggs?”
“Well this recipe calls for 2 eggs and since you dropped 6 of them let’s just run to the grocery store and grab a few more.”
“Don’t eat the flour…”
“Coloring Easter eggs will be SO much fun! Aren’t you excited?”
“Let’s make a gingerbread house! It will take hours to make and days to dry. Yaaaaaay!”
Six years and 2 kids later I set my boys up with a movie and tiptoe into the kitchen praying that the TV drowns the sound of the mixer turning on. Let’s be honest- baking with kids is hard! We expect it to go off like a Martha Stewart segment with everyone laughing and having a great time. We also expect Martha’s minions to come and magically clear the mess in-between stages. Wouldn’t that be nice?
The fact is there are usually eggs all over the floor and frosting and flour covering every surface. People are crying (not necessarily the kids), there are tantrums (again adults are not immune), your kitchen looks like a crime scene, and you are cursing the person who invented Pinterest.
My 6 and 3-year-old boys decorated these cupcakes almost entirely independent from me. I gave them frosted cupcakes, cupcake wrappers, crayons, paper straws, and lollipops and let them work together on a design. The key to kid-friendly cupcake decorating is having everything done beforehand. Small children may not be interested in working for more than 10 minutes.
Here I set up a station (a small table off to the side) with the craft materials- crayons to decorate the wrappers and scissors for my 6 year old to cut the paper straws. I put down a large piece of cardboard so they didn’t get have to worry about coloring outside the lines…since there were no lines.
At the food table, I had frosted cupcakes and lollipops. Since my toddler was not terribly interested in coloring I set him to work unwrapping the lollipops. I always lay out a plastic bag for trash scraps because you don’t want kids handling the trash bin while decorating cupcakes and cookies.
The key is to have everything prepared and set out beforehand. They may only sit at the table for 5 minutes and you want to be sitting there with them not gathering ingredients. Let them be messy and creative. Nothing is wrong. I had thought we were putting one lollipop in each cupcake but my son did the math and saw we had enough to put 3 on each cupcake. I love the final look!
While their task was to create cupcake wrappers that matched the straws I also let them do whatever they wanted on a few wrappers. There’s nothing wrong with a cupcake served in a Megatron wrapper or a toddler-doodled wrapper! While we were decorating we talked about their favorite cupcakes flavors (chocolate and ALL of them). We also talked about our favorite memories from this summer. My oldest really loved all the swimming he got to do this summer. Our youngest enjoyed our few stays at hotels. The kid loves pushing elevator buttons.
My oldest son went back to school last week and is enjoying the life of a first-grader. His brother misses him terribly and we’re all happy to see that smile when he gets off of the bus. Sometimes we even run inside and decorate cupcakes and eat them before dinner! 😉
- 12 cupcakes, frosted
- 12 paper straws
- 36 lollipops
- Cut each paper straw into 3 pieces.
- Unwrap lollipops and place them in the paper straws.
- Arrange lollipops on top of cupcakes.
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