Wondering how to host a Halloween cookie decorating party for kids that’s fun for the children but also stress-free for the moms!? Well, this Type A personality, overly organized, clean-freak mom has you covered. Check out all my tips and tricks to help you host the perfect cookie decorating party and still keep your sanity in the process.
*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Find my full disclosure policy, here.
Does the thought of having a houseful of children knee-deep in frosting and Halloween sprinkles make your skin itch? Would you rather clean your toilets plus your neighbor’s toilets before ever thinking of hosting a cookie decorating party at your house?!
The mess! The noise! The germs! No way!
If this is you, I totally get where you’re coming from. Wondering why I can relate so well? Truth be told, I am that mom!
I’m all about keeping things clean and organized in my home. Pretty much everything in my house has its own place and I go kind of crazy when things aren’t exactly where I left them. The proof is in the pudding…or my spice cabinet in this case!
My friends have been known to walk around my house and move my Willow Tree angels or flip over my pillows just to drive me nuts. Kristen…Mary Carol…Yes, ladies, I’m calling you out on the Internet!
It’s a constant struggle. On my right shoulder, I have the angel that’s reminding me how much I love entertaining and sharing my lake life living with family and friends. Then the devil appears over my left shoulder and reminds me how much cleaning and patience it takes to host a house full of people with my Type A personality.
In the end, my inner Party Girl shines through and I can’t help but side with the lovely angel. Plus, we work hard so we can have fun and enjoy ourselves, am I right?!
The key I found to make it all happen without losing my mind is to be organized and set permitters…Permitters sounds a little harsh. Let’s go with giving your guests some gentle guidance to get them to do what you want them to do. Does that sound better? Hahahaha!
In layman’s terms, I make sure to have some entertainment, activities, and flow to all my parties. It’s definitely not a free for all when you come over to the lake for a party. My nerves just wouldn’t be able to handle it!
I bet you’re thinking, “I’m sure this strategy works with adults, but there’s no way in this world that it can for kids!” I’m so determined to prove you wrong!
Want to see how I put this plan into action? Come on, I know you can’t wait to host a house full of adorable 5-year-olds this Halloween season. I can see you jumping for joy on the other side of the computer!
How to Host a Halloween Cookie Decorating Party for Kids
Step 1: Send out an invitation
In order to plan appropriately for the cookie decorating party, you need to know how many children you will be expecting. Because the amount of supplies you purchase depends on the number of kids who will be attending, you’ll want to set the RSVP date for at least a few days before the party.
When sending out your invitation, you’ll also want to think about the amount of space you have and how many children you can actually accommodate. I know it’s hard to draw the line sometimes in terms of who to invite, but packing too many children in your home can be a recipe for disaster. The magic number for me would be 10. Your magic number is completely up to you but I suggest you think about the logistics before sending out your invite!
*On a side note, if you can’t figure out a way to skim back your guest list, possibly think about hosting your cookie decorating party at another location. I live in Florida, so having a Halloween party at a local park under a pavilion is still an option because of the warm temps. Another possibility could be the clubhouse in your community.
This free printable Halloween cookie decorating party invitation is yours to personalize. Download it from my free resource library and print it out on cardstock.Step 2: Purchase your supplies
Because you set a date for your guests to RSVP, you’ll know how many children you are expecting a few days prior to the party. This makes a world of difference when it comes to purchasing your supplies. Since I like to always be on top of things, I will add an extra person or two to my numbers. Not having enough of something would be humiliating for me so I always try to plan for the unexpected!
Here are all the supplies you’ll need:
- Styrofoam trays: I found the pictured trays at the Dollar Tree and they come in a package of ten. I was able to find these foam trays on Amazon if you’re unable to get to Dollar Tree before your Halloween party.
- Compostable paper trays: I found these compostable paper trays on Amazon for a more earth-friendly option to the styrofoam trays.
- Frosting: I would purchase two containers of frosting for a party of 10 kids.
- Food Coloring: I used food coloring to tint my frosting orange.
- Cookies: I chose to go with sugar cookies. You can definitely make them on your own but I took the easy route and bought mine from Target. Plan for at least 2 cookies per child.
- 3 Toppings: I came up with this number based off of the number of compartments there were in the tray. I went with black sprinkles put a Halloween variety pack of sprinkles would work too. Brach’s Autumn Mix and peanut M&M’s were my other two toppings. What you pick for toppings is completely up to you. Make sure you are aware of any food allergies too!
- Plastic Knives: One plastic knife per child for spreading on the frosting.
- Paper Towel and Baby Wipes: These will be placed in the center of the table to keep the mess under wraps.
- Plastic Tablecloth: Plastic tableclothes are perfect for easy clean-up.
- Juice boxes and/or Small Waters: Individually-packed drinks are the perfect choice for this kind of party. There’s no need for cups and the possibility of spills is few and far between.
- Decorations: I purchased a few simple Halloween decorations from the Dollar Tree to spruce up the place. I went with the cheapy decorations because I could care less if they got damaged which is a possibility when hosting a party made up of kids!
Step 3: Set up your table/tables.
I highly recommend setting your tables up strategically. As organized as you are going to make this cookie decorating party, it’s inevitable that sprinkles, candies, and frosting will end up in places you don’t want them.
Things to think about:
Is there a tile or wood floor area I can set my tables up at in case anything gets on the floor? If not, think about purchasing a couple of extra plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Tree to put under the table to catch any messes.
Do you have folding chairs that are easy to wipe off in case they get messy? If not, try borrowing some from friends or family. If all else fails, make sure to cover any “fancy” chairs with something like a hand towel. You don’t want to have a nervous breakdown in front of your guests if something happens to fall on them!
Cover your tables with the plastic tablecloths from Dollar Tree.
Once your tables are set up, place a roll of paper towel and a package of baby wipes in the center of them for those dirty little fingers! I put mine in a cute Halloween bucket to go with the theme.
Step 4: Assemble your cookie trays
Here’s where the magic happens! This is where you get to set those permitters and take some control over the party without anybody really noticing. Honestly, they’ll just think you’re uber-organized when in fact there’s a purpose behind all of it.
Remember those trays I found at Dollar Tree? Well, they have just the right amount of compartments to give your kiddos enough options without causing massive amounts of chaos. Plus, they keep all your ingredients contained as much as they can be when in the hands of little ones.
Start by tinting your frosting with food coloring to your desired color. I went with orange frosting for my Halloween cookie decorating.
Once your frosting is colored, put it to the side and have it be the last item you add to your trays.
Tip: I would honestly wait until right before I passed out my trays to add the frosting. Why? The frosting builds a little bit of a film on it and it starts to harden when exposed too long to air. I know this because I made this mistake! It’s not the end of the world, but try to avoid it if possible.
The large compartment of your tray easily holds two sugar cookies.
The three upper compartments are for your toppings.
When adding your frosting, make sure to place a plastic knife inside it to easily spread it on the cookies.
The best part, you can set up the trays (minus the frosting) prior to your guests arriving!
Step 5: Let the decorating begin.
Once the kids have arrived, it’s time to decorate! Make sure to remind the kiddos that they are only to use the ingredients on their trays. This will hopefully keep them from licking their fingers and then sharing germs amongst one another. Have some extra toppings and frosting readily available if you need to pass out more.
Step 6: Drink and Picture Time!
As the kids are finishing up with the cookie decorating, begin walking around and start handing out the juice pouches or small water bottles. With a drink in one hand and a cookie in the other, this will buy you at least 5 minutes or so to grab your camera and take pictures of their adorable creations.
Step 7: Say Goodbye
Make sure you have a set end time for your party. This should be on the invitation you sent out prior to the party so the parents of the kiddos know in advance. If parents are just dropping off their kids, you can simply say something along the lines of, “Enjoy your free time! We’ll see you at 1.” This is a nice way of reiterating the end time of the party without making it seem awkward!
Step 8: Clean-up
Because we chose to use plastic tablecloths and paper goods, clean up is a cinch! First, remove the paper towel and baby wipes from the table. Next, lift up the plastic tablecloth and wrap all the garbage from the table inside of it. Can it get any easier?!?!
Step 9: Gather your marbles and have an adult beverage!
There you have it! My hope is that you’ve learned how to host a Halloween cookie decorating party for kids in a way that helps you keep your sanity and still enjoy these experiences with your child. When your child becomes a teenager like mine, I promise that you won’t look back and remember the sprinkles you had to pick up off the floor, but instead will remember the joy you brought to your child and their friends. You can do this!
PS. If you’re looking for more kid party inspiration, check out this post for an Easter Cupcake Decorating celebration. Since you’re now an expert on throwing these sort of shindigs, you might as well do another one.