‘Tis the season…to get those creative juices flowing! For the first time, I hosted a Gingerbread House Decorating Party for kids, and I’ll be the first to admit it was one of the most fun parties I’ve done! The best kinds of parties are those that get everyone involved, and each child can do his or her “own” thing. One holiday tradition that stands the test of time in our house is gingerbread house decorating. While I usually just spend a weekend afternoon supervising my kids doing this activity, this year I decided to host a party for my kids and a few of their friends. In just a few simple steps, I can help you plan a super easy (and adorably cute!) gingerbread house decorating party of your own! This also is a great theme for a child who has a winter birthday!
Invitations: I sent out some super sweet invitations to our party guests to let them know about the upcoming party. I spent way too much time designing these invites, I’ll admit it, but I love how they turned out in the end! They are for sale in my Etsy shop, and you can use them online as digital invites OR print them out and send them the old fashioned way!
Decor: I found the marquee light-up gingerbread boy and girl on sale for half price, while the gingerbread cookie garland and the plastic flocked candy garland were both purchased online. They really made our house feel like a giant candy land and looked pretty darn realistic!
The Set-Up: I pulled together several kid-height tables to form one giant decorating space so that the kids could spread out and have lots of room to create their magical cottages! I decorated the table with some pastel wintery decorations (trees, garlands, faux snow, etc.) that I’d thankfully saved from my middle daughter’s Winter Wonderland 1st birthday party five years ago!
Busy Mom Tip: Do yourself a favor and buy pre-assembled gingerbread houses for the kids to decorate. Neither you nor the children have the patience to do this part, so leave it to the pros. I purchased most of my pre-assembled kits from Costco for $9.99 each!
Party Signage: I hung this Gingerbread House Welcome Sign on our front door to welcome all the partygoers. All the signage I designed for this party is for sale via instant download from my Etsy Shop, meaning for those of you who are planning this party last minute (and who isn’t, let’s be real…right?), you can download the signage and print it out in minutes!
Our decorating station featured this 4″x6″ Decorating Station Sign that is also available for instant download. Add a cute matching frame, and it’s some real eye candy for the table!
Toppings Station: One of the best parts about our party was the toppings station. I designed a toppings station sign to place on the table and then filled silicone cupcake trays with every gingerbread house topping imaginable!
Our toppings station featured candy canes, gum drops, lights, candy icicles,snowmen, penguins, owls, gingerbread men—you name it! You should have seen the kids’ eyes light up when they saw all the candy-coated goodies on that table! I purchased my toppings from stores all around town—craft stores, Target, Amazon, and even our local grocery store. I couldn’t believe how many candies are actually out there JUST for this purpose!
I also designed this festive table sign that would be perfect for your gingerbread house decorating party!
Food Buffet Table: Of course, the kids will probably be consuming massive amounts of candy and sugar toppings, but you should also have a healthy food buffet table for the kids to graze on while they are decorating. I designed this Sweet Treats sign for our table. I actually planned my party so that the kids would eat lunch first and then decorate the houses. I was hoping to fill them up on healthy lunch foods, so that they wouldn’t go bananas on the candy. I can’t say that that actually happened, but hey, it was worth a try!
Pre-party: I colored royal icing in colors to match our party color scheme and filled mini decorator squeeze bottles with the icing. I designed four different labels for these bottles, and the best part about my labels is that the text is editable, meaning you can type your own icing colors before printing them out! Simply print onto full sheet label paper, trim around the edges, and apply to your bottles!
The Main Event: It’s time to decorate! Each child was given a bowl; they lined up and went through the candy “buffet line” to gather toppings. We played festive holiday music to set the mood, and the kids were really engaged in decorating—even the young ones! I also printed out pictures of other gingerbread houses from Pinterest so that the kids could get inspired with different kinds of decorating ideas. You can hang the inspiration on the walls or place it on a nearby table. It was a big hit!
The following photos show some of the kids in action, concentrating on creating their works of art! It was great fun to see how each child went about his or her own design process.
I hope this post has put you in the mood to host a super sweet gingerbread house decorating party of your own! Happy holidays to one and all!!
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Those gingerbread man and woman with the red bows on the mantel, where did you get those from?