Keeping kids busy during a party can be a challenge sometimes. Since they’re almost always hungry, why not make feeding them one of your party activities?
- Cupcakes – of course you’ll need cupcakes. Use a box mix or make your own from scratch. Add a little personalization to them by choosing cupcake wrappers that coordinate with your event or by adding food coloring to the mix before baking it. Not a baker? Call your local bakery or supermarket and order plain cupcakes.
- “Glue” – your toppings will need something to stick to on the cupcake. Store bought icing in the tubs works great for this. Making your own or purchasing some from your store’s bakery are both good options too. Whipped topping makes a tasty topping too. Tint your “glue” in the different colors before guests arrive.
- Toppings – things can get crazy here. It’s easy to go overboard with this so maybe set a limit and choose your top five favorite toppings. Or go all out and get all kinds of toppings. Sprinkles, chocolate chips, or small chewy or chocolate covered candies are all good options.
- “Hardware” – things like bags or spoons for dispensing the icings, spoons or tongs for the toppings and a container for the finished product (if they’re not eating them as soon as they’re done) are all tools that will help make your decorating more successful.
Determine if you’re going to make each guest their own space to decorate and create or if you’re going to do it “family style” and just have everything available for sharing. If you’ll be sharing, make sure everyone knows the rules. Things like not licking your fingers, how many cupcakes they’re allowed to decorate, when they can eat their creations, or a limit on how many/what kind of toppings they can add are things you might want to consider. I’m always thinking about having to clean up the mess while I’m setting up for that and it helps a lot. Will you be saving your toppings if they’re not used? If the answer’s yes, consider putting them out in containers that have a lid. For things you’re not going to save, make sure you’ve got a garbage bag handy if you need to clean the mess up right away. Keep some baby wipes and paper towels on hand to clean up any messes that happen during the decorating.
If you’re wanting guests to create within a certain theme or think they might need ideas, you can always make a few examples to have out. These samples will come in handy if parents want a cupcake, someone doesn’t want to decorate, or something happens to their creation (it gets accidentally knocked or dropped on the floor for example).
Prepping Your Space
Cover your decorating area with a disposable table cloth. Your surface will be protected and clean up will be so much easier. Put your supplies out so they’re ready and waiting for your guests or have them all staged in an area that easily accessible to bring out once you’re ready for them. Think about your floor as well. Disposable table cloths can help keep that icing free too.
Because of the planning you did before hand, clean up should be a breeze. Grab the trash bag you set aside and put the table cloths from the table and floor in it (start with the table so the ones of the floor catch anything that falls off). Get rid of any of your supplies that you don’t want to keep or cover them up for a midnight snack. By getting rid of the mess right away, you’ll remove any temptation from little hands who might not be done creating.
Transporting the Creations
If your guests aren’t enjoying their creations at the party, have a way for them to take their treats home with them. Small bowls or cups are perfect for transporting the cupcakes once they’re decorated. Cover the container with another container (flip the one covering upside down) or cover with plastic wrap.
Have you done a cupcake bar at your party? Do you have any other tips to share?