Cookie Decorating with Kids: More Fun and Less Mess

posted: 12/21/16
by: Amanda Mushro
Mother, daughter and son baking cookies


Baking and decorating holiday cookies with your kids could be a recipe for disaster. It sounds like the perfect holiday tradition but quickly turns into little fingers in the icing to crumbs everywhere, and somehow everyone has sprinkles in their hair. The end result of a few dozen cookies usually mean big cleanup for you. But don't skip out on this holiday fun just because of the mess! With a little prep before your baking assistants get their hands on the cookies, you can add more icing and sprinkles to your cookies with a lot less mess.

  1. Start by covering the cookie decorating workspace so that cleanup is a breeze. Cover the table with a disposable table cloth, wax paper, or even craft paper. You might even want to put a little on the floor if you have really messy bakers in your house.
  2. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and your kids too. If you have aprons, have everyone wear one. Aprons will make for adorable pictures and keep everyone's clothes clean too.
  3. Fill muffin tins with different colored icing and the toppings like sprinkles and candy. I usually give one tin to each of my kids so that no one has to share. It's usually their attempts to share that brings on more mess. Use popsicle sticks or plastic knifes for spreading icing and small spoons for the toppings.
  4. If you're looking to get icing on a lot of cookies quickly before your kids come in to decorate, skip the icing and dip the cookies in melted white chocolate. Your cookies will taste yummy, and you have an iced surface to decorate without getting icing all over your kitchen
  5. For older kids, icing in squeezable bottle--think condiment containers- are perfect for adding icing too cookies. They can add precise amounts and it really cuts down on the mess.
  6. Try this hands-free decorating for cookies with icing. Just place the cookies inside a plastic container, add some sprinkles, put the lid on, and give the cookies a little shake. When your little one is done shaking, the cookie be decorated but their hands are clean.
  7. Edible markers are a fun way for kids to personalize cookies but are less messy than other decorating options. You can grab these at any craft store.