Yay, it’s Christmas–when there’s nothing more important than being able to distract children who are getting all hopped up over the impending appearance of Santa Claus. Or maybe it’s all about those eight crazy nights of Hannakuh. Kwaanza is coming up, too. Fortunately, there’s a fun way to distract the kids that’s better than just giving up and opening a video game early. There’s a lot of participation and fun when you break out the batter for a Christmas Cupcake Party!
First thing you have to do is bake up a lot of cupcakes (or, if you prefer) cookies for the kids. We’re not going to judge you for using a mix. We sure did. Make two cupcakes or cookies for each lil’ darling that you’re trying to distract for the day, and do two more for every adult (or teen) in the house.
We’re busy, so we’re also buying different kinds of canned frosting. Don’t judge us, please. Also, get some sprinkles, chocolate chips, or those miniature M&Ms. These will be your fixings for decorating.
Get out the plastic knives, paper plates, and cover a table with some wax paper. Also, have index cards (or scraps of paper) for each child (and adult or teen) to fill out (or dictate to you) with the kind of frosting he or she prefers, along with their favorite toppings. This is where it becomes a party. The kids aren’t making their own cupcakes. Their all working together (like little elves, get it?) to fill in all the cupcake requests. (Did you mention this could be cookies instead? That’s totally cool.)
Let the adults be the supervisors–or foremen, if you prefer–as they help the kids decipher the menus and assemble the toppings. This is actually a pretty fun job. You can also turn the kids into a lil’ assembly line, with some in charge of icing and others doing toppings. This also reduces the downtime, since kids will be handing over the cupcakes at a pretty good rate. You might be able to juggle things so that no kid ends up decorating his own cupcake. That can get dangerous. The important thing is that this fun little gathering ends with the cupcakes checked against the menus. Chances are that everyone will get what they “ordered”–and if something went wrong, it’s likely not a big deal. You’ve still got a lot of treats. And you’ll have a good enough time that you’ll be thinking of a way to make this idea work for other holidays. That’s not difficult–but you won’t really be needing to distract the kids when you get close to something like Valentine’s Day.