Kids love to help. While their help can sometimes mean 10 times more work for you, it does keep their hands busy and out of trouble. If you are ready to bring the kids into the kitchen, let them help you decorate the cake. For an extra bit of fun, let them decorate their own mini cakes or cupcakes for a party. Get some wet rags ready and keep a glass of wine on hand for your own sanity.
For Baking Builders
Before calling the kids into the room, prepare a number of items that they can attach to the cake with ease. If the kids have good eye-hand coordination, give them access to icing. If not, ice the cakes in a neutral color, such as white, before the kids enter. Items for attachment might include shaped sugar cookies, gummy candies, pieces of fondant in various shapes or licorice. Let the kids build a scene or decoration on their cake. Keep an eye on the designers. Once they reach a stopping point, scoop up the items and put them away, before the cakes are destroyed with creativity.
For Wild Creators
If your kids are a little antsy and love to move, fill shakers, such as spice or salt shakers, with colored sugars, candy sprinkles or powdered sugar. Cover the cake with white icing. Put on some music, preferably a dance set. Invite the kids into the room and offer them a selection of shakers. For the duration of just one song, let the kids shake their little hearts out decorating their cakes. Depending on how full their cakes are, let them repeat this process for one or two more songs. They can shake as much as they want, but only while the song is on. Once it’s done, they’re done.
For Culinary Rembrandts
If your kids deem themselves artistic prodigies and have pretty good control, let them get a little more creative on the cakes. Ice the cakes and give the kids a selection of cookie cutters. Show them how to set a cookie cutter into the icing and remove to leave the shape’s outline. Give them some pastry bags filled with different-colored icing to let them trace, fill in and decorate the shapes. If they show some promise, show the kids how to make a basic cake decoration around the edges of the cake. Let them personalize the cakes with their names, flowers, swirls, stars and other favorite shapes.
- cake image by maya from Fotolia.com