Welcome to Elephant Notes . . . our periodic take on some of the ideas, issues, and news impacting parents, children, and reading.
Just picture it — the kids and you in the kitchen, holiday music playing softly in the background, your littles in small aprons on stepping stools helping you decorate sugar cookies you painstakingly made from scratch.
You picture several hours of fun with engaging youngsters anxious and eager to not only help, but also enjoy every minute of the special bonding time. The picture is beautiful. But chances are, the reality goes something like this: your kids decorating maybe one or two cookies, eat perhaps a good chunk of the frosting, inevitably spill most of the sprinkles on the floor and announce they’re not having fun anymore and want to do something else after five minutes.
Most kids have a small attention span. That doesn’t mean your family cookie decorating time can’t be fun for everyone. Here’s some tips to make the whole experience enjoyable for all:
1. First, remember that although a few hours of cookie decorating may be fun for adults, it’s a long period of time for children. Prepare them with a time frame that makes sense for them.
2. Consider your expectations with what your young children need and can accomplish in the timeframe set. For example, set a reasonable goal for the kids that you all agree on, such as everyone decorates only five cookies.
3. Set up decoration stations for the children. Every child gets a small amount of frosting and sprinkles or candy for all the cookies they decorate.
4. Include a game with the decorating. Perhaps there are small prizes for the most colorful cookie or the most creative cookie.
5. Lastly, offer a special treat at the end of the decoration. Not only will it motivate them to accomplish their task, it will provide a great memory to excite them for next year’s cookie decorating event.
Cookie decorating is a great activity and a memory that lasts well beyond the holidays. Hopefully these suggestions for cookie decorating with little ones help make the experience more fun and less stressful! Happy baking! For great book gift ideas check out Elephant Books for additional information on the gift everyone feels good about!
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