Christmas Cookies: 10 Tips for Decorating with the Kids

How to have a fun and functional decorating session
Shutterstock Covered in flour and full of fun, these tips will help you enjoy decorating with the little ones!

The holidays are about honoring family traditions, whether they are decades old or just forming. There is always a place in your heart for the rituals and events that happen this time each year, be it tree-trimming or caroling. One tradition we especially love? Cookie decorating.

Cookie decorating, for some, is one of the most sacred holiday traditions. People bust out their baking pans and piping bags and really get down to it. For some, it is about precision and really impressing with their decorative flare. Others go by taste, making cookies that might not look that impressive but will wow with serious flavors. And then there are those who really just want it to be a family activity.

Click here for the 10 Tips for Decorating with the Kids (Slideshow)

Making cookies with the kids is a very different experience from an adults-only cookie party. Obviously, you'll be serving hot cocoa instead of mulled wine. But there are other differences, too. Kids can be messy and so can child-friendly cookie parties. You can’t just consider the good time: you have to consider other important factors like cleanup. But don’t worry, we’ve considered them for you!

For instance, what can you do to give yourself the easiest cleanup possible? Simply line your table with a vinyl tablecloth that will catch any stray icing, sprinkles, and dough that might trickle through those little fingers. And don't be afraid to take shortcuts when it comes to decorating cookies with children, either. Having a hot oven and rowdy and excitable youngsters can lead to injury and disaster. Instead, bake off all your cookies the night before while they are in bed (if you can muster the energy to stay up a little later). Also, assemble all of your icings in advance and keep them covered tightly in the fridge. Don't waste time fiddling with messy food dye when eager fingers are reaching for the next icing tube or sprinkle.

And of course, don't be afraid to be selfish. Adults have more deft hands and can easily craft a beautifully sprinkled snowflake. We love the adorable, mish-mosh designs that children create, but be sure to keep a few grown-up sugar cookies for yourself, if only to brag to your loved ones about your skills.

With all of that being said, it is time to bust out the sprinkles and to wash off the cookie cutters — let’s get to decorating!

For more holiday cheer, visit The Daily Meal's Ultimate Guide to Christmas!

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