Earlier this week I had the opportunity to help coordinate a Gingerbread House Decorating Party at the Cordova Family YMCA. It was a huuuuuuge success!! We put a lot of work into it ahead of time and it definitely paid off. Every single family that came seemed to really enjoy themselves and every child left with a gingerbread house and a huge smile on their face.
There are a few things I learned by putting this event together that will really help us next year and that I hope will help someone else put together a super successful and extremely fun gingerbread decorating party. Here are some helpful tips:
Don't Use Real Gingerbread
Yep, this one might seem a little silly but when you have a few dozen families signed up to attend and you're trying to stick to a budget, it was much easier for us to use graham crackers for the house pieces and sugar cones for trees.
This was probably the most difficult part of this whole process. Since we were trying to stay within a budget, we determined it was better for us to just try to make the icing ourselves. After some internet searching, I found a simple recipe that didn't take too much time or too many ingredients.
For one batch, which resulted in about ten small snack bags of icing, you simply combine 4 cups of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of meringue powder (which can be found at craft stores), and 5-7 tablespoons of water.
Provide Something to Build On
At first, we were going to use paper plates but they were a little flimsy once you put the weight of a house and a tree on them. So, we cut some cardboard pieces and wrapped them in tin foil. The perfect foundation!
In addition to making the room more festive, this helped tremendously with cleanup!
Get the Whole Family Involved
The best part of the whole night was walking around and watching all the families building holiday villages together. Honestly, the parent's were having just as much fun (if not more) than the kids. Imaginations were running wild and memories were being made.
I am overjoyed and incredibly thankful that I could be part of such a fun event. Already looking forward to next year!