Before guests arrive, construct a gingerbread house for each child. You can buy prepared houses or use this easy recipe. Set out bowls of icing and candy that the kids can use in their design. (If older kids want to try piping, fill a resealable bag with icing and cut a tiny hole in the corner.)
Once the kids are finished, set the houses aside to dry and get busy with games. For Candy Relay, split the guests into two teams and line them up across from each other. Give each child a wrapped candy, and the kids at the front of the line a pair of mittens. When you say “go,” the first kid has to put on the mittens, unwrap the candy and put it in his mouth before passing the mittens to the next in line. The first team to finish wins. Other fun games include Pin the Bowtie on the Gingerbread Man, and Marshmallow Toss, where kids try to toss marshmallows through miniature wreathes.Photo: Tony Lanz
Cut gingerbread-shaped men out of cardstock. Write the event details on a piece of paper and attach to the belly. Accessorize using ribbons and markers.Photo: Tony Lanz
Set out a cluster of these festive paper trees for the perfect candy forest decor:
1. Gather your supplies. You’ll need a sheet of bristol board, scissors, tape and paper cupcake liners.
2. Cut a square of bristol and roll into a cone. Secure with tape. Cut the buttoms out of the cupcake liners.
3. Wrap the first liner around the base of the cone; secure with tape. Repeat with the next liner, overlapping slightly. Continue until your entire tree is covered. Add a topper if decired.
4. Ta-da!Photo: Tony Lanz
Use a combination of regular and mini-sized marshmallows to make these sweet treats. Attach them together using icing. Decorate with food colouring. Use paper to make cone-shaped hats.
You can bet that as kids decorate, they’ll also want to do some taste testing. Keep hungry hands off the main real estate with bowls of gingersnaps. (Bonus: They can decorate those, too!)
Hot chocolate is sure to please all of your petite partygoers, and it’s easy to make. Other options include apple cider, a fruity herbal tea or a warm punch.