How to throw a spelling bee party

How do you spell fun? This sweet word-themed party will have your preschooler buzzing.

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Photo: Erik Putz

To create a busy hive for your activities, you won’t need much in way of decoration. Make a simple garland by cutting out circles from yellow and black card stock. Hot-glue your circles onto a long piece of twine.

Bee our guest
Make antennae for all the little bees. Twist together yellow and black pipe cleaners. Wrap one-quarter of one end of the pipe cleaners around a headband. Hot-glue a black pompom to the other end. Repeat to make the other antenna.

Word search
Write various letters on yellow foam paper and cut into tiles. Stash tiles in plastic yellow Easter eggs and hide them around the room. Have kids search for “letter hives” and see how many words they can make with them.

By the letter
Prepare yellow playdough. Set out alphabet stamps and have guests spell words by pressing the stamps into the dough.

Sweet race
Spray-paint two flowerpots gold. Draw letters on 10 beanbags to spell “honey” twice. Split kids into two teams and have them race to get the “honey” into their beehive.

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Photo: Erik Putz

What’s a party without a sweet treat? Here’s what you’ll need to make honeycomb-shaped cookies and bitty bees: white royal icing (see tip below), yellow food colouring, 2-inch hexagon-shaped sugar cookies, zip-top bag, brown candy melts, yellow jelly beans, sliced almonds, black gel icing.

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Photo: Erik Putz

1. Mix 4 bowls of icing to make four shades of yellow. Dip flat surface of each cookie into the icing, pulling each cookie straight up to let excess icing drip into the bowl.

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Photo: Erik Putz

2. Let cookies set on a rack, preferably overnight.

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Photo: Erik Putz

3. To make bees, fill a small zip-top bag with melted brown candy melts. Cut a small tip off the corner of the bag, and drizzle stripes across each jelly bean. Make two “eyes” at one end. Carefully transfer jelly bean to a plate. Stick on 2 sliced almonds for “wings.” Let dry.

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Photo: Erik Putz

4. Once cookies are dry, pipe letters on with black gel icing. (Tip: Do not stack cookies.)

Tip
Make your own royal icing by beating 3 egg whites with 1/4 tsp white vinegar in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until foamy. Gradually beat in 5 cups sifted icing sugar until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until icing is thick but still foamy, 3 to 7 min. Stir in 2 to 3 tbsp cold water to thin the icing to desired consistency. It should be thick and smooth.

A version of this article appeared in our September 2016 issue with the headline “Spelling bee party,” p. 20.

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