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How to Throw a Gingerbread House Decorating Party

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Run, run run, as fast as you can -- to this gingerbread house decorating party!

Invitations

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A cute way to invite guests and get them into the spirit of a gingerbread decorating party is to send a plain, gingerbread person cookie. Wrap it in cellophane, and attach a tag that outlines the party details. You can add a note that asks guests to decorate their cookies with the embellishments of their choice, or include a few small candy decorations with your invitation.

More ideas for gingerbread-themed invitations:
  • A gingerbread person cut out of cardstock paper, that guests can decorate with craft supplies and then bring to the party to show off their creations.
  • A recipe card that reads something like:
    Recipe for a Good Time:
    1. Gather friends.
    2. Bake Gingerbread.
    3. Add decorations.
    4. Stir in a dash of party games.
    5. Set the timer for two hours of fun!
  • A box of gumdrops or peppermint candies topped with a label that invites guests to bring them to the party to use at decorating time.
  • A flyer or postcard printed with an image of a Gingerbread Man. The heading can read something such as “Run, run as fast as you can to Caylie’s gingerbread party!”

Decorations

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Since the main focus of a gingerbread making party will be the work table, you may wish to concentrate your decorating efforts here. Some ideas for gingerbread table decorating include:
  • Gingerbread printed placemats.
  • An apron draped over each chair and a chef’s hat at each place setting.
  • Gingerbread patterned bowls, filled with goodies for decorating.
  • A large gingerbread house as the centerpiece.

Gingerbread Houses

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There are a few different ways to build the gingerbread homes for the children to decorate. The choice that is best for your occasion will depend on factors such as whether you wish to actually bake the gingerbread yourself, the size you want each house to be and if you want the finished projects to be completely edible. Pre-packaged gingerbread house kits are certainly the easiest way to go, but if you wish to bake your own, you’ll need a gingerbread house recipe. Another option is to have the kids build their gingerbread houses using milk cartons and graham crackers.

Since decorating the houses will take a good amount of time, it may be best for the gingerbread houses to be pre-assembled, one at each place setting, when guests arrive. For occasions where time isn’t an issue, however, the “bake and build your own” method is certainly a fun way to go.

In addition to a gingerbread house at each work space, children should also have decorating supplies within their reach. You can add small bowls of candy and frosting to each place setting, or divide the ingredients so that two or three kids can share them at a time. Suggestions for decorations include:
  • White icing: Enough for each child to coat their homes in snow as well as to use as the glue for sticking all of their decorations to their structures.
  • Candy canes and small round peppermint candies.
  • Gum drops, spice drops and spice rings.
  • Mini marshmallows.
  • Small, round, color-coated, chocolate candies.
  • Licorice.
  • Lollipops.
  • Gingerbread people cookies.
  • Christmas tree shaped cookies.

Activities

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While decorating gingerbread houses is the main activity at this party, you may want to provide some entertainment while the houses set. Kids can play gingerbread themed party games, create an additional gingerbread craft or read a story such as The Gingerbread Man, or The Gingerbread Pirates.

Food

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Sandwiches cut into the shape of gingerbread men are one idea for meal time that are easy to make and clean up after -- a bonus considering the probability that the decorating table will turn out far from tidy!

For dessert, some gingerbread inspired options include:

Favors

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Your party guests can take home the gingerbread houses they decorated as their party favors. In addition, you can pack any leftover candy into individual treat bags.

More ideas for gingerbread party favors:
  • Gingerbread cookie cutters.
  • Gingerbread scented hand soap.
  • Gingerbread aprons.
  • Mittens.
  • Gingerbread ornaments.
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