Mother watching children decorate cookies

by Sarah Romero, recipe contributor

Decorating cookies with your kids is a fun activity to celebrate the holidays. It’s also the perfect recipe for sticky faces, frosting-stained clothes, a messy kitchen and complete chaos. Here’s a list of seven things to help minimize the mess and stress:

  1. Cover the table: Lay craft paper or a disposable tablecloth on the table and fold and tape it over the edges for an easy clean up. You can almost guarantee sprinkles and frosting will land on the floor too, so spread one under the table as well.
  2. Use pre-cut frozen cookies: To simplify the process, try pre-cut frozen cookies. All you have to do is bake!
  3. Overcook the cookies: Harder cookies are easier to decorate than softer ones. You may want to slightly overcook the cookies you decorate. (But feel free to undercook the ones you eat, because they seem to taste better that way!)
  4. Use piping bags: Piping bags help minimize the mess and make frosting cookies much easier for children. If you don’t have piping bags, simply spoon the frosting into large Ziploc bags and snip the corner off about 1/4 inch up.
  5. Get the right consistency: Make sure the icing isn’t too thick, so the kids can squeeze it, but thick enough, so it won’t run all over the place.
  6. Buy cheap sprinkles: A lot of the sprinkles will end up on the floor. Buy them cheap. Also, avoid buying sphere sprinkles that will roll.
  7. Be prepared: Keep paper towels, paper plates, wax paper and wipes handy.

These simple steps can help minimize the mess. Now sit back and watch the fun.