The best parties are the ones that let kids get involved and be creative. This holiday season, invite kids to join in the fun of an age-old holiday tradition: gingerbread house decorating.
Set the tone (and color palette) for the party with this adorable gingerbread house invitation. Traditional Christmas colors mixed with unexpected gray and graphic patterns create a fresh take for the holidays. Just print, cut and fill in your party details. If hand-delivering the invitations, deliver with a freshly baked gingerbread cookie.
Dress the Part
Find a special outfit that your child can wear to parties and gatherings all season long. Department stores, boutiques and online handmade shops are filled with seasonal clothing, like this vintage-inspired dress, weeks before the holiday festivities begin.
A Sugary Wonderland
Create a dessert buffet inspired by the colors and flavors of the season. To give your dessert table a professional look, use cake stands or wrapped boxes to stack sweets at various heights. String a red-and-green banner atop the buffet.
Gingerbread House Centerpiece
A completed gingerbread house makes a perfect centerpiece for the table. Not only is it a great focal point, it also serves as inspiration for the party guests while they decorate their own mini houses.
Fabulous Paper Details
Most gingerbread houses are made for display purposes rather than actual eating, so why not use paper elements to spruce up the decor? Make this embellishment by folding strips of decorative paper accordion-style and securing with hot glue to create the background fan. Top with the printable gingerbread man party circle design.
Peppermint Lollipop Cake
A simple, layered white cake from the grocery store is easily dressed up with candy. To make, place a store-bought cake on a decorative stand. Line starlight mints around the bottom of the cake to create a border. Place extra mints in a plastic bag and crush into pieces using a mallet. With the palm of your hand, push the pieces into the sides of the cake until covered. Finish the top with a few old-fashioned lollipops. Label each dessert with a pretty food label.
Everyone loves cupcakes. Bake your favorite recipe at home or buy from the store and dress them up with paper cupcake toppers and wrappers. Print the cupcake topper template and use a craft punch or scissors to cut them into rounds. Then, attach the paper shape to a four-inch lollipop stick using tape or a one-inch white circle label. Cupcake wrappers are easy to make from decorative paper to match the theme. Displayed on a pretty cake stand, these cupcakes are hard to resist.
Gingerbread Cake Pops
Cake pops are delicious in any form, but are especially appealing in the shape of adorable gingerbread boys and girls. To make, bake a boxed or homemade cake in a 13-inch by 9-inch pan as directed. Crumble cake and mix with a can of frosting. Form cake mixture into a flat layer and cut out with a mini gingerbread man cookie cutter. Chill the cutouts. Next, dip a lollipop stick into melted chocolate and insert into the cutout to hold the stick in place. Dip the entire cutout in melted chocolate and tap on the side of the bowl to remove excess. Let dry, then decorate with red and white icing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mini Gingerbread House Pops
Proof that anything is better in miniature: These adorable gingerbread house pops. To make, piece together mini gingerbread houses with royal icing. To create a pop, simply stick a marshmallow on the stick before inserting it into the mini house.
Embellish the Table
The best way to display your adorable pops? Fill a colorful pot or bucket with gumballs, then stand each pop inside. To continue the gingerbread theme, decorate candy and dessert containers with pretty ribbons embellished with your favorite printable party circle.
A Home of Their Own
Construct a mini gingerbread house for each guest, attached to a cardboard base with icing. Make it the centerpiece of each place setting. Then, just add a beverage, a personalized name card and a few decorations. For a simple, disposable place mat, use a 12x12 piece of decorative paper. To continue the theme, you can also add a gingerbread man or woman for each guest to eat or use for decorating.
Warm Them Up
Hot chocolate is the perfect beverage to warm up your guests on a chilly winter day. Top with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles for an irresistible treat. Get a hot chocolate recipe here>>
Gingerbread House Decor
Fill bowls with candy for your guests to use to decorate their mini gingerbread houses. Provide a variety of shapes and textures to inspire creativity, plus classic gingerbread embellishments like peppermints, candy canes and lollipops.
Frost the House
Give each guest a pastry bag filled with icing to use as mortar for their holiday home. Or, simply put out a few bowls filled with frosting so that the guests can spread it on with a knife. Kids may need a little help with this part; parents can frost while kids attach the candy.
Let It Snow
Once the kids are done decorating, finish the houses with an edible snow base. Pipe frosting around the house, then sprinkle on shredded coconut. Voila, a sweet winter wonderland.
House Favor Boxes
This box template is the perfect vessel for take-home treats at the end of your gingerbread house party. Since guests are heading home after feasting on a bounty of sweets, fill with trinkets and toys instead. Or, use the favor boxes to house sweet treats for teachers, friends and neighbors.
A Lasting Memory
Tuck a recipe card into each guest's favor box. They can use it to make their own gingerbread people and houses for years to home.
A Sweet Goodbye
Another favor idea: This sweet and simple lollipop. Just attach a printable thank you tag around an old-fashioned lollipop for a favor that's as pretty as it is delicious.