I don’t know about you but I love fall. It’s my favorite time of the year! Each new season presents itself with opportunities to enjoy activities with our families. My kids love to get in the kitchen and cook. They especially love baking and decorating cookies. Recently, we made fall themed cookies for their homeschool group. Not only were they REALLY yummy (I ate waaayyyy too many), but I think they turned out really cute.
Now, as much as they love decorating cookies, and I enjoy baking with them, I don’t enjoy the extra mess. After lots of trial and error, we’ve come up with a system that works great for us to help limit the mess (key word here – limit, not eliminate). I’ve learned that by taking a couple of purposeful steps on the front end it frees me up to truly enjoy the experience with my kids. I know everyone is different — what works for my family may or may not work for yours. It’s important to figure out what works for you. Treasure the moments, and be intentional to make lasting memories with the little ones in your life.
DON’T STRESS ABOUT THE MESS! SEE MY TIPS BELOW:
Use disposable plates/utensils/bowls as much as possible: There are simply some things that are within my control and some that are not. By the time we got finished decorating all of the cookies, the last thing I wanted to do was wash a bunch of dishes. Thankfully, I had taken purposeful steps before we even started baking. For example, I used paper bowls for all the different colored frosting and plastic knives/spoons to decorate the cookies and mix in the food coloring. I also covered the baking pan with aluminum foil and placed wax paper in front of the kiddos to make clean up a breeze.
Tame the Sprinkle Monster: Kids love sprinkles, but they can get out of hand … FAST! If I give my kids the container of sprinkles, they’ll end up everywhere. Instead I shake out small amounts at a time in a small glass bowl. Then, give them a spoon (plastic of course) to dip out the sprinkles and shake over the cookies. Of course they can still spill the sprinkles but at least it cuts down on the amount that can be spilled.
Have Fun; Enjoy the Moment: Enjoy the moment! Besides a quick pep talk when we get started about being careful I don’t say anything about else “making a mess.” I want my kids to enjoy the experience. I also want them to remember mom having fun with them, not talking about cleaning up. We are all wired differently. Depending on your personality, it might be a challenge for you, but it’s so worth it. I know we’ve all heard that one day when the kids are grown up and gone we’ll miss these kinds of moments … mess and all.