A kids’ party without fun food is like making it through a Disney movie without crying – it’s just not right. Kids love to eat, and they also love to create, so you can combine these two activities and get all the little chefs involved in making their own fun party food. Looking for a party theme? Done!
Even if you’re not hosting a kids’ birthday party, these ideas can make any group gathering a little more special, whether your little chef is having a sleepover with her BFFs or you’re hosting a playdate. Just make sure to buy enough ingredients for any hungry adults who might get jealous.
Make your own pizza
Yes, you could order in. But your little chefs can make some great memories and some great pizzas if you plan a make-your-own-pizza night.
When you’re at the grocery store, buy a wide variety of toppings, especially those of the vegetable sort: broccoli, onions, chives, cherry tomatoes, and red pepper are among the most common. But this is party pizza, right? So buy a few odd ingredients as well, like asparagus, squash, or eggplant. Jars of marinated goodies are fun too, including artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives. For meat lovers, you can buy salami, ham, or pepperoni (sticking with pre-cooked and ready to consume meats will make prepping eaiser). Load up on giant bags of mozzarella, but also grab some freshly grated parmesan and even some goat cheese crumbles for the most ambitious. If your chefs are older, they can make their own dough, but for little chefs, you may want to buy each one his and her own pre-made pizza crust.
Several hours before the party, prep all of the food by cooking, steaming, chopping, and rinsing all of the toppings. Right before the chefs are ready to make their pizzas, set out all of the toppings. Place each crust on a baking sheet that is lined with aluminum foil. For little chefs, it’s a good idea to have adults add the pizza sauce to the crust, but older chefs can do this step in an easy-to-clean location.
Now, invite the party guests to get creative and watch the fun begin. When the pizzas are cooked, add an extra bit of excitement by letting the kids cut their own pizzas with a kid-safe-pizza cutter.
Ice cream sundae bar
Sleepovers and ice cream are what good memories are made of. But sleepovers and ice cream sundae bars? Well, that’s what great memories are made of.
To plan a great memory for your little chef and his friends, you’ll need to ask a few questions. With your little chef’s help, find out his friends’ favorite ice cream flavors and ask the parents whether any of the kids has any allergies or dietary restrictions. (There are dozens of dairy-free ice cream options out there now!) In addition to the ice cream, you’ll want to buy a syrup or two (chocolate and caramel being the most popular), sprinkles, whipped cream, and cherries. Other fun toppings include chopped up candy, fruit, and nuts (as long as no one is allergic).
Decorating cookies doesn’t have to be a once-a-year event. Liven up the next kid’s birthday party by letting the guests create their own cookie concoctions.
To prepare, buy an assortment of fun toppings (like candy, shaved coconut, sprinkles and mini-marshmallows) and plenty of fun colored frosting. Make or buy enough cookies to provide your guests will three to six cookies each – you and your little chef can bake the cookies together ahead of time if you prefer homemade. Choose a flat-top cookie, like sugar or gingerbread, so it’s easy to decorate.
When it’s party time, break out the Curious Chef Decorating Set and let each kid take a turn creating a cookie masterpiece. While waiting for their turn, guests can pick out their toppings and once the icing is applied they can add the yummy bits and bobbles.
To create an ice cream float, you only need three things: ice cream, a liquid, and a topping. This means that setting up an ice cream float bar at a kids’ birthday party is incredibly manageable and (dare we say it?) easy.
Start with a classic float mug (plastic, of course, so it’s easier for kids to handle), then send kids on their wait to create their dream float. At the first station, kids can select from three or four ice cream flavors. Two of these should be chocolate and vanilla, but the other two can be wild cards. At the second station, guests pick a liquid to top their ice scream scoop. Root beer and cream soda are the classics, but you may want to provide ginger ale and a regular soda as well – fruity sorbet and a lemon-lime soda are also a great option for a summer party! At the third station, kids can add their toppings, including whipped cream, cherries, chocolate syrup or fresh berries.
Cupcake decorating can be a great activity at a sleepover because kids can socialize while they create. Before the party, bake enough cupcakes for each guest. You’ll also want to make sure you take the cupcakes out of the oven long enough that they have time to cool.
Have two or three kinds of icing on hand, along with several kinds of sprinkles. Fresh fruit also make for delicious and unique toppings, so be sure to have berries or sliced peaches or cherries on hand.
Before eating the dressed-up cupcakes, take pictures of the group and of each person’s cupcake. That way, each party guest will be able to have their cake and eat it too.