Hi! I'm looking to host a class for my friends and their 4+ year-old daughters. I was wondering if anyone could give me some suggestions on what to cover at the class that are some really basic techniques that both mom and daughter could learn and work on together. I know this is kind of a weird request! Thanks in advance!
Maybe you should do basic PYO (paint-your-own) cookies - the kids are pretty small . . . i.e., ice cookies and outline shapes in black in advance; then let kids fill in the colors with food coloring markers or painted coloring.
Any one else have any ideas? I don't have kids, so I'm not the best person to give advice here!
With a 4 year old? That's a brave thing to do - I hope you are good friends with your cleaning equipment *lol*
Even the most talented kid that age will have problems mastering any technique, I fear, but I know someone who gives classes for kids 6+, and I know that she works a lot with rather stiff icing, food color pens, and sprinkles.
Stiff icing has the advantage that it is easier to handle and less likely to go everywhere but on the cookie. Techniques that go with it are easy track-and-trace patterns (which you can draw on a blank cookie in advance), e.g. a Christmas tree with dots as baubles. You might even give brush embroidery a try.
Food color pens are probably the easiest and least likely to cause a complete mess. You can ice some cookies in plain white in advance, stamp or draw simple black outlines with a food color pen, and let the kids paint them just like a coloring book. This is something I do for my nephews, 4 & 6, pretty regularly - and they just love it!
Sprinkles are a nice way to give the kids a sense of achievement. They can go wild with the stuff and stick it to their stiff icing designs, or you can help them to flood a cookie and then dab them into their favorite sprinkle. But please note that you will have sprinkles all over the place, even in rooms the girls have never been to, for weeks. And this is also a personal experience. My aunt is still complaining about the mess my cousin and I made 35 years ago
I hope you will have fun with your friend and her daughters!
I did something for a kindergarden group a while back and I used popular images from well known German fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood which I had printed out before (wafer paper). We put them on the Cookies together and then I gave them food color pens to paint. Worked very well.
You can give them cookies that are already flooded and dried and hand them edible pens. Be prepared that they might want to taste the pens.
We did cookie decorating for my daughter's birthday party. I taught them how to marble a cookie and they loved it! If you like, you can have mom pipe the lines and let the kids drag the toothpick through. This is a fun and easy project, and the results are instantaneous and mesmerizing! You can also pipe a bunch of transfers in advance for the little ones to place on an already flooded and dried cookie (I used flowers for my project). Just stick them on with RI and you're ready to go. And transfers are much tidier than sprinkles!
You are going to hate me but the easiest way out of this is to use fondant.
Its like Play Dough to the child so she will have familiarity with it. However for the mother you can show her basic techniques that are easy for beginners and give lovely results.
Impressions mats, molds and cutters with some basic ideas and designs and you're on your way!
If you want to go with flooding or marbling then you might want to use icing bottles instead of bags.