Saturday, December 20, 2014

Advent Activity: Cookie Party

So, Friday was our annual cookie decorating party, where the kids invite some of their friends over after school to play and decorate sugar cookies.  Sis and I had spent most of Thursday night making dough, cutting cookies, and baking them off.  The first batch--of 6+ dozen!--was tough and seemed to foretell difficulty work ahead--everything stuck and the dough kept tearing when we tried to transfer them to sheets for baking.  I have lots of tricks up my apron strings to remedy that and we even managed to save the very first batch.  So, that's 75 sugar cookies and about 60 small gingerbread pieces.  See, I had this new cookie cutter that made all the pieces for a mini-house in one cut.  Unfortunately, the dough we used--frozen from IKEA--was not great, in that it puffed and then shrank, distorting the pre-made house shapes.  Still, it's a great cutter and we'll try again with a better batch of gingerbread dough.  

Friday, their bus arrived home early and soon their were eight screaming fourth graders and one exuberant first grader (our little bus mate from down the street, whose grandparents didn't meet her off the bus on time because it was early so we just invited her into the party, with their permission when they finally arrived.)  They built their houses, ran around outside for a long time (it was a relatively warm day for December in CT), decorated their houses, ran around again playing Zombie tag and other things, decorated some cookies, snacked on Chex Mix, Smart Corn, and homemade hot chocolate, and then decided to go caroling!

They all have the same music teacher and know the same versions of the same songs, so after a little practice, they headed off to various obliging neighbors' houses, where they sang and danced to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Jingle Bells." It really was quite precious.  We even got all the way down to the 5th-grade teacher's house--yes, Miss K--but she was still at work!  So they sang for her husband and daughter instead.  It really was a marvelous addition to the party--better even that it was their idea--and I'll probably make it more official next year (meaning only I'll tell them all to wear real coats, which they weren't yesterday--and they were in pajama pants for dress-down day at school!)

Soon parents arrived and whisked their cold, sugar-ed up, and merry kids home for the start of their own holiday vacation.

The first graders's model of how to build the house.
Sis's house.  I told her she seemed confused about which holiday it was!

This one turned out the most stable and well built.

It was dress-down day at school so they're all in pajama pants!

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