Gingerbread Revival

My friend and neighbor Meghan hosted the now annual Gingerbread Party as a fundraiser for our kids' preschool. Honestly, the parents got a real deal when they bought this at the school's auction in early November!!  Not only do they get 3 hours of shopping/wrapping/sleeping in but their kids came home with creations they were so proud of - rightfully so!

Learning from last year's (more on that here), Meghan ran the party the same way with only minor tweaks. This time we had a few more kids but that didn't seem to matter at all. I think the main secret to a successful gingerbread party with kids under 8 is preassembling the houses. That can get tedious for little (or big) hands so having that hard work done in advance leaves all of the time to eating decorating with the candy.  Tomorrow I'll post Meghan's tutorial on how to make these adorable houses!  As with last year, I'll give you a quick play-by-play in case you are planning one of these parties for this weekend or even next year.

Meghan planned on 2-5 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. The kids got there between 2 and 2:30 and all played in their basement playroom for 20 minutes or so. I helped Meghan get the last bits of stuff together and the table ready. When the kids sat down, this is what they had...

Then they decorated the houses for about an hour. We had 3 adults for 9 kids and that worked pretty well considering that Meg's husband was on icing making duty for a good part of that. Meg and I helped the kids find inspiration (they didn't need much help with that!), decorate around tough problems, scoop icing, and wipe their hands. The kids ate a lot of candy but that was all part of the fun!

When they were done, the kids headed outside to burn off some of that sugar.  We had an incredible village of houses!

While Jeff watched the kids outside, Meghan and I made a mad dash to clean up the table in preparation for a quick snack before their parents showed up for the "awards ceremony."

Each child received an "award" for their house... Most Beautiful, Most Sparkly, Sweetest, Tastiest Looking, etc.

Here's my daughter's house for which she won "Sweetest House"!

Come back tomorrow for Meghan's gingerbread house building tutorial!