I lined up 4 cookies (one of each shape) on her place mat and made little piles of smarties, gummy candies and licorice pieces. I also bought some red, green and white cookie icing from Michael's. Before I go any further, let me just say that it was worth the $20 for the three pack of icing. Don't waste your time making royal icing for these cookies especially if you have already made the gingerbread yourself...you've already done your part!
Anyways, I thought I would show Ella how to decorate one of the cookies first so she had some idea of what we were doing. After all, she's never decorated cookies before! I got a gingerbread man and covered him with icing. Then I put a couple of smarties on him for 'buttons'. Before I was even finished this 10 second process, Ella had already taken a bite out of one of the undecorated cookies!!
I asked her if she could put some more decorations on my gingerbread man and she replied 'no' as she grabbed a smartie from the pile in front of her...and then another..and then another. Finally, she picked up a bottle of red icing and tried to put it on one of her cookies. I had to help her squeeze and 'aim' the icing, but she managed to get one of the cookies covered before taking a bite out of another cookie. The activity pretty much went on this way until all of the cookies were decorated. I ended up bringing over a few more for her to do because she seemed to be having so much fun with this activity. The funniest part was when she asked me for a glass of milk (she never asks for milk!!) because of all the sweets she had eaten.
Needless to say, she was quite chatty and active for the rest of the evening, however, I think I timed her 'crash' perfectly with bedtime. I still have 5 dozen cookies to decorate, so we may be repeating this activity again soon! There are lots of pictures...
|helping Ella squeeze the icing bottle|
|note the bite out of the candy cane cookie in her left hand|
|eating a smartie!|
|and eating again|
|finally starting to decorate the tree cookie!|
|doesn't let any icing go to waste|
|the finished product minus one or two that went 'missing'|
|we managed to get Harry into a pic!|