- Build the house for them, then let them decorate it.
Trying to let kids build their own house is a recipe for frustration and disaster! Build the gingerbread houses ahead of time so the icing is dry, and then let them decorate it already built!
- Tie a twist tie or elastic on the back of the frosting bag so they don’t squeeze out all the frosting from the back!
Kids will always hold icing bags in the middle. Avoid icing exploding out the back by tying a small elastic hair tie or something similar around the open end of the icing bag to help avoid this!
- Make it a learning game! You can test them on the colors of candies they put on the house, have them count how many candies they use, or spell the color or name of the candy they’re using, depending on how old the child is.
"What color candy do you want to put on next? Lets count out 5 candies. Can you spell chocolate?"
- Limit the options for candies. When kids have 35 candy options, it can be overwhelming and it can get messy and out of control really fast. Give them 5-10 candy options at most!
- If you’re wanting to keep it a little bit cheaper with the kids, stick to less expensive candies - M&M’s, Mike & Ikes, Candy Canes, Pretzels, cereal, etc.
- Keep a wet hand towel at each of their spots for them to wipe their hands or frosting bag on.
Trust me on this one. They will need to wipe their hands or the icing bag about every 30 seconds!
- Make a smaller house! You can use the mini A-frame template in our eBook, or print the 4 wall house at 60% (you can do this in the printer settings when you print the template)
- Use individual snack ziplock baggies for frosting and just cut the corner off
If you don't have icing bags and tips or just don't want to deal with it, using ziplock bags and cutting a small hole in the corner works just as well! I'd still secure the end with an elastic, though, because the ziplock edge is still easy to pop open!
- For younger kids, you pipe the frosting onto the house, then let the kids put the candy onto the frosting.
I like piping on a bunch of stars or dots and letting them add candies to them. It makes it easier for the kids because they have specific place to put the candies, and then they won't get frustrated trying to use an icing bag!