christmas cookies with kidsFor many people, baking Christmas cookies is as much a part of the holidays as a visit from Santa Claus. In fact, many Christmas cookies are prepared in anticipation of St. Nick’s arrival by excited children who are anxious to create something tasty for their favorite gift giver. Preparing the cookies for this special occasion can be a great way to create cherished holiday memories with your little ones. Here are some tips to make sure your cookie baking experience is a great one.

The first thing you should do is set aside a special day and time to bake your cookies. You don’t want to rush through this time. You want to enjoy this moment so both you and your children can look back years from now with fond memories.

It almost goes without saying that you should also make sure that your kids are well rested and well fed before you start. Every parent knows that this rule applies for almost every big event in life! Being well fed is especially important because it will mean less temptation for your child to try to sneak a taste of the cookie dough. Now that we know more about the dangers of foods such as raw eggs, this is a good rule to remember.

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients for every type of cookie you plan to bake. You don’t to have to pack the kids up in the van and run to the grocery store when your little ones already have flour and sugar on their aprons and faces.

If you have more than one child, you’ll want to be sure that every knows they’ll get a turn with the fun stuff like using the mixer and watching things spin around in the bowl. Try to set expectations early about who will be doing what and when. Make sure all the kids know that they’ll all get a turn to participate. You might also want to let the kids select a few cookies that they can paint, decorate, and play with just for fun and their own personal enjoyment. This will guarantee a few smiles from your kids and ensure that there will be plenty of cookies decorated to your level of perfection, too.

Finally, be patient and expect spills and messes. This is one of the reasons why you want to plan your cookie making on a day when the calendar is clear. You’ll need time to clean up when all the fun is done. But try to enlist your cookie maker in the clean-up, too, so they understand that’s part of the process.

If you can follow all the tips above, you’re sure to have a wonderful day making cookies and memories with your children.