Looking for that perfect activity for your child’s birthday party, Girl Scout Troop, or 4-H Club? Most kids like to bake and cook, but there’s a long wait between the time when the cakes or pizzas go into the oven and the time when they’re ready to eat. While you wait, the kids could decorate their own aprons, which they can then take home as a reminder of the day.
The first thing you’ll need to do is pick the food theme of your activity:
- Baking treats such as bread, cake, cookies, cupcakes, or pie
- Making goodies such as candy, caramel apples, ice cream, or other frozen treats
- Cooking foods like pasta, pizza, or soup
Once you’ve chosen the theme, you’ll want to order the aprons. You might have the children’s names embroidered on the aprons, or, if they’re for a particular club, troop, or group, the name of that organization could also be embroidered on them.
When you receive your aprons, you can also further pre-personalize them. For example, if the activity is cupcake themed, you might iron-on a cupcake patch to the apron, or if it’s pizza themed, you might applique some pizza themed shapes to the front of the apron. You might also personalize the aprons with a theme appropriate phrase, such as:
- Time to eat the cupcakes/cookies/pizza/etc.
- Official Cookie/Cupcake/Pizza/etc. Maker
- Official Cookie/Cupcake/Pizza/etc. Taster
However, you want to make sure that you don’t do too much to the aprons, as you want to leave plenty of room for the children to personalize them.
You will need some simple materials for the kids to personalize their aprons:
- Fabric paint, which is available in shiny, puffy, and glittery varieties
- Fabric markers, which are also available in a variety of styles
- Get or make stamps that go along with the theme of the activity – this is particularly useful if you’ve left the aprons free of patches and appliques, as it’s an easy way for the kids to add shapes and designs to the aprons.
It’s a good idea to have a variety of colors and styles to give the kids’ creativity free reign, and you should have extras of the most popular colors so that the kids don’t have to wait for someone else to finish before they can make their masterpiece. You might also consider having fabric glue, scissors, and ribbons or pieces of fabric – as no sewing is necessary, kids can further customize their aprons (this is a good alternative to patches and appliques).
On the day of the activity, you should do the following before the kids arrive:
- Place plastic on the tables to protect them from the paint and markers. Garbage bags, drop cloths, and cheap tablecloths work well for this task. It’s also a good idea to use masking tape or painter’s tape to affix the plastic to the underside of the table so that it doesn’t move.
- Place a good selection of your paint, markers, and stamps in the center of each table, and spread out the aprons on the tables to make sure that each child has enough room to work.
- You should also make sure that the food that you’ll be making is prepped and ready to go – so have veggies and fruit chopped, and have any ingredients like chocolate or nuts out of their packaging and set in bowls.
Once the kids arrive, they can make whatever food items you’ve decided upon for the party. Make sure that anything that needs to be cooked, baked, or frozen is in the oven, on the stove, or in the freezer before they begin working on their aprons. Ideally, they should be able to work on the aprons while the food is cooking, baking, or freezing.
When the children have completed their aprons, the food should be done and everyone can then partake of the feast. You should pick up some inexpensive hangers for the aprons, as they likely will not be dry when it’s time for the kids to go home, and the hangers will make transporting them easier.
Remember, it doesn’t really matter what theme you choose, what food you make, or how much or how little you personalize the aprons in advance. It’s really all about letting the kids show their creativity and, most importantly, having fun.