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Decorating Cookies With Toddlers and Preschoolers

Rolling out gingerbread dough

My kids love decorating cookies – making them, too! They love every step of the process, beginning with mixing the dough and rolling it out.

Rolling out flour

These photos are from a cookie-making session in January, when then-17-month-old Lily was very happy to roll out flour while Emma rolled out the dough. 28-month-old Lily would definitely insist on rolling out the dough!

Examining the cookie cutter

The kids love picking cookie cutters, and playing with them.

Decorating the cookies

In general, I’m a fan of making things from scratch, but the icing that comes in tubes is so child-friendly that even a toddler can use them.

Focusing on icing the cookie

Lily was so thrilled to be able to control the icing, that she spent much longer decorating her bear than the other kids!

decorating cookies makes good fine motor practice for toddlers

Another variation on cookie-decorating that we love is putting Nutella on sugar cookies. These photos are from March! Adding the candies was great fine motor skill practice for then-19-month-old Lily!

Putting candies in just the right spots on the cookies

Emma spent a lot of time deciding where to place each candy, to create the perfect masterpiece:

showing off a cookie masterpiece

Johnny was mostly into eating the cookies:

Tasting the finished product

Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him eat an actual cookie. Mostly he eats the frosting and candy off the top.

satisfied cookie baker

Nothing better than eating a treat you designed and made!

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

18 thoughts on “Decorating Cookies With Toddlers and Preschoolers”

  1. critters and crayons

    This is always a good activity! The making of the cookies and the icing and the decorating can make for a whole day of interaction. We love it! Looks like your kids did,too!

  2. Grumpy Grateful Mom

    I love their faces as they’re concentrating on their cookies! We don’t make cookies too often, usually about two or three times a year, but always in December. I may be lazy this year and just buy the dough. :)

  3. Look how little they all are! So sweet. Abby and I made gingerbread playdough tonight and we both had fun using the cookie cutters with it. It smelled good too and I wanted to eat it. LOL!

  4. I was just thinking today about how I wanted to make Christmas cookies with the kids. I’ve never tried nutella on them before. Sounds yum!

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