Apparently when you offer free food, they shall come. And by “they” I mean every child that has ever wandered through the children’s area.
We had about 80 people attend this program and that’s not counting all the families we had to turn away. If they weren’t there in the first 10 minutes, they did not get a cupcake.
I set up the cupcakes before everyone arrived thinking that would be nice and organized:
I made 48 cupcakes thinking we’d get about 35-40 kids (our average) and that would be enough. It was not enough. They were gone in minutes. Luckily a mom made 12 cupcakes for her own kid who has an egg allergy and she was nice enough to pass out the extras to kids in need.
I put each cupcake on a plate with a napkin and a spoon so when the kids came in they could grab a plate and then move on to the “accessories.”
For decoration we had Hershey Kisses, candy eyes, M&M’s, candy worms, marshmallows and various sprinkles.
I bought four colors of frosting and filled each of these shot glasses from Dollar Tree with about two tablespoons of frosting each. Again, I thought this would be a neat, organized way for the kids to grab two candies, grab one frosting, put them on their plates and find a place at a table.
I made lovely little instruction signs and taped them up around the tables so parents and caregivers could help the kids gather their ingredients:
I made friendly little reminder signs for the doors:
Nice and organized, right?
What actually happened was a
plague of locusts wave of children charging through and demolishing all of the organization. Remember the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas when the kids are decorating the little tree and it’s just a jumble of hands and arms? That’s what happened.
We ran out of frosting and candy in minutes so the kids started lining up next to me and I was tossing ingredients on to their plates.
The program started at 4:30 and by 4:55 it was over and I felt like a carcass that had been picked clean by buzzards.
In hindsight, we should have let in the appropriate amount of kids for the number of seats we had and formed a line in the hallway and as seats opened up, let more kids in. But when we opened those doors it was like being bombarded with teeny tiny battering rams. And much like battering rams, they weren’t to be stopped.
This program cost about $30 by the time I bought plates, napkins, cake mix, spoons, frosting, etc. but we did have some leftover ingredients/supplies for future events and next time I’ll have a better gauge of how many ingredients are needed for 48 cupcakes/kids.
We went through approximately a pound of M&M’s; one bag of mini marshmallows; one 0.88 oz. pack of candy eyes (each kid got two); two bags of gummy worms; one jumbo can of sprinkles; and 12 oz. of Hershey Kisses. I bought four frostings but next time I would buy two more in fun colors or give each kid less to start. I gave them about two tablespoons each which is way more than you need to frost a cupcake but I thought they might need extra for their cupcake design vision.
I got some ideas about how to organize the ingredients here. I named this program Kids in the Kitchen. If it was popular I thought we could do others under the same title. I think we’ll be doing others …
It was chaos but the kids loved it and devoured their treats in minutes. I think next time we’ll try gingerbread men. With a registration list!