Classes for Kids? Absolutely.

Polite Piggy's Aftercare at Maury Elementary has a busy childcare education program for children from pre-school through 5th grade.  This past spring was my first venture putting together classes for these artsy children and it has been a learning experience for everyone.  

Working on perfecting red royal icing.

We met once a week, from 4pm-6pm, 12 kids all between the ages of 8 - 11.  I started the classes with a quick review and then a demonstration of the skill for the class.  The kids really seemed to enjoy learning the techniques and skills around pastry decorating.

I am currently producing classes for their summer camp but the class is much more concise and two quick groups of 12 have about 45 minutes each to watch, learn and practice a skill.  I'm challenging myself to make it work.

One major tip for anyone holding a children's cooking or pastry decorating class...have a theme.  Animals, holidays, seasons, something that will bring the class together and keep the kids focused and on task.  Otherwise, no matter how old they are, they will get bored. Two, be over prepared.  We moved the class a lot this time.  It wound up in a less than ideal space but the kids had a great time and that was the goal.  Third, be patient.  Generally speaking if you can manage their expectations, generally demonstrate the task, the activity will be much smoother.  This group was great.  I'm not sure if I will have the same group again in two weeks, but they seemed excited to see me again...we'll see.  

This first summer camp class theme was for Independence Day.  The kids had free use of red, white and blue M&M's, star sprinkles, white sugar pearls, sanding sugar, and homemade royal icing that they could color themselves.   I found some cool acrylic containers at the dollar store and that made it easy to move the toppings around the tables for the kids.

My crowning achievement was that there weren't any children without smiles at the end of the day.  And no one went home with a purple cookie

A patriotic sugar cookie.

A patriotic sugar cookie.