Gather your mini bakers and get ready to share some quality cookie time! We'll share tips for baking holiday cookies with kids, along with 10 easy recipes that are perfect for little helping hands. Just remember that perfection isn't the goal and it's okay to get messy, because when you bake and decorate cookies together, you're creating delicious memories to be cherished for a lifetime.
Holiday Cookie Baking Tips
Here are a few tips for making holiday cookies with kids that maximize the fun and minimize the stress.
- Work on a large space like a kitchen table or island, so there's lots of room for little hands and elbows to move freely without knocking items over.
- You can let older kids help measure ingredients while the littlest ones might simply dump pre-measured ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- If you're decorating sugar cookies, prepare icing ahead of time, and gather a selection of sprinkles and candies to inspire creativity.
- Have wet and dry towels handy for wiping hands when needed.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper for easier cleanup.
- Make some cocoa mix so you have something to sip on when cookies are ready for "taste testing!"
Bake These Easy Holiday Cookies with the Kids
From adding icing and sprinkles, to creating mini reindeer and gingerbread men, there are lots of ways to get kids excited about making of each of these easy holiday cookie recipes.
1. Snow Flakes
Get your cookie press ready for this recipe! Home cook Lisa says this is "the BEST spritz cookie dough I have ever made! Cookies can be dressed up or down and my kids loved playing around with different candy sprinkles."
Corn flakes are coated in melted marshmallows, then topped with cinnamon candies to create these sweet little edible Christmas wreaths. This no-bake recipe is great for a quick cooking project that will keep little ones busy and result in a fun holiday treat to eat. Watch the video to see easy they are to make.
These chocolate-covered peanut butter balls are kid-approved, according to home cook, Di J, who says: "Wow—these were fantastic. My kids said they tasted like Reese's peanut butter cups." Kids can help decorate with colorful sprinkles and candy toppings.
Recipe reviewer Bakerwoman is in constant search of ways to keep little ones entertained: "As a daycare provider I am always looking for creative things for the kids to do," she says. And the verdict? "The kids and I enjoyed making these!"
Sour cream and cake flour make these cookies a little softer than your average sugar cookie, which means they can be decorated like a cupcake! Let kids swirl on icing and top with colorful sprinkles. Allrecipes home cook giland says, "I had so much fun making these cookies with my two year old last night. This dough was so easy to work with. I rolled mine really thick so my son could pick up the cookies easily once they were cut out without tearing or breaking."
These gingerbread men are a little less gingery than the average gingerbread cookie recipe, which CAPE MOM77 says makes them perfect for her young son's still-developing taste buds. "I would describe this as a cross between a gingerbread cookie and a butter/sugar cookie," she says. "It was great. I made this recipe with my husband and son last week and we had a blast."
"Baked them with my 6-yr-old daughter," says Allrecipes home cook Maria Ramirez. "Cookies came out great, with soft texture and not as sweet."
These cookies give kids lots to help with: pressing "thumbprints" into cookies (use small bottle caps like those found on an empty bottle of vanilla extract to make indents), filling with jam (spoon jam into small resealable plastic bags with one corner snipped off to make it easier for kids to aim), and drizzling with icing. And remember—uniform-looking or not, it'll still taste delicious!
"Fail-proof," raves home cook Steph. "I followed the directions and everything turned out perfectly." She does have one extra tip, though, to keep the peanut butter cups from melting into the just-out-of-the-oven cookies: "Freeze unwrapped PB cups (or put in fridge)—it's easier to press the frozen candy into the hot cookie without it falling to pieces."
michaux98 adds, "Huge hit in my house. And so easy and fun for my 8- and 4-yr-old to make."
Chocolate cookie dough gets coated in confectioner's sugar before baking, giving these cookies a bit of a snowy vibe that's perfect for the holidays. Little ones will love shaping these into balls and rolling them around in powdered sugar.