Each year I try and host a fun holiday gathering for the kids and their friends. We’ve had an Elf Dinner, a Nutcracker Tea Party, Polar Express PJ party and more. This year, I wanted to do something with baking but wasn’t really sure how to have 10+ girls baking at my house… then I thought about letting them do the baking at home and hosting a cookie exchange instead. As we are starting to embark on the tween years (and teens not far behind!) I have been also thinking about fun things to continue to do as mothers & daughters amongst my friends. So, this year I decided to host a mother daughter cookie exchange. It ended up being our favorite holiday party theme yet and one I now want to do every year!
The girls had a blast and so did the moms. The girls baked with mom at home and came really proud of their cookies and recipes. We decided to host it in the evening but any time of day is fun for this theme (maybe even a brunch!). The age range of kids was 7-12 as moms with multiple daughters brought their older/younger girls too. It was fun for all of these ages. I now picture us continuing this tradition and someday in the future, all of our girls coming home for college break and hanging out at the cookie exchange 🙂
A Mother Daughter Cookie Exchange
Found this cute one on Minted and edited the wording to make it match our mother-daughter theme. On the invite – key to specify how many cookies. We just did 2 dozen which was the perfect amount for this age group.
Our party started at 7pm. I did apps for the moms & girls: cheese & crackers, a few dips, tater tots and mozzarella sticks (those were a hit with the kids). Then, after they did the cookie exchange, I just left the remaining cookies on the table for them to enjoy as a dessert.
For the drinks: wine and champagne for the moms and a fun holiday drink for the girls of cranberry juice and seltzer.
The Cookie Exchange:
For the cookie exchange portion, I tried to keep it somewhat organized so they’d get to go home with a fun assortment of what everyone made. Before the party I put together these treat boxes from Oriental Trading and wrote their name on it. When they arrived they put all of their cookies on one long table. When it was time for the exchange, they gathered in the living room and got to fill their boxes in birthday order: 1st anyone with a Jan birthday, then Feb, etc. Which was funny because we realized that 1/4 of our party was born in September! They were supposed to start by taking on cookie from each plate. Then when everyone did that and had the full variety, they went around again. Everyone brought 2 dozen and left with at least 2 dozen. Then after that they put their cookie boxes to the side to bring home and enjoyed eating the rest of the cookies on the table!
The games part of the party was a lot of fun! My daughter Alex told me about a game to try where you wrap a gift in layers and layers of wrapping paper and pass it around. It’s similar to the saran wrap game I’ve heard of people doing. For our version, I had an art kit (picture a book size) and wrapped it in all the scraps of wrap and tissue I had lying around from wrapping gifts anyway. Some “layers” I wrapped the whole gift, others I just taped a piece halfway around. By the time I was done, the gift was pretty big! They sat in a circle and passed it around, each girl removing one layer of wrapping paper. The last person got to keep the gift. They loved this game!
Next we did an opposite version version of hot potato. Instead of a “hot potato” it was a “cold snowball”. The other opposite part was that when the music stopped and you had the snowball, instead of being “out” you got a prize. Therefore each girl ended up with a small prize.
For the favors, I found Christmas scrunchies (since they are all the rage with this age group!) and got ornaments that I could write each girl’s name on (both from Oriental Trading) and added tags from Minted.
The house was already decorated for Christmas so I didn’t need much party decor. I added some Christmas baking themed table clothes (wrap from Minted). I also found other cute holiday decor from Minted that went well with a cookie themed party (gingerbread tags, oven mitts, etc).
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