When it comes to parties, more and more hosts are opting to have an elaborate dessert table with several dessert options in place of one big cake. If you’d like to try out this trend, here are some tips for creating a kid friendly dessert table.
Choose a theme. Your theme can be inspired by anything from a great fabric to your daughter’s party dress to her favorite super hero. Once you have chosen a theme you will need to carry the theme through everything on the table. Make sure that you incorporate colors and textures that depict your theme.
Decide on a centerpiece. The center of the table is very important. Many hosts opt to place a cake in the center of the table on a pedestal. For instance, if your theme is sock monkeys, you may wish to have a sock monkey sitting on a small wooden chair. Make sure that the centerpiece is the highest thing on the table. The exception to this would be if you wanted to flank the table with two tall things like topiaries or cake pop stands.
Create different levels using boxes or cake stands. The dessert table will have more interest if everything isn’t just sitting on the table like a potluck. Create levels by placing shoe boxes, hat boxes or even plastic resealable food containers on the table. These ‘stands’ will all be hidden under the table cloth so no one will be the wiser.
Hang an eye catching back drop behind the dessert table. Backgrounds can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. You can hang fabric over an existing drapery rod or hang different colored streamers from a drapery rod for the background. If you have a fall theme, you can attach cut out leaves all over the background. If your theme is based on a fabric then hang that particular fabric behind the dessert table. If you have a guest of honor, you could blow up a photo of the guest and put that behind the table.
Order or make 3 to 5 different small dessert items. Figure that everyone at the party will want to try one of everything and then add an extra dozen for those who take more than one. Try to vary the shapes of the desserts. Cake pops work well for children because they are easy to hold and eat without much fuss. Cake balls or bon bons will also work for an easy to eat dessert. Cut-out sugar cookies lend themselves well to themes and can be ordered from a bakery in various shapes and sizes. Another option would be chocolate covered sandwich cookies, chocolate dipped marshmallows with sprinkles, or macaroons color coordinated with the table.
Order custom labels for your water or soda bottles. Round or square labels that thank people for coming to the event or that herald what the event is, such as “Annie’s 3rd Birthday!”, make a nice addition to any dessert table. Vintage soda bottles can be a cute tie in and the small bottles are easy for a child to hold. Plastic water bottles are also a popular option. If you want to skip the labels, another party trend is to drink out of mason jars with straws that match the color scheme of the party.
Cover different levels on the table with a table cloth that matches the theme. Dress the table with a lovely table cloth that ties into the theme of the fabric or a color that matches. Make sure that it’s big enough, or use more than one, to cover the table and the different levels.
Arrange desserts and drinks in straight lines to add a sense of formality. This won’t hold true if you are serving anything on a round platter, but make sure that there is white space on the serving platters, instead of piling everything up. Line up the drinks so that the labels are all facing the front of the table. Create place cards that tell what each treat is. If you can come up with a cute tie-in to the party theme, that will add to the fun of the table theme. Chocolate dipped bananas could work well for a sock monkey party, for example, and you could label them, ‘monkey bites’.
Create interesting dessert holders to add flair. Cake layered with frosting in a push pop container is more original than having a cupcake. Create paper cones and fill the cones with flavored popcorn or cotton candy and set them in a stand that has holes cut out of it. Create your own candy bar for a party favor by having different candies displayed with a scoop in them and provide a small bag or box that your guests can fill. These goodie bags can double as party favors.
When deserts are bite sized, it eliminates the need for a plate and fork. Provide napkins somewhere on the edge of the table or in different places around the party area. Make sure to provide small waste baskets around the yard or room so that people have a convenient place to throw away cake pop sticks and other trash. Opt for desert items that can be made in advance so that you can enjoy the party too, once your guests arrive.