Hello Cakesters!

A recent discussion with some fellow cake decorating instructors inspired me to tell you about my experience with kids in my classes.

My cake decorating classes are for adults; anyone sixteen years old and under requires an adult to take the class with them. While the classes are alot of fun you are still really learning something and so as with anything worth learning, there is work involved. You have to prepare by baking, making icing, coloring it, buying supplies and etc. For most adults, it's not a big challenge but for a child it's a lot of work which a parent will have to supervise.

I have overlooked this policy a few times. I can be flexible but more often than not and for more than a few reasons, I regret it. I had two lovely ten year old girls (BFF's) take the class and the mom insisted on not registering but would sit and read while the girls learned. I must have scared them when I argued with the mom on the first day about her taking the class with them because they were very serious and tried their hardest to do their best. Poor girls, I’m not sure if they actually had any fun in the class! I was very nice to them and tried to teach them like I would an adult and I was extra nurturing because of their age. Oh and before I forget, mom read for the first lesson and there after dropped them off for class and disappeared for each lesson. What else did you think was going to happen?
There were also two other adult BFF’s in the class. How would you feel if you were in your 20’s or 30’s, getting together with your BFF for some fun bonding time and have to do it with ten year olds; not two girls with a mom (at least you could relate to the mom!) but two ten year olds. Think about it.

Most recently I have had a 14 year old girl in my class that I swore was at least 17-19. I actually forgot that I let her take the class without an adult as a favor to one of the store employees! She has taken, CI, CII, F&GP and I wouldn’t be surprised if she takes CIII with me in a couple of weeks and ends up making her quincinierra (sorry for spelling) cake when she turns 15. This is an important birthday for girls in Hispanic culture.
She has been wonderful and I forget how old she is. She isn’t the MOST prepared person, she isn’t the BEST at techniques but she gives her all and she loves it! The class makes her happy, makes her feel special, I can tell. I am glad I allowed her in my class but again, I did it as a favor to a friend. She is a wonderful exception to the rule.
I also agreed to do a cupcake decorating Birthday Party when someone asked me as a favor. I had 20 girls, yes 20 tweens! Yikes! I must admit I was scared, a little, at first. Mom and Dad were there the whole time so I figured if the kids turned on me at least I had some back up! LOL! Kidding! The girls were awesome! I would do it again in a heart beat. I started out as I would in class. I welcomed everyone to the Birthday Girls Birthday party, introduced myself and told them I usually teach grown ups so I was going to teach them cake decorating like I would if they were grown ups. I think that made them feel special.
I then told them a few rules, nothing big but I was worried that they would run wild screaming and throwing icing and eating it before it got on any cupcakes. I was imagining the worst! After all the running, screaming, wild banshees I see when people bring their kids shopping, you see why I could imagine the worst. I wonder what parents are thinking sometimes. Anyway, my rules were; no licking of anything! No fingers, spatulas, cups, anything and I explained why. Hygiene, of course! Dad, in the back of the room actually laughed at me and said, “Good luck with that one”. LOL!

Do you know not one girl broke that rule? The next rule was not eating until they had their proper lunch which was pizza and that we would sing Happy Birthday to the Birthday girl, before eating their cupcake creations. The next rule was helping and sharing and all in all I was really proud of those pre-teen girls. I showed them how to color icing then had some of them work in teams to make a few colors. I showed them how to cut a bag to put in a tip and then how to fill a bag. Once they had their bags of icing, I showed a few icing and decorating techniques and let them have at it!
They all did a great job and were very well behaved. I was so relieved and the parents were very happy too.
Happy Caking!

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