When it comes to kids' birthday parties, it's all about having fun and providing plenty of good things to eat. Even the pickiest eaters on the guest list will probably like eating pizza, so you can't go wrong serving it as a main course. To make the pizza-eating even more enjoyable, allow the children to customize their own pies.
Allowing the kids to customize their own pizza will not just keep them entertained and busy throughout the celebration, it'll ensure that they'll get exactly what they want to eat. Providing a wide array of healthy and delicious pizza toppings will appeal to all of the young party-goers.
To ensure that the pizza-making experience runs as smoothly as possible, serve all of the ingredients, including the dough, sauce, cheese, and a variety of cooked meats and chopped produce, buffet-style on a on long table. To make cleanup time easier, top the table with a stain-resistant covering that's easy to either wipe down or throw in the washing machine.
Take any of the guests' food allergies or dietary restrictions into consideration when designing the menu. Provide a selection of vegetarian options as well. You can even ask guests to list their needs or preferences when RSVPing to the event.
Here are some tips for planning a kids' customizable pizza party:
1. Provide both white and whole wheat dough, either in dough balls that kids can roll out, or in pre-made pans. While allowing guests to roll out their own dough may be messier, they'll enjoy the hands-on process.
2. Set out bowls of creamy Alfredo sauce so that kids can make a white pizza, and marinara sauce for those who prefer a traditional pie. It's best to stick with a mild, rather than zesty, marinara sauce to appeal to the youngsters' tastes.
Children can have fun spooning their sauce onto the dough in creative shapes, such as hearts and faces, and then spreading it out. You can even have an "art" contest for extra entertainment.
3. Make sure the toppings, including shredded mozzarella cheese, are easy to spoon on top of the sauce. Chop tomatoes, mushrooms, and olives into smaller pieces so that young kids can scoop them onto their dough. They'll also have room to customize their pizzas with more toppings this way.
Get adventurous with some of the toppings to encourage the children to try new things. Some ideas include grilled pineapple and peaches, crumbled blue cheese, and caramelized onions.
4. After the kids are done making their pizzas, place them into personalized cardboard boxes featuring a message such as "happy birthday" followed by your son's or daughter's name as a special touch.
Another option, of course, is to have a pizza party at a restaurant like Scittino's Italian Market Place. This way, you don't have to do as much planning.