Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Nailed It The Home Version aka Crafting Even Big Kids Love To Do

One of my big goals this summer has been to do more creative projects & crafts with my big kids.  For years I've done loads of things for them, but not a lot of crafting with all 3 of them.  Part of the challenge is finding something everyone wants to do.  My 8 yr old daughter loves just about every arts & crafts genre, but try finding something for her plus two boys age 12 & 15.  Not a long list.  Until now.  We found a craft that they ALL love doing:  Nailed It @ Home.

Recently we discovered a contest show on Netflix called Nailed It.  The premise is 3 bakers compete to pull off some amazing themed baking challenges, but the twist is they are all amateurs.  As in real, minimal experience amateurs, not bloggers who are practically professionals.  These are people who forget to put in the eggs despite having a recipe to follow, people who think using 1/2 cup of food dye is totally normal.  People who do not have miraculous decorating skills.  The results take your breath away, but more in shock and surprise than awe.  

It's not a mean-spirited show though, they always try to find positives about the bakers' creations and taste is just as important as looks, so someone always wins (even if it's because they were just the least worst).  And seeing the amazing example bakes is fun too. My kids LOVE it.  They beg to watch it and recently said they wanted to do it themselves.  So we've created our own at-home Nailed It.

We've done it twice now.  I already had a lot of baking gear (that I haven't used in ages, so another good reason to do it) and then we got a bunch of ingredients and decorations.

Our first challenge was making emoji-themed cake pops.  Since we don't have 3 ovens, they had to work together to do the actual cake baking and then each of them worked on their own to mix up cake pops and dip and decorate them.

They really love the judging aspect too.  My husband & I critiqued their work.  How close the details were to the original, how good it tasted, etc.  We were able to give some good feedback on improvements and also focus on their positives too.  Our little guy was our "guest judge", so we held things up for him to get a look.  One cake pop did NOT meet with his approval.  He took one look at it and burst into tears.  A cake pop actually scared a baby.  It may be a first:

Our latest challenge was to re-create one of the show's challenges - this cosmic cupcake:

Image: copyright "Nailed It" by Netflix
Again, they had to work together to make the cupcakes and craft up some buttercream frosting from scratch.  

They were able to use some cake mix and had to find the recipe for the frosting in a cookbook.

We bought some ready-made fondant, but they had to color some of it themselves.

And do all the decoration sculpting.  Like on the show, they each had the option to use a "panic button" to get 3 minutes of help if they got stuck trying to do something.  I let my 8 yr old get a bonus second 3 minutes since she was the littlest.

It was incredible watching them put so much effort into something.  

Everyone took their time and really focused on what they were doing.  They spent an entire afternoon making them.  

Not only did they have a blast doing it, but it was a great learning experience - they had to follow directions, work as a team and individually, problem solve when things didn't go as planned....

They also got to try out lots of tools, techniques and baking materials they'd barely even noticed before.  Developing actual skills too.  When they would ask me to make some elaborate cake they had no idea what went into it.  Now they've got first hand experience and recognize it's not as easy as it looks. There's also a new-found appreciation of the bakers on the show and how difficult their challenges actually are.  The best part is that they enjoy the making more than being proclaimed the winner or getting a prize.  It's been an awesome summer activity and we can't wait for the next round!   


  1. I’m thinking a “Nailed It” birthday cake may be in order!!!

    1. Very fun idea - will have to go through the full cake challenges and find the perfect one to try!

  2. Great to see children get creative. Good initiative. They will have fond memories.

    1. For sure! It feels good to find things like this that they'll remember years later.

  3. How long did you give them for each part of the challenge?

    1. I think it was the same as the show gives for each section.

  4. Do you know which episode of Nailed It the monster cupcakes are from please?

    1. I think it may have been the Out of This World themed one.


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