Party Tips & Activities
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What little girl (and big girl) doesn’t love an afternoon tea party? These simple tips can help you host a tea party she’ll long remember.
- Does your tea party have a theme? Popular themes include a garden party, a princess tea, a Victorian tea, or an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter’s tea.
- Always remember to involve your young hostess in the planning process. You may be surprised at the wonderfully imaginative ideas she has to offer.
- Plan for midmorning or midafternoon. Send out party invitations at least three weeks in advance. Invites can match your theme, if you have one, or be sent along with a tea bag. Ask the attendees to wear their finest tea party dresses. And include both a starting and an ending time to your event, so parents know when to retrieve their children. Two hours is an appropriate time for a child’s tea party. Longer than that may tire out young ones.
- Provide fancy hats and fascinators for guests to wear when they arrive, along with strands of “pearls” and inexpensive costume jewelry necklaces and rings.
- You don’t want to put out your best china when children are involved. Purchase a used or inexpensive tea set to use for the party.
- Hold the party outdoors if possible. A garden party is always pretty, and makes it easier to deal with messes and excess energy.
- You can’t go overboard when decorating for a tea party—too much is never enough! Think tons of flowers, ribbons, lace and bows, tutus and tiaras. Use a charming tablecloth, teapots filled with flowers, cake stands, and pretty plates (pretty paper plates are fine!).
- Play games that suit the event, such as Pass the Teacup, word games using tea party-related language, spoon races with a tea bag on each spoon, or building the tallest tower of sugar cubes.
- Serve special tea party food: tiers of finger sandwiches, petits fours, bite-size fruits such as berries, cookies or biscotti, scones, pastries, toast with jam and clotted cream.
- Although some little ones may like strong tea, most children will prefer a mild or sweet tea. Try a vanilla tea, herbal teas, or fruit-flavored teas. Serve decaffeinated tea chilled or at room temperature, not hot, and have other beverages on hand, such as pink lemonade (in pretty teapots, of course), for children who don’t like tea.
- Show the girls how to hold cups properly and make a game out of learning tea party etiquette. You could even ask everyone to speak in their finest upper-crust British accents and address one another as “My Lady” or “Your Highness.”
- Have another adult or two on hand to help with the serving and hosting duties. And assign one grown-up as official photographer—you’re definitely going to want to have plenty of photographic memories of this day, and it would be nice to include a picture in the thank-you notes sent later.
- Perfect tea party favors include a crown or tiara, a small bag of cookies, tea bags, or small toys. Let guests wear their “jewels” home.