You might have noticed how tea parties have become the epitome of grown-up, shabby chic style of late, but it’s easy to forget that they’re loved by children at playtime everywhere. Hosting a tea party with your daughter is a great way to bond, whether it’s a fun Sunday afternoon activity for just the two of you or a big celebration with friends and other mums. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. THE GUESTS
Guests are a serious priority whether your tea party is large or small. Making and writing invitation cards to other mums and daughters is a pre-party activity you can do together – and is sure to get your little girl full of excitement about the big day. If you’re planning a tea party for two, bear in mind that a few dolls, stuffed toys or imaginary friends may also be coming along – and they might want their place set up at the table too. Teapot shaped invitations are cute if you’re looking for inspiration on what kind of card to send your guests (real or inanimate!)
2. THE THEME
Consider with your daughter if you would like the tea party to be themed. You could try a colour theme, animal theme or seasonal theme (and if it’s warm, you could always host your tea party on picnic blankets outside). Or perhaps centre on your daughter’s favourite book or film. Personalising your tea party in this way is a simple way to add a special touch to the event that you can achieve inexpensively.
3. THE EQUIPMENT
A tea party can be just as enjoyable for mums, and it’s a great excuse to get stuck into decorating, bringing out your favourite tablecloth and fancy cups and saucers. Bear in mind though that if you do pull out all the stops with tableware, while it will certainly look the part, little girls might be tempted to break the look-but-don’t-touch rule, which can be a worry when hot drinks are involved. You can always pick up a little plastic tea set for your daughter to play with instead – which will also make her feel every bit the hostess.
4. THE TEA
Perhaps the most important aspect of your tea party! Instead of sticking to builder’s brews, why not add some variety? Trying out some more unusual types of loose tea is a great activity for the adults to get stuck into while the little ones play. If you think the kids want to join in as well, you could have some hot chocolate or gentle fruit teas on stand-by for them to try – certain teas can be a little too bitter for younger palates unless tempered with some milk and sugar!
5. THE FOOD
Making food for your tea party is an opportunity to get creative, and another activity you can enjoy with your daughter’s help. If you’re aiming for a traditional tea party feel, think along the lines of scones with jam and cream, Scottish shortbread, sausage rolls and triangle-cut sandwiches (especially cucumber!) For a birthday tea party, a pyramid of cupcakes can be a charming alternative to the conventional birthday cake – and you can customize each one as well. If you’re a fan of baking, check out these gorgeous cupcake designs.
6. THE FINALE
By the end of your party, you’re sure to have a few cakes upside down on the floor and a child (or several) bouncing off the walls. A nice way to wind things down might be to gather everyone around to hear a story; a little snippet about Alice’s ‘Mad Tea Party’ would of course be ideal. If you have guests to give party bags to take home, keep on theme and alongside the cake or treats package a little tea bag, or tea sample, too.