Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Tea Time: A Delightful Tea Party Fit For Any Princess

Tea parties are always so much fun, and pretty easy to pull off with flair.  A friend is planning a tea party for her daughter's 4th birthday and I have had a blast helping her come up with ideas.

She found an adorable assortment of hats for the girls to adorn themselves with upon arrival.  Feather boas would be a fun addition too. Girls of this age love to dress up, and anything fancy will work for a tea party!

Decor is easy- anything pink or pastel will create a magical tea time.  A borrowed pink cloth table cloth and napkins help to add a grown-up feel to this playful party, which makes the party all the more fun for the little ones.  They love dressing up and "being grown-up."

An assortment of tea cups and saucers will also add whimsy.  A quick google search found the above assortment on  Several mixed sugar and creamer sets, placed strategically on the table will allow the girls to practice serving themselves without having to reach too far around the table.  You could search thrift stores and garage sales, but for something like this I would probably borrow from friends.  Don't we all have a set that came with our wedding china?

You could also borrow the tea cups, but I think it would be fun to send each child home with their teacup as a party favor.

Tea food is so much fun.  Strawberries and cream are easy to do ahead (whip the cream within 30 minutes of the party and keep in a chilled bowl in the fridge) and are so elegant but also kid-friendly. Strawberries are on The DIRTY DOZEN list, so I really think it's worth buying organic ones.

Cucumber and cream cheese (or toffuti for those who are dairy-free) sandwiches are a must-have.  Cut off the crusts and cut into shapes and a regular old sandwich becomes extra fancy!  Fluffernutter sandwiches would also be a fun treat.

Scones and lemon curd are a tea time staple and are easy to make ahead.

The only other thing needed for a traditional tea is petit fours.  These dainty little cakes are absolutely delectable and gorgeous, but IMHO are labor intensive and time-consuming.  I would definitely purchase these from your favorite bakery.

For a craft, I love the idea of making a tea tray to carry their tea cups and saucers home on!  IHeartorganizing has a quick and easy tutorial for this.

I would pre-paint the "found" frames, but an assortment of scrapbook paper to size, and let the girls choose their paper to complete their tray.  You could even let them decorate the paper with stickers or crayons before putting it inside the frame.  If you have access to a photo printer, a tea-time print of each child would make this a keepsake of the event.

You could also use the tea cups or the tray for the invitation, but I like the idea of a little tea tin filled with an assortment of teas.  You could personalize each one and put the invitation details right on the tin. I love the idea of giving guests something that will create PARTY BUZZ.  Being able to sample different teas and seeing the invitation on the tin is sure to get the kiddos excited each time they brew a bag.

And as for the TEA, for little ones, I like to use Celestial Seasonings Fruit Teas.  They are easy to find, cost effective and the fruit teas are caffeine free.  If you buy the sampler on amazon, you can use a few to stuff each tea tin and still have plenty left for the party at the tea.  Gather a few different tea pots and brew an assortment of teas for the kids to enjoy.  For children, I like to put an ice cube in each cup and pour the hot tea over it.  This quickly cools the tea, but without a splash.

I think it's always a good idea to have a play area set up.  For this party, it might be fun to borrow 2-3 kid sized tables and stage a bear tea party at them in an open play area.  You could borrow some plastic tea sets and "set" the table for the party.  The children can play tea party while you set up for each activity.

I cannot wait to attend this party!  Now I'm off to brew some tea...

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