There are lots of ideas out there for creating a proper and perfect tea party. This post will not be full of those sorts of ideas because, if you are the mother of young children, you may not have the energy to host an intricate tea party and then clean it all up!
Our family has enjoyed many tea parties over the years. When the children were young and my energy and money was low, even a simple party seemed to be a big effort! Now, my older children are tea party experts and create all sorts of fancy goodies and decorations for their friends as well as for their younger siblings. It is a joy to see how those simple parties when they were young prepared my girls to creatively bless others with fancy grown-up teas!
If you are reading this with a toddler on your hip and a baby tugging at your blouse, here are some simple short-cuts for a fun party for your little ones.
Purchase Little Debbie Snack cakes or something similar.
Oh, you don’t usually buy this type of junk food, you say? You’ll find them wherever Hostess Twinkies are found (I usually find them on the end of the snack aisle). They are cheap and cute and come two in a little package (disclaimer; they have absolutely no nutritional value and probably have a shelf life of about 1000 years). Unwrap them and pile them on a pretty plate in the middle of your table.
Can’t run to the store (or don’t have the energy to)? Squish a dollop of peanut butter between two graham crackers and sprinkle some candy sprinkles on top of the peanut butter…or spread cream cheese on celery and add a bowl of raisins to the table.
The Tea Party
I had a little tea party
This afternoon at three.
‘Twas very small-
Three guests in all-
Just I, myself and me.
Myself ate all the sandwiches,
While I drank up the tea;
‘Twas also I who ate the pie
And passed the cake to me.
~Jessica Nelson North
Of course, let your children dress up! Again, get creative with what you have…perhaps your little man just needs a hat and a mustache drawn above his lip to make him feel grown-up. Different clothes can bring out the giggles in even the most introverted child!
Make Cambric tea. Also known as Silver Tea, my oldest loved this as a little girl (not for the taste but for the name). Laura Ingalls Wilder recalls drinking it as a child. It is simply watered down tea with plenty of milk and sweetening to make little girls feel grown-up as they drink their tea with their elders. Of course, in this day and age, drinking tea may not be very special for some girls so having it in a special cup may make it more exciting.
Tea cups can be found at thrift stores (if you don’t feel like trusting your children to be careful with yours). Teach the children “old fashioned manners” ie.,to put their pinkies out as they drink from their tea cups and sit up very very straight.
For older children who can write or draw, let them cut out little rectangles and make their own “calling cards.” Talk to them about going calling and leaving cards at their visit. Teach them company manners by having them knock on the door and politely ask if you are available for “a call.”
Remember, preparing is half the fun. You can enjoy crackers and water together and create delightful memories as long as you enter into your child’s world!