Princess Tea Party: Good Manners for Children

Here is my script for presenting a lesson on good manners for Princesses at Tea. Give the girls time to respond to each "rule" for an interactive and fun experience. No one at any age likes being lectured at and not spoken kindly to. Use your most upbeat and happy voice.

Good afternoon, Your Royal Highnesses. I’m sure you all know that Princess must have the best manners of all the people of the land. Let’s talk about some good manners we should always use.

Can anyone tell me the Three Magic Words? (Be prepared for albracadabra and bippety boppety boo. Allow the girls to answer and hopefully you’ll get the correct responses.) That’s right, the Magic Words are: please, thank you and you’re welcome! A sweet Princess will always use these words. At a tea party, a Princess is often asked "one lump or two?" (Use a bowl of sugar cubes and sugar tongs to illustrate. Have each girl ask the question to her neighbor and have the neighbor answer with the magic words "one, please," followed by a "thank you" and the girl with the sugar, reply with "you’re welcome." Pass the sugar bowl all the way around the table so each girl gets a chance.)

Princesses should never be loud or noisy at the tea table. It is very rude slurp the tea or to clank the spoon against the tea cup. And certainly no Princess would ever burp at the table! (Show horrified face!) Here’s how we stir our tea: (demonstrate with your own empty cup and have the girls follow.) We never want to stir so hard we break the cup or slosh the tea over the side of the cup onto the pretty tablecloth.

When the Princess takes her seat at the royal tea table, what is the first thing she does? Yes, she puts her napkin on her lap. She stays in her seat and waits for the Queen to start eating. A Princess never sits on her knees on the chair or reaches over her neighbor for the salt. What does she say instead? "Please pass the salt, Beth." (Allow the girls to practice asking for things to be passed.)

Did you ever see a Princess eating mashed potatoes with her fingers? (They’ll all say noooo.) That’s right only babies eat with their fingers. Hmmm, but wait; aren’t there some things that we can eat with our fingers? (See if the girls can come up with anything. If not, remind them of sandwiches, grapes, cookies, bite-size pieces of celery or carrots, etc. You might make a game of this by asking fingers or fork and then naming various foods: Fingers or Forks, spaghetti; Fingers or Forks: a celery stick and so on.)

One of the nicest parts of any Royal Tea Party is being able to chat with other Princesses. Every Princess should try to join in the conversation with something nice to say. BUT make sure you let every Princess at the table get a chance to talk. When one Princess is speaking, don’t butt in. Wait for her to finish.

When a Princess visits another royal palace for tea or dinner or just to play, she must always respect the King and Queen. Always say hello to the Princess’s mom and/or dad when you arrive. And when you leave, thank the Queen. It is especially kind to tell the Queen that her food was good. You might say, "Thank you for inviting me to tea, Mrs. Evans. I loved the brownies." (Again, go around the table, letting each girl use her imagination about a food. Smaller girls might not be able to say the entire sentence but let them play along by just mentioning a favorite food.)

I believe our tea is ready now, Princesses. Remember all the things we talked about so you can show what a lovely Princess you are inside and out.