Princess Tea Party

A few weeks ago, Moonshadow asked me for some ideas for a Princess Tea Party for her granddaughters. She wanted some suggestions for a little lesson on manners too. Moonshadow will hold her tea at a tea room but for those who might like to host the tea at home, I’ve included ideas, including food suggestions, for that too.

Every tea party begins with a plan. First decide on the invitation list. Don’t invite more little girls than you can supervise or ask a couple of the moms to hang around and enjoy the party too. Next pick a date and the hours for the tea. Make your reservation with the tea room as availability is often limited. Most teas for little girls last 90 minutes. Any longer than that and they get restless.

Invitations can be purchased at any card store, downloaded online and printed on your own computer or you can make your own. Allow the little hostess to decorate the invitations for an extra special touch.

I made the one at the top of the page and anyone is free to enlarge and copy it. Cut out the teapot and tag, attaching tag to the pot with a bit of string and add some glitter. Girls will think it is fun to get an invitation in a teapot shape. Write the details in a pretty font on the back of the teapot using a simple who, what, where, when format or something fit for a princess like:

Hear ye, hear ye! Princess Zoey (and Princess Rebecca if there are cohosts) of the House of Andrews request(s) the honor of Princess (name) of the House of (last name) presence at a Royal Tea Party. Footmen and Ladies in Waiting should deliver all Princesses to (the Andrew’s castle) or to the Royal Baker (if using a tea room) at 9878 East Street at 2:00 p.m. on September 4, 2008. RSVP to the Queen or Queen Mother at 878-766-3874.

If your party is to be held at a tea room, you won’t need to do much decorating. Ask the tea room to use pink tablecloths, if possible, and their prettiest china. You might want to add your own arrangement of pink flowers for the table. Do the same at home and don’t forget the cloth napkins! Add some pearl necklaces and other "jewels" and pink, sparkly glitter to the table top. Don’t use paper plates or cups; make this a real tea party for the girls.

At a tea room, there probably won’t be much room for Princess games. You could hand out coloring or game pages or give the quiz I posted last week. You might even have room to set up a Kiss the Frog game. Again you can find this online to download or make it yourself using a picture of any frog and lip stickers or cutouts.

If you have more room, you could play the Princess’s Slipper. Have each girl take off one of her shoes and put it in a large basket or on a blanket. Blindfold the girls one at a time and have them try to pick out her own shoe from the bunch.

A treasure chest is fun if you have space. Use a decorated cardboard box or your punch bowl or other large container filled with sand in which little treasures have been buried. Each girl gets a chance to stick her hand in the sand to pull out a trinket.

If you have several helpers, you might have the Princesses make their own crowns or decorate cookies. These can be messy activities though so use your own judgment knowing the ages of the Princesses.

After game time, the girls should take their places at the table for instruction in some Princess manners. I’ll have a script for this in my post tomorrow. It involves lots of interactive fun and won’t feel like a boring lecture to the girls.

Serving the food is next on the agenda. At a tea room, you will have selected from their menu but at home, you’ll be preparing the food yourself. I’ll have lots of make ahead food ideas and a whole list of tea party sandwiches for children coming up in the recipe section later this week. One caveat no matter who is making the food, these little girls are wearing their best dresses; don’t serve anything that might ruin the dresses if spilled.

After everyone has eaten her tea food and used her best manners, it is time for the Princesses to return to their own castles. (You can give pick-up information to the mothers when they call to rsvp.) Allow the little Princess hostesses to hand out favor bags. If you can sew, it is nice to make bags from velvet or something shimmery and shiny. Tie the bags with a gold or silver ribbon. Oriental Trading Company is a great source for inexpensive treats. They have jewelry, stickers, wrapped candy, gold foil wrapped chocolates, even tiaras and crowns. You might also find glitter nail polish and pretend makeup to add to the bag.

Coming up later this week:
Teaching Princesses Manners, a Script
Tea Party Foods for Children
Fillings for Tea Sandwiches for Children
A Timetable for Getting Everything Done