Ideas on Hosting a Little Girl's Tea Party Birthday
The perfect tea party must begin with a great location. A nice spot in your backyard or even an outdoor porch or patio would work. If you do not have a backyard of your own, maybe grandma or another relative or friend would offer theirs or you could head to a local park. If those options are not available or the weather won’t cooperate, choose a quiet spot in your home (the dining room or formal living room would work well).
If planning to host it outdoors and there is not enough greenery, gather up some of your houseplants (they’d love a breath of fresh air!) And place them around the area.
Try placing some at various heights for added interest. If you’re real motivated, you can either purchase or make a few colorful topiaries (real or fake) to lend to the garden party theme. Look at a thrift shop for an old, small teapot (you don’t even need a top for it!) and fill it with a bunch of cut flowers, trimmed to fit into the pot and use this for the table centerpiece.
Use the smallest table you can with still being able to seat everyone comfortable. Tea parties are meant to have a more intimate feel and a too large table will make it seem more like a banquet. Be sure to cover the table with a very large tablecloth or pretty flat sheet would also work well. Try to completely cover the legs of the table and then use a smaller tablecloth topper over that. A floral print coupled with a solid color would work nicely. Try to use matching chairs if possible but if they are mismatched, try covering the chair backs with matching pillowcases and tying a large tulle bow around the base where it connects to the chair seat.
You can even skip the pillowcase and drape the entire chair in tulle and secure with additional pieces tied into bows. You can also purchase several colors that match the tablecloths and layer them for a unique effect.
To make the party even more special, while you’re visiting your local thrift shop for the teapot centerpiece, look for a variety of pretty teacups and saucers with delicate floral designs. Make sure that they are all in good shape with no cracks or chips. Get one set for each guest and pick up a few extras which you can use to make teacup candles (purchase wicks and scented wax at your local craft store) or you can simply insert scented tea lights into the extra teacups.
If you do not own a special teapot, you may search for one at the thrift shop or local discount store.
Look for a variety of special occasion dresses (one for each guest). Thrift stores always carry many bridesmaid and special occasion dresses that would be perfect for dressing up in as well as some inexpensive costume jewelry to accessorize the dresses. The stores often have sales on the clothing so be sure to check around and ask the clerk about any upcoming sales to save a few dollars. If you do not want to purchase dresses, just be sure to have each guest wear their fanciest dress to the party. If you are supplying dresses, a small, portable closet, trunk or floral print cardboard storage box with lid would make a good place to store the dresses for the party.
On the day of the event, prepare crust-less finger sandwiches in a variety of kid-friendly favorites. Arrange them neatly on pretty plates covered with a paper doily. A cheese and cracker plate can also easily be assembled with fancy toothpicks inserted into the cheese cubes. Fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate can be served along with an assortment of fancy cookies and pastries or a birthday cake. You can prepare a variety of drinks for the children such as flavored teas, lemonade, punch or hot chocolate served from carafes, topped off with a squirt of whipped cream. Serve the food on pretty china plates along with pretty cloth napkins (if you have them) or fancy paper napkins.
When inviting the children to the party, you can create decorated paper invitations in the shape of a teacup or another idea is to take a tea bag and replace the paper tag at the end of the string with a larger paper piece with the party details. An inexpensive, child’s play necklace or bracelet can be purchased at a discount or $1 store and the party details can be attached to jewelry like a large price tag on a string. The girls can then wear their jewelry to the party.
If supplying the play dresses for the party, wait until all the guests have arrived and lead them to the trunk and let them put the dresses over their clothing and then escort them to the "tea room". The guests may enjoy a quick etiquette lesson prior to being served. Depending on the age of the guests, have either children’s songs or classical music playing softly in the background. Make sure to snap photos of the guests throughout the party including a separate photo of each girl.
When they have finished eating, you can clear the table and if desired, let the girls decorate their own 4x6" picture frame to hold their picture in after it’s developed (make sure to get each girls address to send a thank-you note along with their photo). Prior to the party, you can cut out several templates in different styles out of cardboard which the girls can trace onto poster board and then cut out (depending on their ages, they may need some help with that). The guests can use markers, glue, glitter, stickers, pieces of inexpensive feather boas etc. to decorate their frame. A stand can be cut from the poster board and glued to the back half of the frame or you can glue a short length of ribbon to the back to hang the frame. A flat, flexible magnet strip can also be glued to the back of the frame so that it can be hung on the refrigerator. Be sure to leave the opening in the frame wide enough to insert the photo later.
Another option would be to purchase inexpensive picture frame (there is always a large selection at most $1 stores) and let the girls decorate those instead.
While their frames are drying, if the party is for a birthday, let the birthday girl open her gifts and get the children out of the dress-up clothes and ready to go home. You can purchase small, white paper boxes from the craft store which you can fill with leftover party treats for the guests (maybe purchase some extra cookies or chocolates for these) and tie the boxes with a pretty ribbon and give one to each guest before they leave along with their picture frame.