Guest Post & GIVEAWAY: Tea Time for Toddlers

The following is a guest post by Shannon from My Baby Clothes Boutique. I actually threw a tea party like this a few years back for my daughter and her friends. I even dressed up as “Mrs. Manners” and gave an etiquette lesson. It could be a great boredom buster during summer vacation. Read on for some fun ideas, tutorials, and a GIVEAWAY at the end of the post! As soon as I can get back on my virus infected computer :-(, I’ll post some pictures from our fun tea party! –Kendra

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Many professionals have discussed the value of tea parties for little ones. They all agree it is a great way to teach social skills – such as sharing, inclusion of everyone, and expressing gratitude. Allowing your little one to help in the planning will teach her cooperation and confidence. I am sure you are thinking, how in the world do I incorporate a toddler into the planning of a tea party? I will tell you.

First – Decide on a theme. Be flexible – remember her ideas are important to incorporate too. If she wants to invite all her teddy bears, that is fine. Include her friends by asking them to bring their favorite teddy too. For a simple theme use something like a garden tea party. Ask each guest to bring their favorite Tea Set.



Now for the guest list – Keep it small and intimate, it will allow for more bonding time. Together you both can choose the seating arrangements as well. Make sure to ask your toddler who are life-long enemies of each other. It would be a social faux pas to have them sitting at the same table, (could lead to food fights.)

Invitations – choose them together. Keep it simple. I am handicapped when it comes to having legible handwriting or skills with paper crafting. I turn to printable notecards, or order them through my favorite site, http://www.vistaprint.com/. Your little one can help choose the designs, keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if they match. I liked this design –

FOOD – My favorite part of any party. Most important part of any tea party, TEA! With toddlers, the best bet is to go with cold tea. No better way to end a party than with a trip to the ER for a burn. There are some great fruit flavored cold teas, decaf of course. Adults can have the hot tea. On that same vein, as I mentioned before about bring your own tea set. My reasoning for that suggestion is flexibility. Have fun, don’t stress about your fine china. Let the little ones enjoy their tea with their own tea sets. If the break a cup, no big deal, it isn’t yours anyway! Besides the toddlers will be thrilled to use their play sets at a REAL TEA!

Keep your guests in mind when planning your menu. Keep it simple. – They are toddlers, feed them toddler food. They don’t care about fancy sandwiches, clotted cream, cucumber thingys. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (barring any peanut allergies), OF COURSE!!!! Simple cheese sandwiches will work as well. Dress them up by cutting them into heart shapes with a cookie cutter. Your toddler can be in charge of cutting out the sandwiches. Adults can have chicken salad croissants, simple elegance. Veggie and cheese trays are always popular as finger food and color for any table. Then there is my favorite, fruit. It can serve double duty as decoration and food. Fruit can be used as flower bouquets. By cutting them into little flowers, they can then be arranged with toothpicks into a bouquet centerpiece. Although, I just love this design:

Let them eat cake! – All good tea parties must have desserts. How much fun to decorate flower-shaped sugar cookies together? Petit fours and scones are a must. How appropriate is the name Petit Fours? Who can eat just one? It takes at least four to equal one slice of cake, right? I am not a great baker, so I have to buy these from my local bakery.

(photo credit for watermelon, originated by:Sondra C, Jonathan E., Travis Derouin, instructions on how to make this tea pot can be found at http://www.wikihow.com/Carve-a-Watermelon-Tea-Pot)



(photo credit – Cookies photo –

http://kookiesx.vox.com/library/photo/6a0123de2607b9860d0123de2ebaa2860d.html by kookiesx; Lemon scones –

Family Fun Magazine; Party Hat Petit fours –

http://roses-and-teacups.com/petits-fours-tea-cakes.php)

Decorations – By having the party in a garden or patio, weather permitting of course, you can cut down on the cost of decorations. Let nature do the decorating. With fruit bowls as the centerpiece, you can have additional decorations for each place setting. I suggest the flower pot pen and tulle tea bag sets for each person. They are simple and great as a take home gift.

Instructions on how to make the flower pen:

Materials needed:

  • Ribbon
  • Green Floral Tape
  • Floral Foam
  • Moss
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Small terra cotta pot
  • Silk Flowers
  • Ink pens

(Photo from – http://www.familycorner.com/homegarden/crafts/4.shtml)

  1. Cut the flower stems to about 2 inches from the head.
  2. Using the floral tape, attach the flower and wrap the entire pen. (Make sure to leave the tip open for writing.)
  3. Fill the small flower pot with floral foam.
  4. Stick the pen into the center of the foam.
  5. Add moss around the bottom of the pen, filling the inside of the flower pot. You might have to add a little glue to hold the moss in place.
  6. For an added touch, wrap a ribbon around the rim of the flower pot. Finish off with a beautiful bow. Hot glue might help keep the ribbon in place.



Tulle tea bag sets:

Instructions –

  1. Have your little one help you fill up each bag with a few tea bags.
  2. Tie them closed with ribbon.
  3. If you have any left over flowers from the pens, use them to decorate the ribbon.
  4. Tie a note card onto each bag, with their name on one side. On the other side put a mother-daughter inspirational saying.

“Lead a child, in wisdom, by the hand and permit them to lead you, in love, by the heart!”

Author Unknown

(photo from

http://www.alittlefavor.com/products/93/wedbelle250/tea-for-one-favor.html

With the little ones bringing their own tea sets, you don’t have to worry about their place settings. But for the adults I would suggest something simple and cheap. No need to pull out the fine china, it will just create an unnecessary element of stress to the event. I found this one at Ikea for a steal. You can have a setting for six – three tea pots, three creamers, and six cups with saucers for around $50. I love the simplicity of the design. Staying with the theme of simplicity, use color coordinated paper napkins, tablecloths, and plates too.

Game time! Include on your invitations that there will be a contest for the best or most unique dressed mother-daughter pair. I would get a gourmet tea bag collection as a gift for the contest. For an added bit of fun, provide a dress up trunk. Little girls love to play dress up and now they can dress up their mommies too. SAY CHEESE! Plan a photo shoot for this game. It will create a great memory for you and your guests.

Another crowd pleaser is a twist on charades. Put different nursery rhymes on slips of paper. Using a fun party hat, allow each mother-daughter team to choose one of these slips from the hat. After everyone has their paper, go around the room and have each pair act out and sing their choices. One must, is to include “I’m A Little Teapot!” The lucky pair with this song wins a child’s tea set.

Plan for you and your little one to read a book about manners, she can act out the proper manners. She will love being the center of attention and showing off her new skills. One of my suggestions is the following book by Karen Katz found at Amazon:

“WHAT DO I WEAR?” Now for the best part, picking out your favorite tea party outfit together! Have fun, mix it up, don’t wear your usual fair. Let your toddler guide you in the perfect style. Boas, beads, pettiskirts, flowers for your hair, gloves, and of course the all important HAT! Decorate your hats together! Choose the best flowers for each other. Being a country girl, I love the cowgirl boots too! Expand your child’s creativity and style!

NOW, you have a tea party that will be the talk of the town. Not to mention all the added bonuses – social etiquette, helping out, planning a party, thinking of others, and how to decorate are just a few of the new lesson you have taught your little girl. Expanding her creativity and building her confidence by your entrusting her with part of the preparations are the lifetime skills you have given her. But most important, MEMORIES!!!!!

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By Shannon Henrici, a writer for a new online baby clothes boutique. When you start to plan your own tea party, check them out for the most adorable baby headbands, baby hats, and so much more, My Baby Clothes Boutique.

I hope you are inspired to hold your own mother daughter tea party. To help you along, My Baby Clothes Boutique is offering a $25 gift certificate to one lucky reader.

Here is how you can enter up to three times:

1. Visit My Baby Clothes Boutique, then comment back here on what you would buy if you won.

2. Add them to your favorite sites list (blog roll) and receive a special gift. Contact Shannon via email at Shannon@mybabyclothesboutique.com, with the link to your site and where to send your special gift.

3. Blog about this giveaway. Comment back here with a link to your post for an additional entry.

Giveaway ends on June 1st, at 11:59pm. PLEASE leave a separate comment for each entry, and PLEASE make sure your email address is easily found in your comment or your blogger profile, or I will have to choose a new winner. Thanks & Good Luck!

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Comments

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    sarah
    smatti78@yahoo.com

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    leslic(at)chandlerconsulting.com

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    Jen

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