Valentine Tea Party 3yr - Red Hearts
Jane in Hopkinton, Ma, USA
Valentines Day -- Royal Tea Party -- Last February for my daughters 3rd birthday we had a Royal Tea party on Valentines Day. For the invitations, I used a photo of my daugher wearing a princess dress-up costume in front of a pink and purple castle tent (I purchased the tent at Target on clearance for the party).
The invitation said: "Hear ye, hear ye calling all knights and princesses for a Royal Tea -- Princess Ashley is turning three!" The party details followed. I enclosed a heart-shaped cut out glued onto a heart doily asking people in lieu of gifts to bring Ashley a hand-made Valentine (at just three, she really didn't expect gifts -- or need them!).
I decorated the house in hearts and doilys: we hung pink and red hearts from the chandelier, taped them on the walls, had a heart-shaped wreath on the front door, used pink and purple latex baloon, etc. I purchased red tulle to dress the tables. I used paper table cloths and sprinkled them with glitter and heart cut outs and draped the tulle over it. I tied tulle ribbon and sparkly heart garland on all the chairs. And, I made a centerpiece out of a heat-covered flower pot and heart-shaped lolipops. I put a foam ball in the pot, inserted the lolipops and covered the ball with shredded colored-tissue. It looked really cute. We set up the castle tent in the family room.
When the kids arrived, they could dress for the party if they wanted. I purchased and borrowed some princess/fairy outfits for the girls and had them in a big basket. For the boys, I made some knight and King costumes. I found red and black felt, a silver metal mesh fabric and gold decorative rope trim in the clearance section at the fabric store (left over from Christmas). I used the black felt to create King capes and added a large, knotched red collar and gold rope trim.
For the knights, I made vests with velcro closures in the back out of gray felt covered with the metal mesh. I added a black shield on front and black collar. We used the gold rope to decorate the shields and used stick-on jewels to decorate the collars on the King's capes. I don't sew, so these were completely cut and glue.
Then, I purchased plastic knight helmets and crowns from a party store. (I have since seen knight dress-up clothes at the dollar store, but at the time I couldn't find any). We then played some games. We played a musical shoe game-- we played music and someone was the prince and tried a glass slipper on each child until the music stopped. The child wearing the glass slipper when the music stopped was the next prince. We also played a spoon relay with a sugar cube and a tea cup -- they carried the cube on a spoon and dropped it into the teacup.
Then, we played a treasure chest game. I had cut-out hearts with stickers on them hidden around the room. The kids colected them. Then we tried to figure out the clue that would open the treasure chest. I had a clue with blanks for each letter and stickers under each blank line. Each heart also had a letter written on it. If anyone had the matching sticker we filled in the corresponding letter. It spelled "KEY" -- which was the key to opening the treasure chest. The treasure chest was filled with treat bags holding candy.
Then we did a quick craft. The girls made and decorated a foam majic wand (I purchased a kit for making these at Target). And the boys made foam shields. I had pre-cut shields out of black craft foam and attached a handle on the back. I also found a knight-themed bucket of foam pieces for decoration along with the stick-on jewels I used on the costumes.
Next was the tea party. We had child-sized tea cups and saucers at each place and small tea pots filled with pink lemonade. We also serviced sandwiches cut out with heart-shaped cookie cutters (cream cheese on cinnamon bread, PB&J and turkey and cheese), strawberries and grapes, and carrots with dip. For the Moms, I also had pots of tea and tea cups, quiche, salad and mini roll-up sandwiches. For dessert we had cupcakes decorated with hearts and heart-shaped sugar cookies. The kids especially loved the tea. (I had purchased three china mini tea sets with hearts at Marshalls for serving the tea.)
For the favors, the girls received a clear plastic bag trimmed with pink faux fur containing "heart fairy" dress-up accessories -- heart decorated tutu, wings and tiarra, rings, necklace, etc. purchased on clearance at Marshalls for $5 each. The boys received a Play Mobil Knight and horse (from Target for $3.99) in a red gift bag. I wrote the child's name on each bag with a paint pen (Sir or Princess). Everyone had a great time and the Moms are still talking about it months later.
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