Mother/Daughter Tea 5yr - Flower Tea Hats
Ann in Frederick, MD USA
For my twin daughter's 5th birthday party, I decided to have a Mother and Daughter Tea Party. I was hoping that making it more of a social event would take away the emphasis on presents, and it worked!
INVITATIONS: I didn't have a lot of time to plan, so while I would normally stamp the cards myself, the invitations were store bought (10/$1 at the Dollar Store). They were a single 4 x 6 page, pink with a pink plaid border, spaces for the party details and a piece of two sided foam to attach a little piece of wedding art, presumably after running it through a printer. I replaced the wedding picture with a stamped picture of a teapot and wasn't able to get them to feed through my printer so wrote them out by hand. I invited 8 mothers and their girls and included notes that fancy dress was optional but requested that moms bring a hat (the girls would decorate one at the party) and to bring a favorite teacup and a story about it to share. I also noted that a light lunch would be served for both girls and moms. The party was held on a Saturday morning from 10 am to 12 noon.
DECORATIONS: I focused on the kitchen where they would be eating. I replaced our kitchen table with a folding table (so I could fit 9 girls, with my two girls sharing one end) and covered it with a light yellow sheet, tying and taping it up under the table so little legs and feet wouldn't catch on the sheet and pull everything off the table! I had pink paper plates with white napkins and used fancy ponytail holders in pink, purple and white for napkin rings (purchased in the dollar aisle at the grocery store). My only breakable item on the girls table were glass sherbet dishes that I used for fishy crackers, but they didn't need to pick them up to eat the crackers.
The favor cups were plastic wine cups (8/$1 at the Dollar Store) that I filled half way with pastel M&M's and then topped pastel Life Savers (individually wrapped) to take up space as the cups were too large to fill completely with M&Ms. I put a silk flower in each one and tied a pink gingham bow on the base of each one and added a ponytail holder to match the one they had for the napkin ring. I had stickers with their names on them so they would serve as place cards as well. I had a small white porcelain tea set lined up down the middle of the table with pink flowers sprinkled down the middle as well. I had found flower garland at an amazing price a year ago or so ago with no idea when I would use them, so was pleased that I could attach a pink rose garland along the back of each chair as an extra touch.
I had tulle swagged along the top of the glass doors going outside with bows, curling ribbon streamers, balloons and flowers tucked in it. I also had pink and purple crepe paper streamers from the light hanging above the table to each wall. I had a boquet of helium balloons anchored on the floor on either side of the window and that was where the birthday girls sat. On the kitchen island, I had a white 3-tiered dessert tray in the center with six crystal taper holders with light pink tapers and pink flowers strewn about as well. I used my good china (white with violets) in addition to glass and white serving dishes. We had Baby Einstein CDs playing, which is classical music that is easy on the ears, and provided a very nice, calm background.
ACTIVITIES: I ended up with 9 girls (including my 2) and 5 moms attending. When the girls and mother's arrived, they walked through the kitchen and oohed and aahed at the decorations and then dropped off their gifts in the family room before heading back to the living room to decorate hats (where I had put the kitchen table, which worked great for a work surface). I had plastic woven hats from the Dollar Store which I lined with a little bit of felt because they were scratchy. I had cut flower blossoms off of bunches of artificial flowers (I put a little hot glue at the end so the blossoms wouldn't pop off) and had them in baskets by color, as well as a basket of ribbon to match the flowers. Each girl picked a hat, flowers and ribbon and when they got the flowers arranged on the hat, I hot glued them and the ribbon (tied in a bow with long ends to hang down their back). Those that were done or waiting made beaded bracelets with pipecleaners (a favorite activity of my girls) so they weren't just standing.
As soon as all the hats were done, we went back in the family room and took pictures in front of our ficus tree, which made a nice background. My husband was the photographer and he took mother & daughter pictures, and then one of each guest with the two birthday girls. Next was Birthday Bingo in the dining room (with a big table since the table in the kitchen was already set). I was going to do Tea Party Bingo but couldn't find enough clipart of tea party things, so ended up using clip art for spring, birthdays, my girls initials, the number 5, flowers, etc. I printed out 12 different cards on regular 8.5 x 11 paper, and printed an additional one that I cut up and used for drawing and calling the pictures. I went through all the pictures first to make sure everyone was familiar with all the different pictures. We used Necco wafers for markers, which they could eat at the end, although I passed out ziplock bags for the extras that they didn't eat. When they got bingo, they picked out a pair of plastic sunglasses (pack of 10 for less than $2 at Walmart). We played until everyone got one Bingo.
We stayed in the dining room to decorate picture frames. I had cut a 5x7 frame and opening out of foam sheets and had foam stickers (pack of 200 from Dollar Store) that they could use to decorate. I had originally come up with a more complicated design for the frame involving Popsicle sticks, but ended up with just the foam frame and some adhesive magnetic strips. We will send the pictures from the party with the Thank You notes and they can put it in their frame and put it on their refrigerator!
Finally, it was time for presents. Rather than have the girls just grab them and open them, we played Pass the Teapot - just like Hot Potato, but it wasn't fast (I said it wasn't a hot teapot and we didn't want to spill the tea!) and whoever had the teapot when the music stopped gave their gift to the girls. My husband had the remote for the CD player so he could make it stop on those who had not yet given them gifts. One mom commented that this was a good idea as it kept everyone calm during present-opening!
Then it was story time. Thanks to this website, I found Miss Spider's Tea Party at the local library and read that aloud to the girls, which they enjoyed. Then I showed them the four teacups that I owned and told the background behind them (given to me by friends and relatives) and then had moms share the stories behind the teacups that they brought. This was really nice and the girls enjoyed hearing about the different teacups one girl bought a teacup that was from the King of Norway! After that, I passed out a napkin and plastic teacups, saucers and spoons to the girls as they sat on the floor. We talked about tea party etiquitte and practiced how to drink with the saucer in one hand and cup in the other (lifted pinkie, of course), how to blot or pat your lips with the napkin, and how to say please and thank you when asking for someone to pass something. We practiced calling each other Dahling and Madame and had fun with that too.
PARTY SNACKS: The girls had fishy crackers in their glass cups and we served them tiny PB&J and ham & cheese sandwiches cut out with mini cookie cutters. I made fruit kabobs by breaking a wooden skewer in half and putting on a grape, a piece of pineapple, a half of a strawberry and a fancy spring marshmallow. I was going to try and find some real tea that the girls might like but ended up just going with pink lemonade. They used the plastic teacups that I handed them while we were practicing. The moms were served open-faced ham and egg salad sandwiches. The egg salad sandwiches were cut out with a butterfly cookie cutter and the ham salad sandwiches were hearts, so the yellow and pink looked nice on a glass platter. The moms had the same fruit kabobs but with another grape instead of the marshmallow.
I had cut brownies into 1 squares and made petit fours out of pound cake cubes drizzled with icing and decorated with icing flowers (thanks, again, to this website for that idea!) and had these on the 3-tiered dessert tray. The top tier had a tiny teapot and teacup and I had pink flowers in amongst the brownies and cakes too. The moms had real tea out of my good china cups! The girls had homemade cupcakes for dessert and I put a tall skinny candle in all of them and after singing Happy Birthday, they all blew out the candles. Before everyone left, we took a group picture of the girls, and then a group picture with all the moms too. The timing turned out good I was only over about 15 minutes while the girls finished their cupcakes and we took pictures.
FAVORS: I had favor bags for both the girls and their moms. The girls had a little cupcake bag that I had gotten on clearance for 25 cents, and I had a pack of princess gummies, a fancy hankerchief (3/$1 at the Dollar Store) and a tiny princess teaset (my big splurge at $2 each at Walmart in the Easter aisle). They also took home their decorated hats, the beaded bracelets they made, the decorated picture frames, the candy from bingo and the favor cup from the table. The moms had gift bags (3/$1 at the Dollar Store) with a small baggie of Dove chocolates, two scented tealight candles, a bath fizzy (10/$1 at the Dollar Store) and a pack of tea.
I think everyone had a fun time and it was really nice to spend time with some of the mom's that I had only met once or twice at school, and to spend time with the girls too. One mom suggested that we have a tea party every so often just to be able to use good china and fancy dishes! It was a good amount of work, but it was fun work and from the initial idea, the planning and preparation time was less than 2 weeks. My girls said that they want boys at their party next year, so I think it was good to do the tea party when I did! Many thanks to this website for a lot of good ideas I hope you can use some of mine!
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