How to Have a Tea Party With your Teddy Bear
Imagination is one of the precious gifts that children possess and that adults sometimes misplace. In the grown-up world imagination is rarely encouraged, and when offered through artistic means is sometimes stilted or forced.
Children have no inhibitions. Through their creative play they learn how to adjust to the world around them, and to make healthy transitions from one stage to another.
One of the most classic games played by children is the pretend " Tea Party", to which all of their favorite toy friends are invited. Beverages and snacks are to be served from dainty dishes, as teddy bears and baby dolls sit around the table in their finest clothes.
Help your parents rediscover their lost inner-child, by inviting them to a tea party. With the tips given below, you can magically adults remember how much fun they too had at tea parties, where bears could talk, and dolls could sip tea.
Afternoon Tea With Your Teddy Bear
If you have seen your mother and her friends having tea or a luncheon in their finest clothes, or you have watched a tea party on television, you might have thought how fun it would be to have your one of your own. Perhaps you were inspired by Alice's visit with the Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland", and you would now like to have tea for your teddy bear in a similar fashion.
Hosting a tea party is an enjoyable task for a rainy day, as well as courteous thing to do for your beloved stuffed friends. Perhaps you could invite your mother for a special girl's day. You could invite your father and your siblings as well, for a more informal party, and even some real life friends if you or one of your bears is having a birthday.
A tea party is a big responsibility though, so you will need to plan ahead before the big day. You should begin by deciding who will be invited, then asking them what day they will be free to attend. Now that you have the perfect day in mind, it is time to begin your preparations.
Preparing For A Tea Party
Before you invite everyone to a party, you should make sure that you have all the supplies that you need. First and foremost, you must check your closet to be sure you have something to wear.
Tea parties are usually fancy dress occasions, so your best party dress, suit, or church clothes will be ideal. Sweat pants and flip-flops should not be worn to tea! Accessorize your outfits with hats, jewelry, make-up, and paper fans.
If you don't have extra clothes for your bear, at least be certain that he is well groomed. Run a soft brush over his fur, spray on a little cologne, and provide a bracelet or flower for decoration. Boy guests and bears can wear a tie or flower in their lapel for accessories.
Now that you have your outfit/s arranged, you need to focus on the party. Here are some things that you will need to have beforehand:
- Tablecloth and linens
- Tea set
- Serving trays
- Edible Treats
- Tea or other refreshment
- Conversation topics
- Invitations and place cards
- At least an hour of uninterrupted time. Be sure to politely ask your guests to turn off their phones and other distractions for the duration of the party.
- An optional touch would be to buy crepe paper to decorate the room. Use white, pink, pale blue, or other soft color to add elegance. You can match the crepe paper to the flowers.
- Paper doilies-these pretty doilies are excellent for lining the cookie tray or for using as placemats.
Make Your Own Party Invitations
Your invitations should set the mood of your party. Will it be casual? Or formal? If the affair will be casual, you can make invitations out of heavy, colored paper or cardstock. Use a stencil to trace a shape, such as a heart or bear onto the paper. Cut around the edges with paper shears for a pretty, scalloped effect.
More formal invitations can be bought, or made from small blank cards. Write your invitation on the card. You can decorate with a rubber stamp or a pretty foil sticker. Also consider printable invitations you can find on the internet.
When you are making your invitations, use the same materials to make a matching place card for each guest. Place cards are used to show where each person should sit, and should have their name written, stamped, or printed. When your guests leave, they should take their card as a memento of the party.
Tea Party Refreshments
You will definitely need something for your guests to eat and drink. The beverage of choice is usually tea, but if any of your guests care for something else, then feel free to offer that as well.
Ask your mother or an older sibling to help you collect the supplies and make the treats. Later you may need an adult to help with the tea as well. Some excellent delicacies for tea parties include small cakes, a variety of cookies, small sandwiches, and crackers with savory spreads.
Here are some suggestions as to what to serve:
Party Food Ideas
Sandwiches-Tea wouldn't be tea without some dainty sandwiches. You can make a variety, and make them as fancy or as ordinary as you like. They can be cut into small triangles (fourths), or cut with cookie cutters to make petite and pretty shapes, such as bears, hearts, flowers, or circles.
You can use ready-made ingredients, such as peanut-butter and jelly, deviled ham, or pimiento cheese for fast sandwiches, or use recipes such as these for fancier treats:
Sweets-Next you move on to your sweets, or if you want to be very traditional, you would have scones or other bread with jam and cream spreads in between your sandwiches and your pastries. That choice is up to you, of course. As an alternative, you could have cubed cheese, vegetable sticks with dip, crackers, and fresh fruit rather than the breads.
As with the sandwiches, you can make your own cakes and cookies, or serve fresh items form your bakery. An idea of good sweets to serve would be, sugar cookies, wafers, small oatmeal cookies, and peanut butter cookies. If the party will be just your bear and yourself, consider individually wrapped cakes, such as those made by Little Debbie or Hostess. These cakes are small and beautifully iced. Plus, you can unwrap just a few at a time to prevent waste.
Now is the time to consider the most important menu item. Your tea. If you do not like tea, or think that your guests might not like it either, it is perfectly alright to substitute punch, juice, lemonade or other favorite drink.
If you do decide serve tea, keep in mind that there is an endless variety of tea available. You might want a parent's help choosing the best type of tea for the occasion. For the most authenticity, you would buy loose or bagged tea and brew it either in one large pot, or by the individual cup.
Be sure to offer sugar, milk, and lemon with your tea. Sugar should be in cubes, not loose, and it is placed in the cup first. Next comes the tea, then lastly the milk. Never mix milk and lemon, as the lemon juice will cause the milk to curdle.
Why not fold the napkins into fancy shapes to add a touch of elegance to your tea table? There are many ways to fold cloth napkins. If you don't have cloth napkins, try folding handkerchiefs instead, or carefully folding paper napkins?
Your table will be the focal point of the party. Special care should be taken to make sure it looks its best. A nice tablecloth will really help set the mood. Ask your mother if she has a spare tablecloth or if she canmake one especially for your party. Take good care of the cloth and it can be used for many parties to come!
You will also need a tea set. You might have one already, or you might have to borrow one. Make sure it is clean and that all the pieces are present so that the settings look correct. You will also need some pretty trays for appetizers and other treats. Don't forget napkins!
If it is the right time of year, a vase of cut flowers would look lovely on your table. If it is winter, silk or plastic flowers will work too. Flowers will give the table a spot of cheerful color!
Another great activity to do at a tea party is to make crafts. Choose one specific craft, and assemble all of the supplies. After the refreshments have been eaten and the table cleared, everyone can craft a memento to take home from the party.
Coloring pages are a fun activity for a tea party too. They are not very messy and you can choose themed pages, such as teddy bears. Have a small box of crayons for each guest, that they can take home after the party.
Party Games and Activities
A tea party doesn't just have to be about the refreshments. Create a fun party by having some entertainment and party games as well. Play some soft music in the background. Classical music such as Vivaldi are easy to listen to without overpowering your conversations.
Make a list before the party of some conversation topics to introduce. For instance, you could ask everyone to tell their favorite memory, or the best present they every received. You could all discuss your dreams, or what you would do if you were granted three wishes. These are fun topics that everyone can enjoy.
Games can also be played. Board games or games involving a lot of movement are not recommended for a tea party. Consider games that can be done while seated, without a lot of extra materials. Some suggestions;
- Limericks or Rhymes-Challenge your guests to compose a limerick. Or, make a selection of cards with single words on them. Have each guest draw a card and then make up a short rhyme using their word.
- "T" words-everyone has to think of as many words as possible that begin with the letter "t". For a more challenging game, think of words that have the "tee" sound in them, such as "teal", "team", "teenager", and words that end in "tee", such as "clarity".
- Trivia-Have someone (who won't be playing) make a set of trivia cards. Guests can take turns asking questions and answering.
- Quotes-Play quotes by choosing a theme such as films, books, or song lyrics. The hostess begins by quoting a line, and the first person who guesses what film, book, or song it is from gets to choose the next quote.
- Last Word Story-This requires paper and pencil. The first person writes the first line of a story, then folds the paper, so that only the last word shows. The next person writes the next line using only the last word of the first line as an idea of what to write. When the last person has written a line, the paper is unfolded and the whole 'story' is read aloud.
- I Spy-This game is a classic party game, and you probably already know how to play it. Simply think of an object that you can see in the room, and give clues to your guests to see who can guess what it is. Whoever solves it first gets to go next.
When was the last time you attended a pretend tea party?
Etiquette For Tea
The history of tea-time is very interesting. Over the years it went from being a luxury enjoyed by the nobility to a daily tradition for all classes. It was a light snack to keep appetites under control in the long hours between breakfast and dinner, and for some, it became the evening meal.
When having tea (either high or low tea), there are certain rules to observe. You must practice your very best manners, even if your companions are only animals. Here are some do's and don'ts:
- You must wait for your hostess to signal that it is time to begin eating and drinking. Diving right into the food, unless instructed to do so by your hostess, is very rude.
- Never clink your spoon on the cup.
- Never lay your spoon on the table or tablecloth. Rest it instead on your saucer.
- Eat and drink slowly. Tea is more about socializing than gulping the refreshments. Take time to sip your drink, and take small bites. Talk in between. It might help if you eat before you attend the tea party, so that you are not ravenously hungry.
- Remember to say please and thank you.
- Don't place your elbows on the table.
- Move carefully so as not to upset the dishes.
- Ask for things to be passed to you, rather than reaching for them, or walking around the table to retrieve them.
- Take turns in the conversation so that everyone has a chance to join.
- Talk about nice things. It would be really poor form to gossip or insult people at tea. Try not to complain about things either. Keep the mood light and friendly. If you have worries, it is best to talk to someone one-on-one rather than bringing them up at a time when everyone is expecting to have fun.
- Parents: if you are attending your child's tea party, this isn't the time to lecture about grades or behavior or chores. It is important for children to learn that they can converse with you at times as a friend and confidant.
- Hostess--It is your job to make certain that all the guests are comfortable. Keep the conversation going, make sure there are plenty of refreshments, and don't get distracted and forget to let guests know what they are supposed to be doing next. If your friends do not know some of the rules for tea, don't be bossy.
- Take care not to spill anything on borrowed linens or your bear's fur. Tea and some other drinks will stain, and pastries can be sticky and hard to clean.
- Remember that your napkin belongs in your lap the entire time you are eating. When it is placed on the table, it is a signal that the meal is over.
Tea Party Shopping List
Here is a summary of all the supplies that you might need to throw a tea party:
- Fancy Tablecloth
- Nice Napkins
- Tea Set (or nice dishes and a teapot)
- Serving Trays
- Stereo and Appropriate Music
- Crepe Paper, Paper Doilies, Flowers, and other Decorations
- Invitations and Placecards
- Milk, Sugar Cubes, Lemon Slices
- Cakes, Cookies, Rolls, Scones,
- Sandwiches or other Appetizers
- Vegetable sticks, Crackers, Dips,
- A list of Party Games
- Small Gifts or Treat Bags (if this is a large party, it is nice to send a little prize home with your guests.
Enjoy Your Tea Party
Now you are ready to host a tea party of any size. If you will be inviting several friends, ask them to bring along their favorite bear, stuffed animal, or doll. If the party will be just your family, then you can use less decorations and food.
Either way, a tea party is a fun, pretty way to celebrate any occasion.Keep in mind that tea parties are very grown-up, so you will need to keep some safety rules in mind, for both yourself and your friends.
- Always have an adult help with slicing vegetables or handling any sharp instruments.
- Be cautious of hot liquids. Ask for help with pouring if needed.
- Broken dishes can cause cuts, so discourage any rowdy play at the table. After tea, everyone can go outside and play as hard as they like.
- Be sure not to let your friends share their sweets with your live pets, as this could make them very sick.
- Make sure that foods such as vegetables, dips, spreads, and cold salads stay refrigerated until ready to eat to avoid food poisoning. Any of these that have stayed on the table too long should be thrown away after the party, especially anything with poultry.
Be sure to thank everyone for attending, and help with the cleanup after your guests have gone. To make the event extra special, have someone take a photograph so that you can remember your party for years to come.
Teddy Tea Party Needs
Can Be Subtstituted
Nice to Have
Food (real or pretend)
Teddy Bear or other friends
Tea (or other drink)