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Monday, June 8, 2009

Little Girls' Tea Party this Summer?

Who said tea parties can only be done during the spring?

Summer is also a nice time to hold an outdoor tea party. There is no school, so little girls will actually look forward to doing something different. If the weather is too warm for tea, there's always iced tea.

(At this point my 9-year old son peering over my shoulder as I write this exclaims "Do children REALLY drink tea? I've never seen kids drink tea." Well, at least not in this warm part of the world, they don't.)

Anyhoo, the point of tea parties is for our little girls to dress up in their prettiest and socialize with their best manners. It is also good training for your little lady to host a small gathering of well-mannered ladies and make sure everybody is comfortable. Good manners, after all, is not about being all correct and flawless, but about helping people feel comfortable and at ease.

So, prep your daughter how to be a warm and gracious hostess. Ask for her ideas. You can also ask if her guests will enjoy a cool pitcher of juice, served in pretty glasses with umbrellas, or if tea in a dainty tea pot and cups are cooler to them. If she's not sure, encourage her to phone friends and ask which is better, but the end decision should be hers and yours.

On that day, prettify their tea party area with dainty tablecloth and fresh flowers. You and your little girl can make name plates for each guest. Let her choose the pastry and drink to serve. Do get cheap but pretty tea/ pitcher sets for the children to use (or accidentally drop). Get nice party trinkets or kiddy bling/ jewelry that the girls may wear and bring home. Walk through the procedure with your little girl so that she has an idea of what to expect, and what is expected from her.

When the girls arrive on tea party day in their pretty party dress, encourage your little hostess on what she can say or do to make the other girls comfortable. Go on stealth-mode, but stay tuned to help along and ensure the girls have fun on their summer tea party.

After the tea party, tidy up the place together with your daughter (remind her it is expected of her) and talk about her experience, whether she had fun, whether she'd want to host again, etc.

I wish boys had their own party where they can use their good manners and dress up in nice shirts...

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