When I was a little girl, all of my birthday parties were at my house. I have wonderful memories of parties that were creative and unique. One of my favorite parties was a paper-doll and ice-cream sundae party, and second runner up was the year my friends and I decorated gingerbread houses. My mom always put a personal stamp on my birthday parties.
Because of those memories, I am partial to the at-home birthday party. However, having a house-full of kids is daunting. We have hosted a handful of kid parties at our house, and thus far, I feel like the key is having an agenda packed with activities. With each event, I have made sure to have plenty of entertainment lined up and limit the party to a certain area of my house (preferably the backyard).
For my daughter’s fifth birthday, we threw a tea party. To start, I bought these tea party invitations from Polka Dot Designs, who actually has a surprising number of tea party themed invites. In the past, I have frequently found affordable invites on Etsy. One of my favorite Etsy finds is Swanky Press, who will work with you to customize an invitation. Next, I planned the food. Because eating was part of the entertainment, I wanted to have a space where all the girls could sit together and enjoy their tea, so we rented kid-sized tables and chairs from Marianne’s. I kept the decorations simple by stringing tissue paper poufs (instructions here) in assorted colors above the table.
As soon as the girls hit the backyard, they received a pre-made tea hat. I made the hats by hot-gluing paper bowls to paper plates and tying ribbons to them. I had two hat-decorating stations: one with markers, foam butterfly stickers, glitter stickers and gems and the other with fake flowers and adults with hot glue guns.
After the girls made their hats, we served tea to our twenty petite guests in a small tea cup. I used real china tea cups since I happen to collect mismatched china. Amazingly, not one cup was broken. I employed the assistance of a handful of adults to serve tea to our tiny guests from china tea pots filled with a pink lemonade-Sprite mixture. I was actually trying to prevent spills, but the girls loved being served. We also passed out finger sandwiches, fruit kabobs, bite-sized cookies, and chocolate-covered strawberries. I used these placemats for lunchtime entertainment that have punch-out jewelry. I bought mine locally at Paper ‘N More. I also passed out pages from this Melissa and Doug Sweets & Treats sticker pad before lunch.
After lunch, we separated off to a shady corner of the yard for a makeshift photo booth. I put out a laundry basket of assorted props – boas, hats, necklaces – and we took Polaroids the girls could keep.
We wrapped up with a birthday cake from Sweet Memories and called it a day. We only had one party-goer stray inside and a single spill on the carpet, so, in my book, that’s a success!