How to Throw a Delightful Child's Tea Party

While girls may beg for a princess party or cartoon-themed bash, an old-fashioned tea-party birthday can evoke more oohs and aahs than any modern-day theme. A tea party is fun, fancy, interactive, and it turns kids on to the joys, health benefits and ritual of tea. Here's how to do it:

Create a fancy invitation. This can be an online e-vite, custom-ordered, boxed store invites, or you can hand-make them. Look around; you'll be surprised at how many tea-themed invitations exist. Or cut out teapot or teacup shapes from paper and turn them into invites. You may want to request "fancy attire" from your guests.

Gather decorations. This is a fun part to do with your children. Hit secondhand stores for teapots, teacups, saucers and other tea-related items. It's fun to fill a few different teapots with flowers for the table and around the party area. Mismatched teacups make great take-home items for goodie bags once the girls have had their tea in them.

Plan the menu. Determine if you will be serving simply sweets or savory as well. Decide what items you will make, order or buy. Some bakeries will work with you if you tell them you want pretty pastry trays for a girls' tea party. Here are some ideas for menu items:

    • Mini-pastries

    • Mini-cupcakes with pastel-colored frosting

    • Scones

    • Crustless sandwiches'butter and cucumber, chicken and mustard, peanut butter and jam

    • Bowls of berries

    • Black olives

Recruit a butler/maid. Although purely optional, it's fun to have an adult, or older sibling, don a tuxedo or maid outfit to greet each guest and help out at the party. White gloves are a must!

Tea-blending activity. Although messy, having the kids blend their own teas will be the hit of the party.

You'll need

    • Dried herbs. Go to the bulk section of your local natural products shop for herbs for tea, such as peppermint, spearmint, rose hips, chamomile, rosebuds, lemon peel, orange peel and lavender.

    • Small airtight containers

    • Labels

Arrange the herbs in bowls, each with a spoon. Before the girls begin, explain what each botanical is and its properties'calming, energizing, etc. Pass the bowls around and allow the girls to smell them before they create their blends in their containers.

Once they have created their own unique herbal tea, have them make a label that reflects their tea, such as Allison's Calming Cosmic Blend.

Goodie bags. For a wonderful take-home gift, fill a small bag with the teacup from the party, the tea blend and a small tea strainer.