We wait with such anticipation for the warm, relaxing, adventure filled days of summer, only to have them quickly turn into dull, lazy, boring days.
When you think ahead and keep a list of some out of the ordinary activities, you’ll be less likely to hear, “I’m bored and there’s nothing to do.”
One activity that you might want to try is having an outdoor tea party. My daughter and I always enjoyed hosting a neighborhood tea party. Planning, gathering supplies, and sending invitations gave her something to look forward to. It would keep her occupied for quite a few days.
We always decided on the menu first so it could be included with the invitation. Not only did it give the invitees an idea of what to expect, it also gave parents a chance to inform us of any food allergies we should be aware of.
Invitations can be as simple as an e-mail or phone call. One year my daughter drew teapots on construction paper and wrote the person’s name on the front and the time and date of the party on the back. We asked the kids to decorate their teapot any way they pleased and to bring it to the party to be used as their name card.
Another time we had a dress code. The girls were asked to wear their fanciest dress or borrow one from Mom. Boys were asked to wear dress shirt and tie or borrow from Dad. We all had a good chuckle over the little boy who went all out and showed up dressed as the Mad Hatter from ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.’
To make the party a little special, cover the picnic table with a pretty tablecloth or sheet. Gather a big bunch of wildflowers for a centerpiece. You’ll want to use real teacups and saucers that you can buy at a yard sale, flea market, or Goodwilll store.
Don’t worry about them matching, it actually looks really cute if they don’t. Let the kids take them home as a souvenir.
Since this is a fancy event, use cloth napkins. If you don’t have any, use handkerchiefs or hand towels. A word to the wise, don’t use anything you really care about, because there are bound to be spills.
Keep the menu simple. Finger size PBJ and cream cheese with strawberries sandwiches will be easy for small hands to hold. Fruit salad, cookies, or mini cupcakes is really all you need.
As for the tea, I suggest you offer lemonade, juice, or milk as a stand-in. The kids will feel very adult if you show them the proper way to drink their tea.
Hold the saucer close to your chest with your left hand, lift the cup with your right hand, take small sips, and don’t forget to keep your pinky finger extended.
Finish up with a few party games. Singing, ‘I’m A Little Teapot’ in the round, musical chairs, and tea bag hunt (just like an Easter egg hunt, but with tea bags) seem to always go over well.