A tea party is a great way for a child to learn practical life skills while having fun. Recently my mother passed on to me some of her chin tea cups which belonged to my grandmother and great-aunt. One cup even belonged to my great-grandmother. When I was a little girl my mother and I would make sugar cookies and then I’d get to pick a tea cup and we’d have a tea party. Now I get to do that with my daughter and she just loves it. With lots of thought she chooses her cup from the china cabinet. One way to really build a child’s self esteem is to entrust them with something special and fragile, trusting in them that they’ll be careful (but don’t give them something you’ll be upset about if it does break). The delight on their faces, mixed with seriousness at the task is wonderful. Pumpkin says over and over to herself, “carefy, carefy, fagile”.
Of course she spills a bit and clangs the tea cup a little too hard, but with practice she’ll learn to have the control over her hands to be gentle. You can purchase tea cups and saucers for less than a dollar at Goodwill. We also have a teapot and sugar bowl and creamer from there.
Children love to smell the teas I have and pick one to make. An older child can pour cooled tea from the pot (don’t let them pour hot tea!). There are also adorable small one or two cup tea pots that a younger child could use. Pumpkin 1 is able to pour the milk from the creamer into her cup and put the sugar in and stir. That’s her favourite part. She stirs with the relish of childhood.
And don’t forget to dress up! Everything is more special in a pretty dress. The memories of the tea parties from my child hood are always sweet to me. It’s a simple and beautiful way to make memories with your child. And tea parties are not just for girls. Boys enjoy them too.