Did you have tea parties as a child?
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Maybe you went full out and dressed up (and dressed up all of your “guests”) and had a fancy tea set to use. Or maybe you attended an actual afternoon tea. Whatever the case may be, having a tea party is one of those things that most little girls (and some boys) will do.
I think it’s also a great idea for a Mother’s Day activity, but there’s no saying that a Mommy and Me tea party has to be regulated to just that one day. I am that mom that has made my own Mother’s Day gifts with my toddler. In fact, I’ve made my own cards and did a simple salt dough footprint project with Squeaker. This year, we’ll repeat our salt dough footprints and I’m going to start looking for other projects and crafts to do with her. This year as she’s really getting into pretend play, maybe we’ll have our own tea party or I might try to arrange for one to happen with some of the ladies at church.
Ideas for a Mommy and Me Tea Party
Usually, simple is better, easier and more elegant. After deciding on your theme just add tea bags, hot water, lemonade and a few finger foods and you are ready to host a well planned tea party. If you don’t have a full tea set sitting around, you can find some very nice cups, saucers and tea pots in places like Goodwill or other thrift stores for very little money.
You could also borrow them from your friends or, should you decide to make this an annual tradition, everyone could bring their own special cup just for the occasion.
Here are three tea themes perfect for moms and daughters of all ages. Choose one of these or create one of your own to make this Mother’s Day even more special.
• Mother/Daughter – This can be a special time for moms with grown up daughters. Simple decorations with a simple flower arrangement to grace the table alongside tea cups and saucers can be pleasing to the eye as well the heart. Finger sandwiches, cookies and scones finish the menu. For a special treat, have the mothers and daughters write a note or letter to each other sharing how much they are appreciated.
• Mommy & Me – For moms of younger girls this theme would be really cute if the moms came elegantly dressed and the girls were able to rummage through a trunk with donated dresses, shoes, gloves and jewelry so they could look just like mom. Include cookies or simple finger foods along with lemonade, punch or hot chocolate for those that prefer it over tea. Have the invitations ask the children to bring a stuffed animal guest to share the table. Think about the tea parties you hosted as a child and let your imagination run wild.
• Beach Time Tea – With Mother’s Day being celebrated in May, just prior to the official summer season, why not take the opportunity to serve flavored iced tea instead? Use iced tea glasses instead of tea cups and serve typical summer appetizers. Have everyone dress in straw hats, sunglasses and flip-flops or sandals in anticipation of the warmer weather.
And just how does one brew a perfect pot of tea?
• Fill a tea pot with tap water to warm it up prior to adding tea leaves and boiling water.
• Fill tea kettle with fresh, cold, non-distilled water.
• Place kettle on stove and bring to boil.
• Just before kettle begins to boil, pour water from tea pot and add one teaspoon tea leaves per cup to pot, plus an additional teaspoon for the pot.
• Remove kettle from heat right after it comes to a boil and pour 6 ounces per cup into tea pot.
• Let tea steep 3 – 7 minutes depending on desired strength.
• While tea steeps, ask a friend to “do the honors” by serving the tea to your other guests.
• Add cold, whole milk, or lemon to tea cups depending on preference of guests.
• Pour tea into cups using a strainer to catch loose leaves.
And here are some more tea brewing tips:
• Use a ceramic tea pot rather than metal. Metal can affect the taste of the tea and will cool the water more quickly.
• Keep boiling water available for second cups and to dilute tea that becomes strong while sitting in tea pot. Rinse out the tea kettle and start with fresh, cold tap water. Never boil anything but water in your tea kettle.
• Bring the water to its first rolling boil. Never over boil. Over boiling takes the oxygen out of the water, which in turn creates a flat beverage.
• Take the teapot to the tea kettle and rinse out the pot with the boiling water from the kettle. Never take the kettle to the teapot, as you lose one degree of heat per second. Water for tea should be 212 degrees.
• Use one teabag or teaspoon of loose tea per cup. Leaves enter the warm teapot and the infusion begins when the leaf opens.
• Allow the tea to brew for three to five minutes, according to the blend of tea and how strong you like it.
Another tip for your party? Buy a tea sampler so that your guests can choose what type of tea they’d like to drink. Or have each guest bring their favorite tea and have a tea buffet.
These are just a few ideas for planning a mommy and me tea party- either to celebrate Mother’s Day or for any day of the year. What would you do for your tea party?