Tea Parties Are an Inexpensive Birthday Hit

Filed under: Opinions

When my daughter told me she wanted to have her birthday party at the roller skating rink, I thought, "Sure! That sounds easy." Then I called the rink and had to ask them to repeat their fee twice, because I was pretty sure I heard wrong.

I hadn't.

When the kids in her class started having "friend" parties, my daughter started getting invited to places like the roller rink, Chuck E. Cheese, and the bowling alley. But I discovered after that phone call that not only am I unable to pay $200-$300 dollars for one of my kids' birthday parties, I'm also unwilling to.

How can I make an at-home party fun and affordable at the same time? I thought to myself. Then I looked at my soon to be six-year-old and the answer hit me: Throw a tea party. She was instantly on board.

Here are some ideas for a perfectly simple tea party, including some of the plans for our own upcoming party:

  • Hit the resale shop: My mom took my daughter to the resale shop to look for tea cups. They came home with 14 of them -- all different, all beautiful -- for a grand total of $3.50.
  • Keep the menu simple: Tiny tea sandwiches are the perfect finger food for little hands, just be sure to fill them with kid-friendly foods. Our guests will choose from peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, and cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. More adventurous moms might try one of these delicious sounding recipes. We'll also have simple fruit skewers, sliced cheese, and pretty petit fours (bought frozen, naturally).
  • Use what you have: One of the perks of throwing a tea party is that you can decorate with items you already have in your home. A lacy table cloth, vases full of fresh flowers, and pretty plates with the aforementioned tea cups. Lollipop flowers and candy roses make a cute centerpiece and double as a gift for guests.
  • Pull out the dress up box: Put a box full of costume jewelry, dress-up clothes, tiaras, and boas out for guest to go through when they arrive at the party. Don't have a dress up box or don't want to share? While you're at the resale shop loading up on tea cups, pick up some dress up items too.
  • Plan a craft: A craft is a great way to quiet thing down when kids get rowdy. These foam teapot picture frames are easy enough for a young crowd, while making a hat (here's a cute one) or beading a necklace or bracelet are other simple, but cute ideas.
  • Give a goody bag: We don't do goody bags (our craft is our gift), but if you do, these tea bag party favors from Family Fun are adorable.
Finally, don't forget the thank you notes! How do you make birthdays special without overspending? Share some of your favorite ideas with us.

For more great party ideas, check out AOL's Party Central!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.