How to Throw a Lovely Tea Party for Kids

Two sisters playing tea party outdoors.
Alina Demidenko / Getty Images

Many young children can spend hours hosting a tea party for their dolls and stuffed animals. It's a time of imagination that kids really love because they can act like adults. Take that to the next level and invite some of your child's friends over for their very own tea party.

It's an easy event to plan for an afternoon and can include all the typical elements of tea time, from frilly linens to tea sandwiches and cookies. There are also some fun activities and games centered around the tea party theme that the kids will love.

  • 01 of 07

    Set the Tea Table

    Vintage high tea party pink and blue tea cup, plates, gold cutlery flatware, pink roses, place setting - wedding bridal shower
    Alison Henley / Getty Images

    A tea party is one of those occasions where the table setting really does matter. No plastic tableware here! It's time to break out the fancy linens and pretty china. Each setting should have, at the very least, a teacup, a saucer, and a bread plate.

    Don't forget to leave room on the table for the star of the show: the teapot. Place one in the center, or, if you have a lot of guests, set two or three of them along the table.

    You might even want to dress up the table with a few cute accessories:

    • Lace doilies
    • Flowers
    • Mini framed place cards
    • Strings of faux pearls (fun to wrap around napkins)
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  • 02 of 07

    Take It Outside

    High tea!
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    When the weather is warm, host your tea party out in the garden, on the patio, or on the lawn. It is a beautiful way to enjoy the fresh spring or summer air and the picnic-like setting can make tea even more enjoyable. Set up an outdoor table covered with a pretty floral table cloth or spread a blanket on the lawn so the little ones can enjoy their very own tea party, just like "Alice in Wonderland."

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  • 03 of 07

    Invite Your Teddy Bear

    Mixed race girl having tea party with stuffed animals
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    For little kids, make it a teddy bear (or any plush animal) tea party. Children will love to bring their favorite stuffed friends along with them to enjoy an afternoon of tea and games. You can even have them dress up their bears in tea time fashion as one of your party activities. 

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  • 04 of 07

    Serve Tea Bag Biscuit Cookies

    Tea Party Cookies
    As Easy as Apple Pie

    Every tea party needs a sweet snack. What could be more perfect than cookies shaped like little tea bags? Your guests will be absolutely delighted when they see these chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies, complete with cute labels that you can customize. They're easy to make and you can do it a couple of days in advance. Wrap them up as delightful little tea party favors or just lay them out on everyone's bread plate. Either way, they're simply adorable!

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  • 05 of 07

    Serve Tea Sandwiches

    Triangular sandwiches with cucumber and butter for a tea party, English tradition.
    Janna Danilova / Getty Images

    It's true that kids may turn their noses up at sandwiches stiffened with watercress or arugula. Thankfully, there are many tea sandwiches designed to please kids.

    You can stick with tradition, but change it up just enough for your young guests. Ideas include simple fillings like peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, or turkey and mayonnaise, and a strawberry cream cheese spread is a guaranteed winner. Simply trim off the crust and kids' favorite sandwiches become a little fancy bite suitable for any princess or rock star.

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  • 06 of 07

    Play Tea Party Games

    girl ( 5) dancing in field in princess dress
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    Every party needs a few games to keep kids entertained and a tea party is no exception. You can have lots of laughs with a round of "I'm a Little Teapot" Freeze Dance, or try a sugar cube stacking race. There's even a traditional Victorian tea party game called Lookabout, which is a fun activity for indoor parties. No matter which you choose, ​playing games at a children's tea party will stir just the right amount of entertainment into your event.

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  • 07 of 07

    Give Tea Party Favors

    Party favors and hat
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    Send your tea party guests home with a special keepsake. A teacup filled with small wrapped chocolate candies is a lovely idea for a party favor. You can also package cute cupcakes or cookies in decorative boxes or wrap a pretty ribbon around a box of tea. Your guests may also like to keep the tea party going when they get home, so a little play tea set or a beautiful tea party hat would be nice as well.