1. Start planning early.
When it comes to child tea party planning, the early and well-prepared bird gets the worm! Not to mention, experiences much less stress and frustration. Bolster your self-confidence a thousand-fold by beginning your party preparations early. And it is so easy to find the extra time to plan a great tea party. Just spend 15-30 minutes per evening completing projects, planning your menu, gathering recycled materials, etc.
Don't be afraid to let the family assist you. Or perhaps you can reclaim some of that wasted television time, by doing things for your party during commercials. Trust me... You will find this so much easier than putting everything together the night before the party. What a hassle!...
Include the party child in party planning.
Children really enjoy being a help, especially at their own parties. Allow your child to help you with party planning. Let her choose the theme and party elements for her tea party. Discuss with her the kinds of foods she and her friends would like to eat (by the way - include a variety of foods so that fussy eaters will find something acceptable to eat).
Allow your child to pick games that she wants to play. Find ways to make your child an advocate in the tea party planning... By including her, you won't give her the opportunity to be adversarial.
Keep it short and simple.
For many party planners the tendency is to “Go Big!” when it comes to children’s parties. You really want to impress your child, all the party children, their parents etc. However, children are just as capable of having fun on a small scale. When you are talking about tea parties especially, you want to pace them well and not try cram too much into them.
You can keep the party magical by keeping activities simple - not too long or difficult - for the age group. Don't allow the party to drag on too long, particularly for younger children. Remember that older children can handle longer parties, but even they have their limits. It is much better to have the children clamoring for more, versus feeling more than ready to go home…. So keep it short.
Limit the number of guests.
Small groups are easier to plan for and handle. The number of children invited should be based on your child’s age. Small children tend to be overwhelmed by large numbers of people. A general rule for children under 6 years of ages is that the number of guests should be equal to the age of the child.
For children 6 and older up to 12 guests is appropriate (as long as you aren’t too overwhelmed). Remember too, that space is a limiting factor. Be realistic about how many children can comfortably fit into your party area.
Develop a party schedule.
Having a party schedule of what activities will be done in what order is absolutely invaluable. Even if you decide to wing it and throw in or out an activity, seeing how everything fits together can help you to avoid unnecessary complications.
To make a tea party schedule work you should follow your basic plan, but stay open to changes.
Set up a party area that is both safe and smart.
Part of the secret to a well organized tea party is setting up an efficient party area. Start by reviewing your party schedule, and imagine how each of the activities will flow from one area to the next. Anticipate what you will need in each area, and get these items ready ahead of time. Here are some suggestions:
- Set up child-sized tables and chairs.
- Have trash cans readily available.
- Make sure your camera is loaded and ready to take pictures.
- Place craft supplies in several containers so children will not have to reach over one another.
- Have towels and cloths stationed in a few spots in the party area, to make clean-ups easier.
- If you have pets, make sure they are kept out of the way during the party.
- Remove dangerous and/or breakable items from the party area.
Maintain your sense of humor.
By all means, expect the unexpected. No matter how well you plan and how much you hope for perfection, you are not very likely to achieve that. But that is the magic of partying with kids. The unexpected and often surprising element tends to crop up during children’s parties. Just stay flexible and be prepared to respond.
Situations such as a difficult or shy child, bad weather, or emergency situations are very common. So, have a first aid kit ready for scrapes and bruises, have ready alternate games for reticent kids, and plan indoor activities for bad weather. Be sure to have extra food, costumes and prizes ready for the unexpected guest.
But the number one attribute to keep on hand at all times is your sense of humor... Don’t let the little things get in the way of having an absolute blast!