It's no secret that the princess theme is a hit with many little girls. They love the fantasy of living in a castle, being attended by servants and wearing gorgeous gowns for a living. If your daughter is so inclined, she might be begging for a princess tea party, true to the royal flair of real -- or Disney -- aristocracy.
The dress code for your little princess's tea party should, of course, be princess-themed. Encourage guests to wear their royal finery, whether they want to dress up as a fictional princess character or come up with their own creation. Provide dress-up supplies for guests who don't have time or a go-to costume so nobody feels left out. Encourage tiaras and crowns, fancy shoes and slippers, and magic wands and wings for fairy princesses. If parents are accompanying their little ones, they are, of course, exempt -- but it can be fun to see the grown-up hosts dress for the part.
A princess tea party calls for a venue that's as fancy as possible, but it doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune renting the equivalent of Windsor Castle. If you have a backyard and it's spring or summer, blooming trees and green grass provide a fantastic backdrop for a princess tea party. Set up an open-air tent for shade and to shield guests from surprise showers. Bring out all of your daughter's favorite stuffed animal pals to attend the tea party; a princess needs all of her ladies and gentlemen in waiting at her beck and call, plus they'll give easily distracted kids something to play with. If you're hosting the party indoors, put up crepe paper streamers in your princess's favorite colors. Coordinate table spreads and flatware. There can never be too much glitter at a princess tea party, but keep it away from upholstery and carpets as much as possible.
Include the finest finger foods on the princess tea party menu. Use a serif font with lots of swirls and elegant scrolls to print up a physical menu on cardstock to decorate the food table. Afternoon tea snacks work well for a princess tea party; they won't overwhelm 4-year-olds' limited appetites, and they appeal to pickier kids' palates. Make crustless cucumber sandwiches with cucumber slices, light mayonnaise and white bread. Buy or make scones, crumpets, muffins or cupcakes. Have real tea ready for grown-up guests. For a kiddie alternative to hot black tea with milk and sugar, which might be too risky for small guests, serve a lightly sweetened iced tea. For instance, Honest Tea makes bottled flavors of black, green and white iced tea that will appeal to a small child's sweet tooth without causing cavities.
Set up a cupcake-decorating station for the diminutive damsels. Spread a tarp or clear plastic sheet below the work surface to prepare for the inevitable spills and upsets. Include icing in small squeeze-tubes, tubs of frosting with kid-friendly plastic knives or spreaders, sprinkles and sugar confetti. For party games, try to keep expectations low -- organizing a group of toddlers can be an uphill battle that might not even be worth it if they get bored quickly. See if guests come up with an organic form of play among themselves, and intervene if feelings are hurt or someone gets upset. Prepare a candy grab by scattering wrapped candy around a room or lawn, and give each guest a small bag to grab as much as they can. If you have a toddler playhouse or can find a cardboard castle, set it up for guests to incorporate in their imaginative games.
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