Amazingly, I am the mom of a 4 year old!
Mabel turned four last week. She wanted a birthday tea party, and has been saying so for months. This was the first year she had actual opinions on what she wanted her party to be like. She chose the theme, the menu, her outfit, and the guest list. Thankfully, she didn’t have any extravagant demands.
I did limit her to three friends to keep things small and simple for me. Each gal was encouraged to wear her interpretation of “tea party attire.” She chose her best pal from school, her best pal from the neighborhood, and her best pal from the library.
My mother-in-law got Mabel this tea party game as a birthday gift. She was inspired by the game in her choices for the menu, namely heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grapes, and tea. She also requested a birthday cake from Baskin Robbins, so I was off the hook for baking too!
As I have for the past several years, I recycled birthday decorations (see Mabel’s second birthday and third birthday here).
The things I picked up are pictured below.
I’ve written before about my #scimom guilt around using helium for something as trivial as a birthday balloon. To avoid that situation, I picked up these balloon sticks. It meant I didn’t have to pay for the balloons to be filled with helium, and they last much longer since floating isn’t necessary (as of this publishing, they are still inflated 10 days after they were inflated). They can be reused, and since I ordered 12 dozen of them, this will now be our go-to party balloon solution and should last us until both kids turn 30. It also made for really cute decorations when we affixed them to the chairs with zip ties. These are the polka dot balloons I purchased. Each girl took a few home with her.
As an activity, I purchased this tea pot picture frame craft set. Once the girls were finished making their frames, they went into the living room where Mac took photos of them with the birthday girl. He then printed out the pictures and we put them in the frames for the girls to take home as a party favor.
The other party favor were these party hats from Party City. They were less than $2 a piece, and because Mac was able to order them from inside the store, the shipping was free!
Of course, no tea party would be complete without a tea set. I did a fair amount of research on Amazon and ultimately opted for this kid’s ceramic tea set. It was Mabel’s birthday present from us. It is child-sized, but it isn’t miniature like a doll’s set (You can see the size relative to a dessert plate in the photos above). It even came with little spoons and napkins, and was inexpensive enough that if pieces break, it won’t be a big waste of money. While she and her friends were having their photos taken in the living room, I laid out the tea service for four.
The girls enjoyed serving themselves tea- which spilled all over the place- and even tolerated Nemo crashing the tea party.
The party was only two hours, and that was enough time for the craft, the photos, tea/lunch, and some playing.
Mabel enjoyed herself, and that’s what matters most. She also did a pretty good job of being a hostess- although there was some conflict over who got what colored seat at the table. At the end of the party, she didn’t want her guests to leave, but there were no tears or tantrums.
I enjoy making a fuss over birthdays!