If you have young children, you’ve probably attended several pretend tea parties thrown by your children. There’s just something about pretty food, tea cups, dressing up and acting like grown up royalty that screams fun to kids. You may have considered throwing a tea party for your children and their friends, but were intimidated by the ”fancy” part of it. The good news is that not only can you throw a tea party that is affordable and easy, but you can teach your children quite a few Christian life skills in the process. In fact, begin by giving your kids a budget for the party. Have them find ways to do everything they want for the party, but still stay within the budget. Take them shopping and teach them how to find bargains at the store. The better they are at managing finances, the more they will have to use to serve God.
So how can you make a tea party easy and affordable? First of all, it’s a rare American child who will like hot tea. Instead, fill their tea cups with lemonade or caffeine free iced tea. What’s a tea party without petit fours? They are not easy to make and bakery ones are expensive. Thankfully, someone has finally produced a frozen variety that is affordable. If you want your kids to practice patience and perseverance, try making your own. Make it easier by buying frozen pound cake and cutting it into small squares while it is not quite thawed. Then find a recipe for the pourable icing to frost them with. (It is thinner than standard frosting.).
Tea sandwiches? Teach your children some cooking skills they can use to serve others. Cut the crusts off of regular sandwich bread. Make a few favorite sandwiches of your children and their friends, then cut each sandwich into four triangles.
Hospitality is one of the attributes of a strong Christian. Discuss with your children whom they want to invite, but more importantly, how to make them feel comfortable and welcome in your home. This can also be a great excuse to review some basic manners needed at a ”proper” tea party.
Involve your children in the cleaning and decorating. They will learn responsibility and begin developing a strong work ethic (hopefully!). Chances are, you will even get to remind them of the Bible verse about doing everything without grumbling and complaining more than once! Help your children plan a few activities to keep their friends engaged before or after the tea party if they want their friends to stay a little longer. Talk about “considering the needs of others” and making sure they choose activities they know their friends will enjoy.
When everyone has gone home, “let” your children help with the clean up. It’s a great time to talk about working “as for the Lord” and how we all must do some things we don’t enjoy in life, but are necessary. While you are cleaning, talk about the party and what things you want to change or try the next time. It is a great way to begin teaching them how to reflect and make improvements in their lives and ministries.
Most of all, have fun! Be the house where your children and their friends want to be. It takes extra time and effort, but when your kids are teens, you will be glad you did.