Mother and Baby

How to throw an afternoon tea party that even fussy toddlers will love

Afternoon tea party with the kids

Jane Rylands is from British kitchen appliance manufacturer, Belling. Here, she explains how you can create your own at-home afternoon tea to keep the kids entertained for hours this summer.

With school summer holidays on the horizon, panic might be starting to set in about how to keep the kids entertained for six weeks — and without breaking the bank.

Although heading out on a family day trip can be an attractive option for many, it’s not always plausible given the weather and financial circumstances. Being able to make your own fun at home is key to making sure your kids are occupied and happy this summer, with one great option being to make your own at-home afternoon tea party. Not only will this save you some extra cash for the days you do venture out, but the kids will have lots of fun and learn a thing or two.

If you’re looking to host your own at-home afternoon tea party this summer, read on to find out her top 5 tips for creating a memorable day your kids will want to relive over and over again.

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The theme

With afternoon tea being so quintessentially British, why not try incorporating some culture into the day? Small details like bunting, napkins and musical choices with strong British influences will help to transport you and the kids back to the 1800s, where the meal originated.
Alternatively, you could try a more kid-friendly theme, with Disney or superheroes sure to be a hit among your little ones — or host a Mad Hatter’s tea party for a wacky twist on the classic style!
Decorations to match your theme don’t have to be expensive either: grab your laptop and look for some printables you can display around your tea party. Whether they make their own bunting by threading brown jute twine through a selection of images, or you’ve printed out some colour-by-numbers pictures, make sure you get the kids involved with the decoration process to add an extra-special touch to the day.
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The food

The usual order of the day for an afternoon tea includes a lot of finger food, which so happens to be child-friendly and will help you save on the washing up!
Think an impressive sandwich platter with your child’s favourite fillings, surrounded by bowls of snacks to match the theme — as I’m sure they’ll tell you, Disney princesses love Haribo sweets!
Mix it up a little and bond over cooking by making some homemade pastry goods like mini quiches, pies and sausage rolls for everyone to tuck into. Or, create a brand-new recipe together to make your own tradition to add to future afternoon teas.
Sweet things are no doubt the big event for them, and the kids are bound to love getting hands-on with the baking mix, so why not create some themed cupcakes together? Food colouring, sprinkles and icing pens will go down a treat, so be prepared with decoration supplies. You could also try adding a delicious twist on healthy options with chocolate-covered fruit platters — just be sure to have plenty of napkins to hand!
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The drinks

Tea-lovers flock to these events nationally to get a fix of their favourite hot drink alongside some great food, so make sure you’ve got the kettle on for yourself. If you’re not a big fan of traditional tea, there are plenty of herbal and flavoured teas for you to try, and what better opportunity than this to do so!
As it’s not advised for kids to drink caffeine, you’ll have to supply them with something to make them feel grown-up and special too: a tea party–friendly option of elderflower cordial served in teapots and cups will do the trick. If they insist on having a tea-like drink, there are many brands of caffeine- and sugar-free iced tea drinks available in the supermarkets, or recipes to browse online.
You could even opt to make your own homemade smoothies, milkshakes or fresh juices for them to enjoy, providing another opportunity to get them involved in the kitchen and helping to make the experience more memorable for them.
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The venue

You might opt to go fancy and set up camp in the dining room or go more casual and lay down a picnic blanket on the grass if the weather permits it. Wherever you choose to host, make sure it’s a decent-sized space with enough room for your decorations and guests — not forgetting all those teddies and dolls your little ones will no doubt invite along!
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The games

If your kids are a little older, plan some games to play with them after the food has been cleared to add an extra element of fun to the day.
Traditional party favourites like musical chairs, duck duck goose, sleeping lions and tig will be a hit. You could even set up a treasure hunt to give them the opportunity to win some after-tea prizes like mini bags of sweets and chocolate to really make a day of it.

Whether it’s a way of saving some extra cash or you’re wanting to do something different with the kids, be sure to try out an at-home afternoon tea party this summer. Follow traditional paths or make it your own with a creative kid’s theme — they’re sure to love it either way!

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