Summer Tea Party Decor
If you have a little outside space, set up your summer tea party there. Toss a large blanket on the grass to create a picnic space. If you prefer to use a table, pull out your trusty card table, then drape it with a pretty tablecloth or even a clean sheet. I set mine up on the front porch to take advantage of the refreshing summer air.
Do your kids (or you) have cherished stuffed animal friends around the house? Invite their best stuffed buddies to your summer tea party. (Imaginary friends count, too!)
Use a casual-style tea set that has a little weight to it so tiny hands get practice using a cup and saucer, but your most cherished, delicate pieces are safe from being accidentally dropped.
Dress Up Time
If you have time to spruce up your outfits, bring out some costume jewels for dress up. Do your kids have a fancy holiday outfit that stays in storage all year? Your summer tea party is a perfect time to parade those special digs.
You can craft a pretty hair decoration for your kids with a large artificial flower or a cut-out paper flower fastened to an inexpensive headband or even a shoelace.
Kid-Friendly Summer Tea Party Menu
For my summer tea party, I’m serving kid-friendly foods that I was able to prepare with ingredients already in my pantry – no shopping required. Peanut butter and jelly tea sandwiches are perfect for this kids version of tea. I used a dense and nutty whole grain bread, but a standard white bread would work lovely here, too.
How about fancified hot dog sliders? Instead of a beef hot dog, I used a chicken sausage. Slice a hot dog bun into four pieces and make little stacks of whatever tempting fillings your kids may enjoy. A leaf of spinach, sandwich-sliced dill pickle, and yellow mustard were the perfect complement for mine.
A fresh fruit salad can be assembled swiftly by slicing up whatever fruit you have on hand: bananas, oranges, apples, or grapes. I plucked some mint from my garden for a splash of color and a dash of fun flavor.
Crisp and refreshing watermelon salad is a always a winning treat for a summer tea party. This easy-to-make version uses feta cheese, ripe strawberries, and freshly chopped basil to complement the juicy melon.
What’s more satisfying for a sweet tooth than good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie bars? You can bake these at home in about 30 minutes, from prep to licking sticky fingers! I love simple dessert recipes that bake in one dish rather than scooping and baking individual cookies.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 and 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a square 8x8-inch pan by lining it with foil. (Tip: Lining the pan with foil makes it easy to lift out the entire cookie bar from the pan and then slice it on the countertop.)
Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars (beat for about two minutes to really whip some air into the mixture, which helps your bars stand tall and thick).
Add the vanilla and egg, beating well.
Pour in the dry ingredients and mix well.
Stir in the chocolate chips (and walnuts, if using).
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the edges are browned.
Summer Tea Party Beverages
It’s up to you whether to serve your tea hot or iced at your summer tea party. Depending on your kiddos' affinity for caffeine, I recommend serving a lovely herbal tea. Even in the summer, I love a warm cuppa with my tea parties, and the Peach Popsicle Herbal Tea is a super choice. It’s a pairing of sweet peach, apricot, and almond, and it’s wonderful enjoyed with conversation out in the garden with your little ones.
A fabulously magical choice for an iced beverage is the Magical Butterfly Herbal Tea with lemonade. Make a cold brew of the tea, which turns a gorgeous dark blue because of the butterfly pea flowers. Carefully pour some of the blue tea into a glass of ice and lemonade, and, voila! A pretty, layered purple and yellow iced beverage that will have your young ones squealing with glee. (Hey – the adults will think it’s pretty cool, too!)
Check out Andy’s fabulous demonstration of this tea chemistry project to see how it's done.
Summer Tea Party Games
After the delicious food and drink are devoured, keep your kids’ active energy focused on some fun games.
Sugar Cube Stacks
Stacking games are an engaging way to practice your tots’ hand-eye coordination. Provide a bowl of sugar cubes and ask the participants to stack the cubes in a single column to see who can balance them the highest. Or, have them work together to build a little city out of the cubes, full of sugar streets and houses.
If you have a yard or can go to a community park, you can play this age-old game of stick, ball, and hoop. Have your participants knock the ball through each hoop set up on the lawn, working toward the goal hoop. You can find an inexpensive croquet set on your neighborhood marketplace website, or from a local toy store. Or, if you have some old wire hangers hanging around (pause for pun applause), you can rework the wire into croquet hoops and use whatever game balls you may have at home such as tennis balls or baseballs. A bat or broomstick can replace the croquet mallet for knocking the balls through the hoops.
Participants throw small, corn-filled bags toward a slanted board with one hole cut out of it near the top, placed on the ground. A bag tossed into the hole is worth three points; if the bag lands on the board, it’s one point. You can craft a homemade version of this by cutting a hole out of a large piece of cardboard (maybe from a shipping box from one of your recent online purchases) and using balled up sock pairs in place of corn-filled bags.
Your outdoor summer tea party will be a big hit with the little ones with some yummy kid-friendly food, delicious tea, and energy-burning activities. It’s a great way to pass the time together while having some fun and making memories, too.