For my daughter Lucy’s fourth birthday, I decided to go with her current love of butterflies and do a sweet, girly, butterfly-winged / fairy tea party for her and a few little friends. She’s not super demanding or opinionated, so giving her a party she enjoys is easy… And because she’s more of an introvert than an extrovert, it always seems to work out better to keep the party small. Plus, HOT TIP: the less kids you invite, the more you can DO when it comes to favors or activities, etc. It’s just easier to do big, fun things with fewer kids around.
For Lucy’s party this time, I decided to try to use things I already had, or could gather or make for not much money. I think that a small tea party doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive, though heaven knows I saw some pretty amazing ideas I’d love to try someday on another tea party maybe. But for this day, it was just about making a sweet little spot for 4 sweet girls to nibble silly snacks that 4-year olds would want to nibble.
I had the little chairs and stools already, from years of collecting them for my photography business. I also used to collect tea cups, so I was covered there as well. I bought the mosquito net canopy for this party ($20), and found a little table for the girls to sit at at my neighborhood thrift store ($5). The vintage tablecloth was a gift from a friend years ago. The various plates, cake stands, etc. are ones I already had.
I added some dollar store fairy wings to each seat for the little ladies to wear/keep if they wanted to.
For the canopy, I made some tissue paper pom poms and strung a faux-flower garland. I brought my living room throw pillows outside to spruce up my porch chairs.
This side table was for holding the food that couldn’t fit on the tiny tea party table, and for holding the supplies for various crafts/activities I had lined up for the party. It’s not pretty, I guess, but it really helped me keep the party running smoothly to have this right next to the action.
Lucy had just received a darling butterfly costume birthday gift from her aunt the day before, so it ended up being a big part of her party outfit on this day.
The way scheduling worked out, I ended up having to host this little tea party without my husband’s help, so on the morning of, my poor kiddos had to flit around while I set things up. Lucy was content to be a butterfly and explore the violets and wait and watch. My youngest, Quinn, on the other hand, could tell that strange things were afoot, and that he wasn’t the focus… and he saw good and yummy treats starting to be set out and had to keep investigating. And keep getting told “no”. So this was Quinn for much of the morning of Lucy’s party:
But finally the party time arrived, and most of the goodies survived Quinn’s curiosity. Lucy invited three friends to celebrate with her. Quinn got a seat at the table too, and I actually also bought him some wings just in case. He wore them for a tiny minute. 🙂
How sweet are Lucy’s party guests? I invited them to wear a dress or skirt if they wanted, but made sure the mamas knew that play clothes were fine, too, since the girls might have a chance to run around and jump on the trampoline, etc.
Some of the foods I assembled for the party:
cheese sandwiches and peanut butter/jam sandwiches, cut into heart shapes
grapes, watermelon, and raspberries
carrots and ranch
chocolate teddy grahams
dry fruit loops (also for necklace making later)
rainbow sprinkle tea cakes (so easy! Link to make them HERE)
lemonade and milk
tiny appetizer forks like these
We started the party with food right away. That left time to play and have cake afterwards. The first post-food activity was to have them design their own wand, then I glued them together for them. (Again– SO easy with just four guests!) I had pre-cut all the parts and had it all ready to just have them pick while I hot-glued. Fast and cute!
The ladies then took advantage of our roomy backyard and flitted around with their wings and wands, jumping on the trampoline and playing in the little playhouse for awhile.
After some playtime, the girls expressed interest in making the fruit loop necklaces I’d told them about earlier, so back to their tea table, now mostly cleared off, to string fruit loops onto yarn.
After necklaces got made (then eaten), we did a couple of presents and had some cake. For Lucy’s cake, I went with the easy-but-dramatic rosette cake style. Seriously. YOU COULD DO THIS. This is a good tutorial. I found the sweet butterfly to put on the top of the cake in the dollar bins at Michaels. I also found the pretty paper roses that I used on top of the cupcakes in those magical dollar bins.
My favorite cake size is to make a double-layer 6″ cake. I can use a box cake mix and get both the 6″ rounds and 6-8 cupcakes from one box. And a 6″ cake is cute, easier to decorate, and looks so proportionate with the extra cupcakes that go along with it. It’s the only size I’ve made for a few years now. I’m in love. (you can find 6″ cake pans at your Joanns or Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Buy two. That way you can just bake everything all at the same time.)
Quinn is an EXPERT at singing “Happy Birthday” and attempting to blow out candles, so I had to referee Lucy’s candle-moment very closely so he didn’t ruin her moment. Ha ha! But we managed!
Finally, at this point, with all children feeling sugared out and getting close to naptimes, we finished the party with some kinetic sand and stamps. I’d decided that the main favor for Lucy’s guests would be a little tub of pink sand, since the store FiveBelow sells 1/2lb boxes of the stuff for $5. I feel like favors that will actually get used and enjoyed are worth a couple of $$ more, and again, THREE GUESTS means better favors are possible. 🙂 Lucy had gotten the princess stamps for her birthday the week before, so I pulled them out and set them on a plate for the girls to share and use in their sand. Seriously— rubber stamps and kinetic sand is such a cute and easy toddler activity for ANYtime. Try it sometime! It doesn’t hurt the stamps at all, and the sand holds the imprint so well!
So by the time our little party wound to a close and Lucy got to a meltdown point, (no really, she did), the sand activity ended up being a good way to keep it mellow and keep them contained as we waited for parents. Lucy ended up too meltdown-y to say a proper goodbye to her guests, *sigh*, but the party really was so cute, and both Lucy and Quinn enjoyed themselves 95% of the time.
We do parties every other year, so it will be fun to see what a more grown-up and opinionated 6-year-old Lucy wants for her next party. For now, this tiny little vintage/fairy tea party was a sweet way to celebrate my now-4 year old girl.
If you love this party then be sure to check out these other parties for little girls: