Friday, September 3, 2010

Tea Party - Behind the Scenes

So Emily is having a tea party birthday bash this year. Every year I toy with the idea of renting a jumper and combining birthdays and letting the kids entertain themselves. What fun - and everyone loves a jumper, right?

But the girls so like the lead up to the party, and they want to make everything for it. It takes a little more time, but they get so excited about being involved, so we take the plunge and do one of those self-organized parties. I read about self-organized, handmade parties all over the internet and I get the general sense that the responses to them run the spectrum from "Wow, I want to copy that!" to "That's way over-the-top. Whom are they trying to impress?"

So here I am, about to be similarly judged and you know what - I couldn't care less what the outcome is and what you all think. I'm in it for the crafts and the cardboard! Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, Emily is now old enough to be delegated her own tasks, which is fun to watch.

These are bracelets she made for prizes for everyone
(no wait, her grandma and I helped with some of these):

And this is a necklace she made for the Big Prize:
I'm not sharing these photos to say, "look what my daughter did - do I have a beading prodigy or what?!" (Answer = yes). I'd like to tell you a little story that made me very proud. Our initial plan (mine) was to give all the participants an Emily-made necklace as a prize for playing a game, and giving the winner of that game a toy we'd buy - a little tea set or something like that. Emily was very excited about getting to choose which toy to buy. After a few days, she came up to me and said, "Mum, I think if we gave a toy as the big prize, the other kids would feel sad that they didn't get a toy too. I think we should give the winner a (handmade) necklace, and give all the other kids (handmade) bracelets."

Moments like these make my day, I have to tell you. We have our fair share of selfish me-me-me-me outbursts in our home, but I am moved by empathy like that, in a six-year-old or anyone, really.

OK, that's enough touchy-feely stuff.

We also made a pinata. Nothing like a pinata to bash up at a dainty tea party, eh? Too much "please-thank-you-would-you-mind-passing-the-sugar-oh-what-a-lovely-hat" otherwise. There's etiquette in pinata-bludgeoning too - taking turns, asking politely for the club, not whacking the other kids in the face, thanking the person ahead for leaving some loot for you - it's all good manners.

Today we stuck on the spout, handle and little lid knob. It turned out to be a very Aladdin-esque teapot! We'll paint it next week. I like that even Kate helped make the pinata, and that she will get to help paint it (and herself, probably).

Here's a funny unrelated photo I thought I'd throw in. You all seemed to like the desperate pictorial party countdown chart I drew up for Emily in the earlier post, so I figured you might appreciate this one. Emily made this packing list herself, for our weekend trip out of town. She drew all the stuff she wanted to pack - she knew what the little pictures were, even if I didn't.

The bottom row, though, is our family. She made sure to pack us.

I'll keep taking pictures as we make more stuff for the party. Maybe it's funner to do a big reveal on the day itself but I think the prep is the best part - the girls and I get to work together to create a big mess!


  1. I actually really like reading the prep work! I can't wait until my little girl (she just turned 2) is a little older so that she can help out more. This year I tried to get her to make a pinata with me but she did not feel like maybe next year.

  2. I love that pinata! And I would wear those bracelets. My son's 6th birthday is in two weeks but he insists he wants a family party, so I will not be making 10 Lowly worms this year. (just as well. He wants a "Cat From Outer Space" party after seeing the c. 1976 movie recently. I'm making ONE cat for him).


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