Easter is coming. Springtime means some sunny days mixed in with a little rain. Early flowers are struggling toward the sunlight ready to burst forth with colour and your grandkids are antsy and eager for something new. Why not plan something special this year? How about a “high tea” with fancy food and a fun theme? You may even get the chance to teach a few table manners to your princes and princesses.

Enlist Their Help

Get the grandkids on board with the planning. If you’re dealing with princesses only, the theme will be frilly and easily decided. If there are princes involved, you’ll need to include a super-hero or two. Or possibly pirates or dinosaurs. Let the kids choose a theme they’re really invested in—something they’ll love to create plans for. Something they’ll be excited to take part in when the happy event arrives. If you get stuck, movie characters or book characters might save the day.

Invite Some Friends

Unless you have a large family, you’ll probably want to invite a few young friends to join in the Easter fun. Four to six children is optimal since the tea is a more formal event than free play. (You may include a quick run around the back forty or some other active play before the tea begins. Just to get the wiggles out.)

Decorate

Decorations for the tea will follow the theme. You may want to plan a simple craft to go along with the day. One idea is to decorate a picture frame, then take a good photo of the day to include later for a wonderful memory.

Other decorations will include plates, cups, napkins and a tablecloth. You might choose to enlist your kids to hand decorate the plates or cups. Or sort through the family possessions for some fancy tablecloths or napkins or doilies to make the decor special. 

The ever-popular strings of chains might keep the kids involved if they’re colour-coordinated with your theme. Paper banners to hang or to wear over the shoulder will make the day more festive. Paper crowns or inexpensive tiaras add to the drama.

The Menu

Since teas are generally served with both sandwiches and sweets, here are some ideas for a child-friendly version of the day:

Drinks:  You might try herbal teas, but be prepared to serve something more familiar such as chocolate milk, lemonade or hot cocoa.

Sandwiches: Most children are a bit picky about sandwich fillings, so stick to choices that are easy on their palate such as turkey on whole wheat, nutella and banana on white, cinnamon cream cheese on rye, cinnamon toast points or pbj on virtually any kind of bread.

Sweets: Brownie bites, mini-cupcakes, chocolate-dipped shortbreads, fruit kabobs with marshmallows or rice krispie treats cut into cookie cutter shapes are some good choices.

Final Prep

Be sure to involve your kids in both the planning and the final preparations. They can help set the fancy table, gather flowers for a centrepiece, make and cut the sandwiches, mix and help bake the cookies, frost cupcakes and add sprinkles, and so much more. 

Be sure your guests know they’re to come dressed according to the theme and ready to hold their pinkies up as they drink their beverages.

Let the fancy fun begin.

For more ideas for your special child-friendly high tea see:

www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/afternoon-tea 

https://whatscookingamerica.net/EllenEaston/ChildrensTeapartyMenu.htm 

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