Doll tea parties are a fun way for your child to stretch their imagination. Children of all ages can enjoy a tea party, trying new things, learning social skills, and having fun with friends or family.
Tea parties can be a fun way to teach your children etiquette rules and manners, or you can simply enjoy playing pretend with your child and their dolls.
Whatever you decide, hosting a doll tea party is simple and can be lots of fun!
What do you need for a doll tea party?
The only thing you really need for a doll tea party is imagination!
Pretend tea parties are a great way for your child to be creative. Work together to imagine the different guests at your tea party.
What do their voices sound like? What clothes do they wear? You can also imagine different types of tea, including the way the teas look, smell, and taste.
Your child’s imagination and a little guidance from you can create hours of tea party fun.
Who is invited to the tea party?
Doll tea parties are not just for dolls. Stuffed animals, action figures, and homemade toys can all score an invite to the party.
Letting your child decide the seating arrangement for their tea party is another way to let them be creative. Whether you sit at your own dining table, a child’s play table, or on the floor, they can decide who sits next to who.
Choose a tea party set
There are countless tea party sets available for children. While you can always use cups and plates from home, tea party sets can feel special or fancy for your child.
Make sure to purchase a set that is age appropriate. For example, younger children may need plastic cups and saucers that are larger in size and easier to grip. Older children may appreciate sets made of actual china with dainty silverware to match.
Most tea sets for kids include some or all of the following items.
- Plastic food
- Cream and sugar dishes
- Carrying case
You can even find tea party sets that play music or provide enriching activities for your child. From shape-matching games to sing-along songs, your child can learn their shapes, colors, basic manners, and more just by playing tea party!
Look for sets that grow with your child to offer even more years of fun.
What to wear
Tea parties are a wonderful opportunity for your child to play dress up as well. You do not have to buy a new outfit for a tea party. Just have your child raid their closet!
Whether they choose their favorite outfit, a princess dress, or something from mom’s closet, they can express their own personal style.
It can even be fun to make dressing for a tea party a game. Who can come up with the silliest look? Who has the fanciest outfit? The options are endless!
Your child may also enjoy dressing up their dolls or stuffed animals for the tea party. If you do not have extra doll clothes around the house, try dressing your tea party guests in clothes from your child’s closet or your own.
Shirts and dresses that are too big for the dolls just add to the fun and imaginative spirit of a child’s tea parties.
Ideas for doll tea party themes
Doll tea parties come in all shapes and sizes. From a simple make-believe party with your child and their favorite stuffed animal, to birthday parties with a dozen children, you can easily scale tea parties up or down.
The following themes can give you and your child some ideas on your next tea party:
- Fancy tea party: A fancy tea party calls for your best dress, including gloves and a hat. Even the dolls or stuffed animals can be dressed up to fit the theme
- Play soft, classical music in the background and decorate your table with white linens to add to the environment
- Wacky tea party: Go crazy with your wackiest outfit, hat, and shoes! Play fun, pop music in the background and make sure your tea set is mismatched
- Bear tea party: Dolls are a lot of fun, but inviting your favorite stuffed bear to your tea party creates a whimsical, storybook atmosphere
- Outdoor tea party: Take the show on the road by setting up a small table in the backyard.
Decorating with flowers can make the tea party feel like it is set in an enchanted garden
- Favorite book character tea party: Dress up like your favorite book character. Use the character’s most common sayings and bring the book with you to the table
What is on the doll tea party menu?
If your child is just playing pretend, the options for their tea party menu are only limited by their imagination. They can play with the plastic food that comes with their tea set, or they can make up their own tea party menu.
Try these ideas to kick-start their imagination:
- Ask your child to draw pictures of the food or drinks they will serve at their tea party
- Encourage your child to create a tea party menu for each guest
- Ask questions: What does the food look like? How does the tea taste?
- Find pictures online for your child to reference
For brave parents who are willing to serve actual food and drinks at their child’s tea party, there are a lot of options for a kid-friendly menu. From herbal teas to milk, finger sandwiches to cookies, you can have a wide menu.
To make the time special, ask for your child’s input on the menu. Give them options to choose from or select their favorite dishes.
Making miniature versions of their favorite food is a great way to make a tea party seem more fancy or out of the ordinary. Cutting up fruit or using a cookie cutter to shape sandwiches are other popular and fun tea party ideas.
Tea that is safe for children
Children over the age of one can enjoy tea! The trick is to choose the kind of tea that is safe for kids.
Although tea is natural, most varieties of tea are caffeinated. It is best to skip the caffeine and look for an herbal tea instead. Peppermint, chamomile, and hibiscus are popular herbal teas for children.
While many adults put cream and sugar in their tea, you may want to leave out the sugar for your child’s tea party. Kids who have never tried tea with sugar before do not know to expect it, so they can enjoy their drink without added sugar.
If milk goes well with your chosen tea, you can try adding a splash or two to their drink. They may enjoy mixing it together with a small teaspoon.
Keep children away from the teapot while the tea is brewing. The liquid will be extremely hot and unsafe for kids. Leave the teapot completely out of reach until it has cooled enough.
You should also allow the tea to cool before serving it to your child. Spills happen, but hot tea can be dangerous.
Drink ideas for children who do not like tea
Not all children enjoy the taste of tea. Thankfully, you do not have to serve tea at a child’s tea party! You can let your child choose their favorite drink or create a menu of child-safe beverages for them to choose from.
The following are popular drink ideas for kids who do not like tea.
- Iced tea
- Flavored water
- Orange juice
- Sparkling grape juice
- Juice boxes or pouches (poured into a tea cup)
Tea party etiquette
Tea parties are a great opportunity to teach your child about manners and social etiquette.
For young children, simply letting them play is probably best. However, if you have older kids, you can also teach them the proper way to drink tea. Children can learn how to behave at parties or events and practice social skills while enjoying a fun tea party!
Kids often mimic their parents, so you can set an example for proper tea party etiquette. Here are some kid-friendly rules to try at your next child’s tea party:
- Hold your pinkies up when you drink: Grip the teacup between your thumb and index finger and stick your pinky in the air
- Stir gently: Try making a small figure eight in in your cup instead of letting the spoon hit against the sides
- Wait for your host: Tea party guests should follow whoever is designated as the host. Wait for the host to sit or stand before doing the same
- Elbows off the table: Sit with one hand in your lap and the other gently resting on your plate. Your elbows are never resting on the table
- Pass items: When passing food or drinks around the tea party table, you always pass right to left. Be sure to ask the person sitting next to you in a soft voice if they would like the item
Introduce rules slowly to keep kids from getting overwhelmed. If the rules start to take the fun out of your child’s tea party, just focus on having them sit up straight, speak softly, and sip their tea.
Before you know it, you’ll find your child holding up their pinkies every time they have a drink!
There are many ways to have a doll tea party and make it lots of fun for your child, from the food and drinks that are served to the clothes that everyone wears.
In addition to being loads of fun, doll tea parties also give you a wonderful opportunity to not only interact with your child in a very enjoyable way, but also to teach them some valuable life skills.