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Tea Party Etiquette - Birthday Fun For Your Child
These tips and guidelines will help your child and all her guests enjoy their party and learn proper manners.
How much you follow accepted etiquette really depends on the age of your child and her guests.
For a very young group you may find that simply instructing them to say "please" and "thank you" and to ask for things to be passed rather than reaching for them is acceptable etiquette at your party.
As a parent it might be helpful if you stand beside the table and gently offer guidance as you go. You could even start your party by giving all your guests a short lesson in this party etiquette.
For older children you can use more proper etiquette, but in either case it will be necessary for you to instruct your child and their guests in the fine art of tea party etiquette that you are expecting them to follow.
While following good etiquette will make your party more enjoyable and at the same time provide everyone with at least a little education in proper manners, you don't want your child or their guests to worry about making a mistake.
Make sure everyone understands that if they forget and make a mistake, it's all right. Tell them to have fun and do their best to remember the etiquette guidelines.
Tea Party Etiquette
I've put together a list of helpful tips and guidelines that will help everyone better understand how to do things properly at a tea party without getting too stuffy and formal. We are after all putting together a party for young girls.
A Birthday Tea Party is a wonderful opportunity for your birthday child and her party guests to not only have a lot of fun, but to learn proper manners as well.
Keep in mind the ages of your birthday child and her guests. For very young children you can't expect them to understand or use much in the way of formal tea etiquette, so you may want to try using only a few simple tea party etiquette guidelines.
Send Your Guests The Etiquette Guidelines
If you feel that your birthday child and her guests are old enough to understand, observe and use more of the following tea party etiquette guidelines, you might want to copy the list we've provided here and send these guidelines along with your invitations, informing your guests that you will be following this list of tea party etiquette guidelines. That way, each guest will have an opportunity to become familiar with tea party etiquette and will be more comfortable at your party.
A Gentle Reminder - The Etiquette Game
You can also take a few minutes at the beginning of your tea party to go over these simple guidelines with your guests so that everyone can have fun doing their best to follow the proper etiquette that is expected. You can even make this into a game and reward the guests who observe the best etiquette.
Preparing Your Tea Party
One word about preparing your tea party. Your tea should be served from teapots. Tea bags are just too messy.
Remember It's Fun
I've already said this, but it's worth repeating. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your birthday child and all her guests have fun. Observing proper tea party etiquette can be a fun part of the party experience, but you don't want to make your party atmosphere too stiff because everyone is "worried" they will make a mistake.
Tea Party Etiquette Tips and Guidelines
Since most tea party foods are "finger foods" it is perfectly alright to eat with your fingers. If something is a bit messy, use your fork or spoon.
Break off bite-sized pieces of larger foods unless they are messy. In that case, use your fork or spoon
Take bites of small sandwiches. Even if the sandwich is tiny, never put the entire sandwich in your mouth.
When you sugar your tea, be careful not to dip the serving tong or spoon into your tea.
Stir sugar or milk into your tea with your teaspoon. When you are finished stiring, place your teaspoon on your cup saucer.
Drink your tea by holding your cup and saucer up to your chest, then take your teacup off of your saucer and bring your teacup up to your mouth and take a drink.
Don't slurp or gulp you tea. Just take small sips.
Hold your teacup normally, it is not necessary to "stick out your little finger" (your pinky) while drinking your tea.
If your tea seems too hot to drink, place your cup back on the saucer and return your cup and saucer to the table to let your tea cool off. Never blow on your tea.
You should not reach across the table to pick things up. Instead, politely ask someone to pass the item to you. "Excuse me Cindy, could you please pass the sandwiches?"
Remember to say "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me."
It's not polite to talk with your mouth full of food.
Cover your mouth if you need to cough or sneeze.
Be careful not to talk too much, let everyone have a chance to join in the conversation.
Remember to use your napkin.
Do your best to remember and use these etiquette tips and guidelines, but if you forget to do some things properly, don't worry, have fun.
Thank You Notes
After your child's tea party is over, proper etiquette also calls for thank you notes to be sent to your party guests. This is a great project for you and your birthday child to work on together.
A Closing Thought
These simple tea party etiquette tips and guidelines will help make your child's birthday tea party a great success and one they will remember fondly for years to come.
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