How to throw the perfect Afternoon Tea party at home with kids
A popular british tradition, there can be nothing better to enjoy at home on VE Day (or any day!) than Afternoon Tea.
The weekend of May 8th-10th is the weekend to commemorate and celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, marking the end of the war in Europe.
We’re huge fans of afternoon tea and generally ‘picky’ food of any nature, so we’ve already had a few during lockdown and will definitely be enjoying one on VE Day.
It’s so easy to create an afternoon tea at home, inside or in your garden…you can have lots of fun with the kids organising it! You could spend a morning getting everything ready for it and link in learning too…such as telling the time (what time will we have our afternoon tea), counting (how many people, how many plates etc) and baking…all sorts, so ticks off your home learning for the day too.
If you’re doing a home-made afternoon tea here are some ideas and recipes for our perfect children’s afternoon tea…
The Basic Kit
Afternoon Tea Stand or Cake Stand
Nothing says afternoon tea like a cake stand! Whether it’s a china one or you can buy disposable cardboard stands quite cheaply, or plastic ones. You can find some on Amazon for delivery. I saw these wooden cake stands that can be decorated too.
You might even want to try and make your own – I saw this great idea for a DIY cardboard cake stand on pinterest. When Charity Shops are back open, if you enjoy your home-made afternoon tea, you can generally find some lovely vintage cake stands, if everything is a bit mis-matched so much the better!
Crockery & Cutlery
You can’t have Afternoon Tea without cups, saucers, plates and cutlery! Again china cups are great for this if you have them (I have a lovely set that used to be my Grandma’s and I love the opportunity to get it out.) Tea always tastes so much better in a china cup and saucer don’t you think? The kids love being posh sticking their little finger out whilst drinking and using the special tea-set is a real treat for them.
Make sure your cups, saucers, plates, sugar and milk (in a milk jug if you have one) are on the table before everyone sits down.
Setting the Scene
Whether you’re going for a traditional afternoon tea or theming it, there are a few essentials to set the scene.
We never have a table cloth on the table normally, so when we do, we are definatley having a tea party! I know when the kids were younger we permanently had one of the wipe clean plastic table clothes, however afternoon tea calls for linen! You might be having afternoon tea on the big family table or on a coffee table…wherever you’re going to enjoy it, pop on a table cloth…the prettier the better too. If you’re particularly handy with a sewing machine, you could make your own if you have some fabric!
We made our own paper bunting recently which was so easy….basically cut out some triangles (there is a template here on pinterest), get the colouring pens or paint out and create. We had spots, stripes, smiley faces…all sorts. Once you have coloured in the bunting, simply cut them out, use string or ribbon to attach together and hang up! We had our afternoon tea in the garden when it was a sunny day and it looked fabulous!
A VE Day afternoon tea has to have Union Jack bunting of course, so get out the Red, White and Blue pens and paint! There is a downloadable Union Jack bunting template here.
I found some great Union Jack Colouring sheets here on Twinkl too that might be useful to decorate your room!
Name Places & Menu
A good thing for the kids to do and practice their writing (also keeps them busy for a bit whilst you’re getting other things organised!). You can cut out name places from paper or card (again you can theme it red white and blue) and they can write names, draw a picture, use stickers… be as creative as they like, inviting some teddies or dolls too. I saw a lovely idea for some edible name places here.
My children love writing lists, so they do love the opportunity to write a menu! Let them think about the fillings for sandwiches, they can write everything down and make the menu look pretty, colour it etc.
I also found a good afternoon tea invitation template here.
Twinkl has loads of other resources for Afternoon Tea – role play packs etc. here (For templates on Twinkl, remember that there is a parents offer here)
Make your Afternoon Tea area pretty with flowers. You could cut some from your garden or why not make some in red, white and blue for VE Day? There are some simple ideas of how to make flowers from your craft kit here:
Dress-up! Put your fancy clothes on as if you were going out! A great excuse to do this at the moment whilst we are on lockdown. My kids decided they wanted an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme at our last Afternoon Tea Party, so we had ‘Alice’ and ‘Catboy’?! at the table.
If you’re wondering What Types of food are served at afternoon tea, there are no strict rules, but a standard afternoon tea consists of sandwiches, cakes and scones.
Sandwiches – have several fillings, let the kids choose maybe and help make the sandwiches.
You can also throw in pastries, biscuits, crips, mini sausages, sausage rolls…whatever the kids like! I find that the novelty of eating it off a cake stand makes it way more exciting!
Scones – a must for us if we are having afternoon tea. I love them with sultana’s, the kids don’t…they like cheese or plain ones. Here’s an easy recipe for scones from CBeebies that we are going to try. Make sure you have Jam and cream!
Of course ‘tea’ (and for us it has to be Yorkshire) is great with an afternoon tea, but if the kids don’t like that, you could put juice in the tea pot and they’ll enjoy pouring that in to the tea cups.
You could have other drinks in fancy cups or get party cups out etc.
We have loads more ideas for turning your afternoon tea in to a VE Day party here.
Afternoon Tea Delivery
There are also LOADS of local bakeries, cakes makers, hotels and restaurants in Doncaster now delivering afternoon tea or individual cakes to your door! So if it all goes wrong see our meal and food delivery page here.