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How to create your own at-home afternoon tea with the kids

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With the arrival of the school holidays, many of us are starting to wonder just how on earth we’re going to keep the kids active during these long summer days. We all know we should be encouraging our children to spend less time in front of screens and more time socialising, learning, and spending time quality time with us, but with such long holidays, it’s often difficult to keep thinking up fun things to do together.

If you’re looking for some fun new activities for the summer, then why not try throwing an afternoon tea party for your little ones and their friends? A tea party is a great way to keep the kids entertained, and it’s also a valuable opportunity to help teach your children about baking, organising an event, and being a good host to their guests. If this sounds like your idea of family fun, then just read on to discover my top tips for throwing a wonderful children’s tea party.

Pick a fun theme and send out invites

First things first: you’ll need to decide on a theme for your party. Ask your little ones what sort of theme they’d like best, and if possible, try to pick something that you can incorporate into your dishes. For example, you could bake some jam tarts for an Alice in Wonderland themed party, or you could make some pirate flags out of toothpicks and add them to some cupcakes for a pirate theme. The only limit is your imagination, so get brainstorming!

Once you’ve decided on a theme, it’s time to send out some invitations: if your kids are crafty, they could even design their own. Let your guests know what the theme will be in your invites, in case they’d like to come in fancy dress.

Plan a menu

Now the date is set, you’ll need to plan a crowd-pleasing, kid-friendly menu, with a good mix of sweet and savoury snacks. Chessboard sandwiches are a great way to create a fun display, and the mini sandwiches are the perfect size for little ones — learn to how to make them in this guide from WikiHow. If you want a few healthy options to balance out your menu (and stave off sugar rushes), then make some oatmeal cookies or fruit kebabs. And of course, no afternoon tea would ever be complete without some prettily decorated petit fours or cakes, so take a look at this collection of kid-friendly cake recipes on GoodFood.

As children are too young for tea, it’s best to swap the hot drinks for some apple juice, squash, or homemade lemonade. Serve your soft drinks in a plastic tea pot and tea cups, then encourage your children to serve their guests themselves to teach them good hosting skills.

Bake some goodies, and get the kids involved

The day before your party, it’s time to don your apron, roll up your sleeves, and start preparing your treats. This is a valuable opportunity to spend some quality time with the kids, so get them involved in the cooking process. Baking is a brilliant way to teach children the basics of good food hygiene, and it’ll help them to pick up important kitchen skills, like weighing out ingredients, following a recipe, and handling different ingredients. Plus, they can use their creativity when it comes to decorating their finished treats.

Once your baked goodies are fully decorated and ready to eat, let the kids try one (perhaps as a reward for doing the washing up) and seal up the rest in an airtight tin until it’s time to serve them. Don’t forget to stock up on some bags or takeaway boxes so your guests can take any leftovers home with them as party favours.

Once you’ve followed all the steps outlined here, you should be all ready to throw a memorable afternoon tea. Happy baking!

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