When my children were young, we enjoyed a regular 'tea on the verandah' time.
It was in the afternoon and the sun had begun to lose some of its intensity. A cool breeze would drift around the corner and fan our hot faces. The kids would help me put out the tablecloth and we'd laden the table with plates of cakes and biscuits, cups and saucers, sugar bowl, milk and, of course, the teapot.
It was a tranquil, fun way to finish the day while learning some simple skills and practising manners and etiquette. As everyone relaxed with teacups and cake, I'd read the next chapter of our current fictional novel.
It wasn't a long, drawn-out affair. It didn't involve a lot of skill or planning. It was just a carefree moment in our day that we shared and looked forward to.... a simple but enjoyable routine. But memories can be made with the simplest of ingredients.
It's been said that, 'the best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.'- Unknown
These afternoon teas in the cool of the afternoon on the verandah were some of those moments.In fact, children enjoy any sort of tea party and I've suggested some fun ideas for tea parties here. But you might also like to consider one of these afternoon tea adaptations:
More tea party resources
BraveWriter program suggests a similar activity with their Poetry TeaTimes. BraveWriter is a teaching program that encourages children to write and put their thoughts on paper. You can read their suggestions for organising the teatime.
Elmwood Inn Fine Teas suggest a more elaborate tea party that combines children's tea and etiquette in a more formal setting. They've produced a number of books that encourage kids to learn basic rules of etiquette in a tea party setting.
There are some amazing Alice in Wonderland tea party ideas on Pinterest that you might like to check out, too. See this wonderful idea from Jennifer Sbranti, Hostess with the Mostess, a hip and modern party planning resource.
If your children or grandkids are young, serve juice or iced tea and read them something fun that fits the setting; perhaps Judith Kerr's The Tiger Who came to Tea. Check it out below. If you don't have the book, you could enjoy this online presentation together.
If you want to add a degree of sophistication,check out some of the wonderful tea recipes from T2. You'll find Watermelon Sorbet, Coco Caramel, Spiced Apple, Detox Delight, Weekend Treat, Smoked Cherry Ice and many more.
And.... if you'd like to turn your teatime into a special event or party, you might be interested in purchasing one of the Storybook Tea Kits. It's a tea party in a book where you supply the tea party and they supply the rest: keepsake book, illustrated storybook, themed cookies, chocolates and tea bags and more. You can download invitations and place-mats, instructions and even a soundtrack.
Last of all, if you'd like to hold an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's Tea-party, you can find a party pack just for the purpose: labels and tags, tickets, playing cards, boxes and favour bags, cards, banner, cupcake toppers, tea envelopes, book marks, paper packs and more. Just buy, download, print and use.
Yes, an afternoon tea can be wonderful experience bursting with memory-making opportunities, whether it's a simple one on the verandah or in the garden or a really special occasion.
Let's enjoy these small moments and make them so beautiful that they will be worth remembering.
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I've decided to accept the 31Day blogging challenge with my own focus for the month: falling in love with small moments.