Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tea Party Idea: The Bird Sanctuary

Photo courtesy:

My close friend and I have been having fancy tea parties with our daughters ever since they were five years old. We usually have one in the spring and another in the autumn. Today, I'd like to share one we hosted several years back. I've had a lovely time reflecting upon that day as I wrote this post. Maybe you would like to try this sometime.

Theme: The Bird Sanctuary Tea House

Verse: "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30,31

Colors: Yellow and Green

Invitations: Invitations were mailed a week ahead of time with bird seed sprinkled in the envelope. The invitations themselves were in the shape of a bird cage that opened. The scripture verse was also inside. Unfortunately, we no longer have our invitations to show you.

Decorations: We decorated the patio balcony for this occasion with potted spring flowers. We hung our parakeet cage in the shade. His merry chirping made a pleasant background sound. If you don't have a bird, you can record bird sounds from the Internet and play them as well. We strew flowers and bird seed all over the table, then placed paper napkins that had birds and flowers on them at each place setting. We did not buy any new dishes but used our fancy dinnerware. The children made a sign that said:


Menu: We cut out birds from old nature magazines and glued them onto folded green or yellow construction paper, shaping the edges with craft scissors. You can also find beautiful images by James Audubon here. Our menu reflected the bird theme and was hand-lettered in cursive by a young writer:

Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Bird's Nest Salad
Chick pea medley
Pink Flamingo

Snicker Doodle Tweets

Tea time
Choice of:
Maple Coffee
Vanilla Coffee
Herbal teas

We hope you enjoy it!

The Bird's Nest Salad was a real winner. We bought little speckled partridge eggs, available in most supermarkets now, and boiled them, placing them inside a 'nest' of shredded carrots and lettuce with a kid-friendly dressing. The children loved peeling and eating the eggs.

The Pink Flamingo drink was simply pink lemonade with a fancy party favor and straw poking out the side.

We chose Chick Pea Medley because it sounded so cute and I had already found a simple cold dish recipe to use with chick peas, fennel seed, feta cheese and a special sauce.

You will notice from the scrapbook picture that we do not try to make the menu and invitations perfect. If children participate and we truly want them to have a good time, the mothers don't take over, but let them make little mistakes and 'own' the project. This makes for happier memories, albeit imperfect decor.

Craft: We taught the children to cross stitch. Each was given a little kit in a bag with everything they needed to make a VERY simple project. You can come up with your own or buy them ready made at a craft store. It is important that their first exposure to this is successful! Keep it short and sweet. We gave them a few patterns to choose from and chose projects that wouldn't take more than a couple hours or so to complete. We all worked together on ours for about 40 minutes.

*Another craft idea: is Paint ready made miniature bird houses with acrylics and hot glue a little fake bird on the perch. These look nice in the kitchen up high on a shelf. You can also make simple bird suet to hang in a tree by hot gluing a ribbon to a fat Popsicle stick, spread natural peanut butter or animal fat on it and cover it with bird seed. Wrap in saran wrap, letting the ribbon hang out.
(I think the maximum amount of money we have spent on a tea party was about twenty dollars.)

one step at a time...


  1. Betty26.8.07

    How lovely! I'm going to try to make our afternoon read aloud time an informal tea time. But how nice to celebrate each season with a fancy tea (or two seasons)! And to let the children help with the planning and decorations, that's great!

    I'm feeling very convicted to make room in our life for more beauty. It really feeds us and renews us when we acknowledge God as the Creator of beauty and appreciate His handiwork. I know it does for me. It also keeps me from becoming hardened, easily chaffed, and weary. I needed this reminder today!

    Grace, Peace, & Beauty,

  2. How nice! What wonderful memories you and your friend are creating with your girls. Precious....


  3. Love this idea! Your parties are always great, but this one is so different!

  4. What a lovely idea. Thanks for sharing all the details!

  5. I just love your tea party ideas. They are so simple, yet full of memories.


  6. Now I am wishing my girl was old enough! Somehow it would not be the same with my boys! :) Maybe a mud cake party. :) Thanks for sharing this great idea & memory!

  7. mom2chris26.8.07

    hello! I visited thru a link on homeschoolblogger. I love your blog posts and just your beautiful blog in general. I also love the music playing "La Vie en Rose". Do you mind if I ask who the artist is that is singing it?
    It is so relaxing to me.


  8. Totally adorable! I know what you mean about letting the kids make mistakes. Better they should get immersed in the fun of preparing and enjoy the moment, than they should be stopped to correct this and that. You can always go back later and talk about whatever words were misspelled or whatever punctuation was misplaced. Another way to stretch out the lesson!

  9. I love your tea-parties! That are alwauys lovely and so fasinating! Beautiful ideas and invitations!


  10. Oh what fun! :) I used to do little tea parties when we lived in Virginia, but soooo many of our friends here have food allergy issues that make it rather difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. Maybe I'm inspired to begin that tradition again :) Thanks!

  11. BTW, I was wondering, have you ever seen the traveling group post called The Carnival of Homeschooling? I've been thinking that it would be great to have a Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival! Is that something you might be interested in? If you are unfamiliar with the way carnivals work, it's fairly straightforward. Different CM bloggers "contribute" links to one of the posts they have put on their personal blogs. Usually, there is a broad, preset theme requested for the contributions. For instance, if I was hosting the first carnival and I made the theme "back to school CM style", all of the post submissions would have something to do with that topic area. Then, after a week of accepting submission, the "hostess" would post one long entry on her personal blog, writing an article of sorts while working in the links for all of the contributions that participating bloggers have made that week. Then, there is that one post where everyone can go to read through many different blog entries all about one CM topic. It's a great way to share and learn - not to mention get some increased traffic to your site. Host blogs, in particular, get the spotlight. Would you please let me know if you would be interested in submitting a blog entry for a carnival like this? Would you be interested in hosting a carnival one week? I'll leave a sticky post up on my blog's main page for replies :) Thanks!

    Jacci (CM mama of 4)

  12. Dear Lindafay,
    I would email you privately, but my computer rejects all attempts of mine to retrieve the email address. Would you be able to share for organization how many binders/notebooks you use?

  13. Cassandra,
    Look at my sidebar categories for ORGANIZATION. I have two posts about our notebook system. YOu'll have to scroll down a ways.


  14. This is so beautiful AND very creative!