Friday, March 13, 2009

Storybook Tea Party

Invitations fashioned to look like little books -- complete with bookmarks -- invited my children to The Storybook Tea Party. I folded an 8-inch square piece of two-sided card stock in half to make the book cover, and printed the text that follows on paper cut down to 4-inches by 8-inches.

Once upon a time, there were four children named Carson, Christian, Mary Ashley and Emma. Their mother invited them to dress up like favorite storybook characters and join her for a tea party at the edge of an enchanted forest.

Eager to experience the magic of story time, the children donned costumes and gathered their favorite books for a delightful afternoon of reading together.

The whole family piled onto a favorite quilt, enjoying the mild spring weather and dappled afternoon sunlight. Surrounded by good books, tasty nibbles and the ones they hold dear, the children learned that the best way to lose yourself – and find yourself – is in a good book.



Our springlike weather was perfect for yesterday's outdoor tea party. My late grandmother's Desert Rose china suited our gathering at the edge of the woods, and fresh tulips clustered in crystal vases added flashes of color to the setting. A wooden bin sat ready with a selection of favorite books, and the clear blue sky invited us to lounge for hours. A simple menu of "berry good book" scones and almond cream, cheese cubes, fresh strawberries and a pot of fruity herbal tea was perfect for a relaxing afternoon.



A favorite quilt made a great lounging spot, especially with a cluster of pillows piled around the edge. A small wooden table held tea time favorites, and a stack of books held a wicker tray of treats. All our storybook setting needed was a cast of characters.



And what a varied group we entertained -- among them an athlete, a superhero, a princess and a pinkalicious ballerina! I donned a bandanna and apron to serve tea, and the children guessed right away that I was Cinderella.


To commemorate our special afternoon of reading, I gave each child a journal for writing their own stories.

I found this colorful four-pack of notebooks at Wal-Mart and printed little nameplates on card stock and glued them to the front. You could also use this idea to make custom bookplates when giving books as gifts or party favors.

Five-year-old Mary Ashley has already been carrying her open journal around, pretending to read from the empty pages as she relates the events of our storybook tea party in vivid detail. So maybe one day she will fill its pages with beautiful stories of her own.

As long as our family has the opportunity to gather around a good book, we can all expect to learn, grow and dream together as we live happily ever after.

"A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots, and dog's ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins." -- Charles Lamb, 1833

24 comments:

Allidink said...

That looks like it was so fun! I loved having tea parties with my grandmother and cousin as a little girl and they were not nearly as wonderful as what you did so I can only imagine how great this was for them. And the nameplates on those journals is such a good idea!

All the best,
Allison

blue said...

You should check out Adventurebox books. They are great for Kids aged 6-9 and have award winning writer Michael Morpurgo as a guest author in the upcoming March issue! Get his guest issue free here

sweeter and the bubbas said...

What a fun event! The notebooks are GREAT! As usual, your ideas are fabulous!!

Renee said...

Oh Melissa! I've so enjoyed all of your recent posts on books and reading. How sweet to have parties to celebrate book characters, and to encourage journal writing. Your tea settings and photos in general are dreamy, I just want to come and be a fly on the wall for what you have up your sleeve for another day. What wondrous memories you are making for your family! How very loving and how very joyful for all. You are such a good mommy! Blessings to you and yours. Have a great weekend.

Carly Winborne said...

so so fun! thanks for sharing another great idea.

Melissa said...

You never cease to amaze me!

Julie said...

I was just out visiting new blogs and found yours. Enjoyed my visit!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Ultra precious! You amaze me daily, Melissa!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Three plus Me said...

What a fun and relaxing afternoon! Great ideas!

Erin said...

you are absolutely amazing...I truly love this idea and what a wonderful way to intrigue little minds. You are such a precious mother! So in honor of you, I am sending you an award! check out my blog at www.thekitchinsink.blogspot.com

Hope you have a wonderfully blessed weekend!

Kristen said...

What a neat idea! I bet your kids loved spending the afternoon on the quilt reading stories!

Faye said...

MELISSA,WHAT FUN!JUST STOPPED BY,I JUST GOT HOME.THANK-U FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS!HAVE A BLESSED EVENING

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

Precious!

m ^..^

Delilah said...

Those invitations are AWESOME! What a great party!

wife.mom.nurse said...

So sweet!

Donna @ Party Wishes said...

What wonderful memories you are creating for your children!

Just precious!

SquirrelGuirrel said...

Of all the fabulously loving ideas I've watched come and go this year I've followed your blog, this one, somehow, very much touched me. I am now so anxious for some beautiful weather so that I can invite my two to talk about our favorite characters, too. Thank you for all your ideas and inspiration.

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

What a wonderful party. I wish I'd had access to your wonderful ideas 15 years ago. My children would have loved doing the things that you do with your kids.

Texas Slowpoke said...

I have loved reading your blog for a while now. I just posted a blog award for you at http://insidemyhomeschool.blogspot.com/ if you would like to take a look. Thanks for all your great blogging and encouraging words.

elaine said...

It's ironic that Donna said exactly what I was thinking verbatim. Except for the precious part and I agree.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What a priceless day!

Live.Love.Eat said...

You are simply amazing. Your children must know how lucky they are. You are giving them so many precious memories!!!!

Nancy said...

Oh dear one, what heart memories you continue to create for those you love and for those of us that delight in reading of these times in your life. More, more!!!

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