Party Time: The Tiger Who Came To Tea!

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As a child, the birthday parties which my parents threw for me were always a highlight of my year! I have a summer birthday and we were lucky enough to have a large garden (a benefit of being a clergy child), so my parties always consisted of lots of fun games, good friends and a brilliant birthday tea. And the cake – Mum always did the same cake for me (chocolate biscuit cake – yum!) but always sculpted it into something amazing!

I loved my parties, and so I try to throw a similar party for T each year. For her first birthday, we kept it reasonably simple with a picnic in the park (not like she knew what was going on anyway, right?!); the year after we did a farm theme; and this year we decided to theme her party around one of her favourite books – The Tiger Who Came To Tea!

First off, the invitations. With a little help from my computer I made a few amendments to the front cover and sent these out to her friends. Of course, I did actually include her name, instead of just ‘T’!

party invitations

Next on the list was the birthday tea. This was reasonably straightforward – the book mentions lots of food, after all! So we had sandwiches and buns (savoury cheese and spinach muffins, since there was also cake); crudités and houmous; and cheese puffs. I was planning on serving some of the food in empty tin cans, with ‘Tiger Food’ labels – but since the kids weren’t eating around the table, and are so young still, I decided it wasn’t quite worth the effort! Rather than giving them tea to drink, I served squash from a teapot, which I think was probably more for my enjoyment than theirs!

And of course, I made a cake. I decided to make a simple Victoria Sponge, but made it into a ‘zebra’ cake by adding cocoa to half the cake mix and layering the plain and chocolate batter to give a striped effect. I then used shop bought icing, to cover the cake orange and used strips of black icing to give it a striped ‘tiger’ effect. This was finished off with a mini cup and saucer from T’s teaset!

Collage image of layer batter, baked sponge, and finished cake.

Due to her age, we don’t really do many party games yet, just let the children play. However, I couldn’t resist setting up a few themed activities! On one table we had a simple set up of paper plates, strips of orange and black paper, and googly eyes for the children to make their own tigers. I had also set up a jungle themed small-world with jungle animals, sticks, and some foliage from the garden. Finally we set up our Duplo dolls house, with a visit from a Tiger, of course!

Party activity - paper plate tigers

Collage of images from the jungle small world, showing an elephant, tiger, crocodile and monkey amongst foliage.

Duplo dolls having tea, with tiger peering through the doorway.

We invited all the children to come dressed as their favourite jungle animal, and had some pretty great costumes! For T and myself I used coloured t-shirts and added spots and stripes of duct tape to create a tiger and leopard effect! T also had a tail made from felt, and some cute clip on ears that she refused to wear! Mr T decided to come dressed as an elephant and made a grand effort with some goggles and lagging – not bad for a man who hates dressing up!

Image of costumes: orange tshirt with duct tape stripes; yellow tshirt with brown felt spots and duct tape spots.

T is already thinking about themes for her 2017 party. What favourite themes have you done for your kids?

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