A Caroline American Girl Tea Party

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An American Girl Tea Party with CarolineBirthdays in our house are a big deal and once you turn five you get to have your own separate party just for friends. This year our daughter asked for an American Girl birthday party. Caroline is currently the only American Girl doll we own and so of course she was the guest of honor at the afternoon tea.

Tea Party CookiesWhenever possible I try to intertwine learning and fun and this opportunity to add history to a tea party was perfect.

2.First off we made our own invitations from a website download. I have photoshop so I went ahead and added the text to the invites so I wouldn’t have to hand write each one out. Then we made our own tea bag tags that read, “bring your favorite doll” to let the girls know that their dolls were invited too.

Setting the table for the tea party

 

 

Our family doesn’t get too fancy very often so we went all out for the occasion with the china and crystal. We had a centerpiece of  flowers and then the rest of the table was scattered with a variety of tea bags for the girls to choose from. We had peppermint (by far the favorite!), peach, and orange and set out for them to choose from.

Quill PenWhen the guests started to arrive we had a quill pen for them to try out. We had a real feather on hand and tried attaching a calligraphy tip but it didn’t stay on at all. Quickly I removed the tip and just let the girls sign their name with the end of the feather even though it hadn’t been shaped. If you have a feather and some time you can see how you can DIY a quill pen here. And if Amazon is easier for you- here is  a set ready to go! (I wish I had ordered this instead!)

Making Poke BonnetsAfter getting the party hats on the dolls that were laid out on the sign in table the girls chose a chair at the dining room table and left their dolls to hold their place. We then had a poke bonnet station where they could add ribbon and flowers to their hats. The poke bonnets would have been an accurate styling for the time period of 1812 and would have been adorned in a similar way. The girls had a ball adding their own touches to their hats!!

Hand Fans at Tea PartyHand FansOnce the hats were complete they made their way to their seats at the table and picked up the hand fans. We had a simple print out beside each place setting that talked about the language of the hand fan and the girls practiced sending messages to one another with their fans.

Tea Party MenuOur lunch menu was very simple. Lemonade, sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and of course tea! The teapot was a last minute (nearly overlooked) purchase from a local flea market. It is a Lennox real porcelain tea pot (not a toy) -(similar) and something that our daughter can keep and use for many years to come. It is small… only filling three or four cups at a time… but the perfect size for young girls to manage on their own.

Beginner EmbrioderyAfter lunch was time for handiwork and embroidery would have been a popular craft for Caroline in the early 1800′s. I had purchased bulk tea towels, patterns, Wood Embroidery Hoops,  needles and thread. The towels had been pre-washed and prepped with the iron on patterns. I however did not pre-thread the needles and in hind sight should have because I had 12 girls all coming to me at once needing help threading their needles.

Embroidery WorkOnce they got going they were self sufficient. Each guest took her embroidery projects home, along with their hats and fans, as a party favor.

American Girl BirthdayBut before the party was over they set their work aside and sat around the Christmas tree and played with their dolls. I overheard some stories they were telling but tried to stay back in the kitchen and let them enjoy some time to themselves.

All in all I think the historical tea party was a success! Our daughter had a wonderful time and that was the main purpose. Her friends also had a good time and hopefully learned something new to possibly spark an interest in Caroline and the War of 1812. I have to admit that I was leery of American Girl and all the advertising hype that surrounds them. But after reading Caroline’s Series and seeing how well it truly represented the historical period… I am sold on them. There are even unit studies that have been compiled to help you teach history through them available as down loadable units on the web!

War of 1812 Pinterest BoardIf you want to see my pins for a unit study on the War of 1812 here is my board.  I am planning on working Caroline as well as the other series’ studies into our home-school history starting this spring semester with Felicity since we are studying the American Revolution! I can’t wait to blog these for you as well!