Asking your child to join you, "just you", for a special time works wonders and the photos will make a wonderful keepsake in their Memory Book.
This is the type of party girls like best, boys usually don't, so the article is written for daughters. Just modify things like a cloth table cover with a plastic shower liner and marking pens to create a city design with streets for little cars, fire engines, police cars, etc. and make your time together "all boy"!
Your toddler may not understand an invitation or having tea… but all ages of children will love having Mommy all to themselves for a very special time alone, no siblings, television, homework, just YOU! (If you have more than one child, arrange a special time for each one separately when no one else is at home and your time and attention is devoted to your very special tea guest… a good time for Daddy or Grandma to be with the other children…)
A simple hand-written note inviting your child to spend time with you is all that is needed. Ask your daughter to bring her favorite pal (doll, stuffed animal)... don't forget, you bring your favorite, too.
You may not know it, but your children like special things about you, maybe a necklace, shoes, dress, hat… just before the party is to start, take your daughter to your closet and let her pick out one of your dresses, a pair of high heeled shoes, earrings, necklace and bracelet, a hat, gloves, whatever you have to let her dress up just like you. Don't forget a little perfume and lipstick may make her feel very, very special and grown-up!
Using a child-size table, coffee table or big box, cover it with a fancy tablecover. If you don't have child-size chairs to sit at the table, then use throw pillows on the floor. A small vase of flowers in the middle, and a place setting for each of you to include a napkin, plate, cup and saucer. You can use the real china, child-size tea set or papergoods. If you have a teapot, by all means use it. Set it on the table along with creamer, lump sugar, tongs for the sugar, etc. If your child doesn't like tea (and whose does), make Hot Chocolate! White lace doilies spark up the table to look more formal.
Place an easy-to-use camera or get a disposal camera so you can take pictures of each other.
Tea or Hot Chocolate
A favorite Hot Chocolate Recipe that is tried and true for three generations: To two parts of "evaporated condensed milk" (I prefer Carnation), add one part milk and one part water and heat till hot, but not scalded. Add in cocoa mix to desired chocolate taste, and a little sugar to sweeten it. This is delicious as is, but to be fancy, add some mini marshmallows or whipped cream to each teacup. For older children, use herbal/flavored teas.
A china plate with small Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches (use a teddy bear or other shaped cookie cutter to create a special effect), sugar or animal cookies, small candies. When you are both seated, you can pour the hot chocolate for both of you and pass her the plate to select the items she wants to eat.
Pin any pretty flower with the stem wrapped in ribbon to your daughters dress and to yours.
This is a great time to ask talk about "her". A wonderful question is, "Tell me something you want me to know about you". Ask her special friend (doll, stuffed animal) any question and let your daughter tell you the answer. Let your daughter ask your "friend" a question and you tell her the answer. Try this four-way conversation - it may sound strange but it is oh so much fun!
Soft children's music in the background
After you've finished your "tea and cookies", hold each other's hands, smile, tell her you love her and you may find her sitting on your lap, no matter what her age is.
When the Tea is over…
Thank her for coming and while she is changing out of her (your) magical clothes, you do the clean-up so that she will definitely feel the special guest you wanted her to be.