On the weekend my youngest daughter Maddie celebrated her eighth birthday. Maddie loves few things more than her teddy bear “Cookie”. He sleeps with her every night, goes on vacation with us, and plays with her everyday. When it was time for us to decide on a theme for her party this year she enthusiastically requested a Teddy Bear Tea Party! And it was perfect.
Today I’d love to share the activities we did with the girls before we got down to the actual tea drinking…well lemonade for the girls.
When our little guests arrived we asked them all to guess how many gummy bears were in the jar, a teddy bear twist on a classic party game.
Once everyone arrived we got started on a little sewing project, making Teddy Bear Ears. We did consider making the teddy bear ears out of paper at first, and then we thought maybe the glue gun would be easier. But since little ones can’t use a hot glue gun, we actually went with sewing them together. We had lots of adults to help out, and although some of the girls had never sewn before, I think they all enjoyed it. We bought brown elastic hairbands, and then each girl cut-out her felt teddy bear ears, inside and out, and stitched them together. There was lots of needle re-threading, but it went really well. And they were so, so adorable when they were finished. Most of the girls wore them for the rest of the party.
Throughout the party, guests were invited to write down something they loved about Maddie and add it to our Love Tree. We used some branches, and made the teddy bears out of scrapbook paper and used a cookie cutter for the bear pattern.
Her guests wrote the sweetest things about her, and this tree will be a special keepsake from the party -her grandparents wrote the sweetest things about her. Afterwards we put it in her bedroom.
Our next activity was to create a watercolour portrait of your teddy bear. Maddie took a drawing and watercolour class in the fall, and really enjoyed it so we thought it’d be fun to incorporate into the party. We did this activity near the beginning so that the paintings would be dry enough to pop into the little frames and send home in the loot-bags at the end of the party.
Everyone sketched a picture of their bears first, and then added colour in watercolours. They turned out really sweet. I picked up the cute little frames at the dollar store, and made sure to pre-cut the watercolour paper to fit before the party.
After the watercolour paintings we moved on to sugar cookie decorating. My mom made the sugar cookies the day before, and used a teddy bear cookie cutter to make them. I made some icing -chocolate, pink, white, and aqua and we put out lots of fun sprinkles, jimmies, and coloured sugar. This activity is always a big hit -at any party, and the girls seemed to love doing it…and licking their fingers.
When they were done, we packaged them up into little cello bags and put them into their loot bags.
The last activity, which we didn’t end up doing because we ran out of time, was to make Teddy Bear Paper Doll Chains. I’d rather have too many, than not enough things to do at a party, and it might be an idea that you’d like to incorporate into a teddy bear party, so I’m including it here. I pre-cut and folded the paper, but left them blank so the girls could draw their own bears, with the reminder to make sure that the hands and feet ran off the page, so they’d be connected when they unfolded them.
On the tray were lots of fun things to decorate with, like gem stickers, cupcake liners to make frilly dresses with, googly eyes, and stick-on bows. We also had scrapbook paper and magazines to cut out of for collage inspired clothing.
Since we used the kitchen table for most of the activities, ahead of the party I put everything we needed for each activity onto it’s own tray. This made it easy to put out and then clean-up each activity, and I highly recommend it.
We had a small party of just five little girls, but that meant we could do fun, and more detailed activities and it was certainly reflective of Maddie and what she loves to do -she has an artist’s heart and loves to create. The party also included our tea party lunch -which I’ll share all the details of on Thursday, and of course some free-play in the toy room. We had such a fun time together celebrating our little Maddie Bear.
With a teddy bear tea party like this, life really is a party!