Monday, February 5, 2018

Valentine Tea Party: The Perfect Gathering for Little Girls



Young children love tea parties. Why not invite a few of their friends over for an afternoon party for Valentines Day? Set a pretty table with linen napkins, fresh flowers, tea sandwiches and pink punch. During the party help each little guest create confectionary necklaces to take home as a party favor. Start with a pretty heart invitation and let the party begin.

A Formal Invitation

Cut a heart shape from pale pink card stock. Use a dark pink or purple glitter pen and write out the party details along the edges of the heart, working toward the center. Leave room in the middle to print each guest’s name. Here is an example of the invitation wording:

Ms. Susie Smith would love the pleasure of your company at a Valentine day afternoon tea.
Sweets and sips will be served to your hearts delight at half past three on February 14th.

Mail or hand deliver these invitations at least a week or more before your holiday party.

Set a Delightful Table D├ęcor

Top your table with a pink or white cloth. Roll the linen napkins and tie it with pretty pink ribbon. For centerpieces, cut baby roses and arrange them in teacups to place on the table. To add Valentine flair, placing red paper doilies and heart confetti on your table. Since children love balloons, fill your room with balloons in Valentine colors of red, white, pink and lavender.

Tea Time Treats

Even though this party is passed the lunch hour, serve little tea sandwiches for snacks. Cut bread into heart shapes using cookie cutters. Spread the sandwiches with fillings such as tuna salad, chicken salad and even peanut butter and jelly. For the tea, pour a pink punch. This could be pink lemonade poured into children’s plastic teacups.

For dessert bake cupcakes in advance. Allow the little girls to ice the cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Provide an assortment of baking sprinkles in Valentine colors for the children to place on top.

Valentine Necklace Favor

Let each guest make a candy necklace to take home as a favor. Provide each child with a piece of plastic wrap about 2 feet long. Set out bowls of Valentine candy in the center of the table. The girls can select a few pieces of candy and place them 2 inches apart across the length of the plastic wrap. An adult needs to help them roll the candy inside the plastic wrap making a tube. Between the candy clusters tie a bow using a piece of ribbon. Do this procedure evenly spaced to create a pretty necklace. Make sure the candy is securely wrapped inside the tube using tape if necessary. When finished not the ends of the tube together to form the necklace. As the children leave the party, let them wear their necklace home.

Tips for a Successful Children’s Tea Party

  • Avoid serving hot tea to young children. The girls probably will not like the taste and you want to avoid any hot spills or burning of the tongue.


  • Stay away from sugar overload. Serve nutritious food during the party and only one dessert. When making the candy necklace make sure the girls label the craft with their name and take the party favor home to eat at a later time.


  • Recruit older siblings to help the little girls at the party. Or think about inviting the mothers for a mother and daughter Valentine tea party.


Most of all enjoy the party together and take pictures to savor the memories.




Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com CCO Creative Commons


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Who Doesn't Like Flowers on Valentine's Day?



Valentine's Day (February !4th) is just around the corner. Whether you are receiving flowers or giving these beauties to loved ones, here are some flower hacks from 1-800-Flowers that I have permission to share with you. Enjoy!

"7 Shopping Hacks from 1-800-Flowers.com to Help You Score the Perfect Gift for Your Valentine


1. Shop early and save BIG. Customers who order their Valentine’s Day flowers before February 4, can take advantage of exclusive discounts – so act swiftly and let the smiles begin!

2. Decide whether to vase or not to vase? 1-800-Flowers.com offers expertly-designed arrangements from local florists that arrive in vases, as well as gorgeous Valentine bouquets Fresh From Our Growers™ that arrive in gift boxes – either with or without a vase. If your Valentine loves DIY floral designing, skip the vase and save some money by ordering an arrangement labeled “Shipped in a Gift Box” and selecting the “Bouquet Only” option.

3. Sign up for email and mobile text alerts. Be sure to visit 1-800-Flowers.com and sign up for email alerts to receive updates in real-time about special rose offers and more. Additionally, download the mobile app and sign up for text alerts to receive notifications about exclusive, limited-time offers.

4. Office envy is a thing – don’t wait until the 14th. Send flowers to arrive at your sweetheart’s office on the Monday or Tuesday before Valentine’s Day. Not only will you impress with your bold proclamation of love, but your dazzling gift will be on display for all co-workers to see! Plus, an earlier delivery will give the flowers extra time to bloom, so they can be enjoyed at peak form on the actual holiday.

5. Quick order status updates? Check! 1-800-Flowers.com’s new, easy-to-use online Customer Service Hub provides real-time updates on order status, options for order modification and live chat support. Utilizing this online service will help save time and effort this Valentine’s Day.

6. Score free and fast shipping. 1-800-Flowers.com offers a great Celebrations Passport loyalty program, where members enjoy unlimited free standard shipping and no service charge on all orders year-round across the company’s entire family of brands, including Simply Chocolate, Harry & David, Cheryl’s Cookies and more!

7. Nip potential disappointment in the bud. Buying gifts for teachers or other professionals with varied schedules? Does your sweetheart work in a building that closes ahead of typical business hours? Consider ordering for a February 13th delivery to ensure receipt as you intended, as deliveries on Valentine’s Day usually continue into the early evening hours. This will eliminate any unnecessary anxiety as you wait for your Valentine to receive your thoughtful gift.

And…that’s it! As long as you keep these expert shopping hacks in mind, finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift will be easier than ever before."


Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com -- CCO Creative Commons

More Valentine ideas for the kids coming soon!

Happy Parenting,
Tania

Monday, January 8, 2018

Technology Toys Kids Will Love


Even though Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are over, there are still so many occasions that toys will be gifted to children. As a parent, grandparent, and former teacher I’m always searching for toys that teach. We are in an era of technology and many children are delving into STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) projects at school. VTech toys understand that technology is where education is at and has a line-up of toys that meet this criterion.
So this gift guide is for you (parents) to collect ideas for an upcoming occasion or just an “I love you” gift. Check out these toys that teach.

LEAPSTART

“LeapStart is an interactive learning system that gets kids excited about counting, learning to read, problem solving and more through fun, replayable activities. The magic behind LeapStart is a stylus that reads invisible dots on every page, triggering questions, challenges, songs, jokes and more.  The grow-with-me stylus is comfortable for kids of all ages and promotes proper writing grip. The LeapStart library features touch-and-talk games, creative challenges, problem-solving puzzles, math mazes and more for 2-7 year olds with more than 30 activities in every book. Most replayable activities have two levels with more than 50 key skills per level so kids can play and learn at the right level and move up when they’re ready. The LeapStart library of 25+ books (sold separately) covers a variety of preschool through first grade subjects and includes two Learn to Read book sets. A total of 400+ activities help kids build tomorrow’s skills today.”
Ages 2-7 years; MSRP: $39.99

2-in-1 LEAPTOP TOUCH

“Learning fun is a tap away with the 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch. Kids can learn about letters, numbers, music and more on a laptop that's made just for them. Open the laptop to see the screen in keyboard mode, then close the laptop and watch the screen magically swivel into tablet mode. The laptop features an A-Z keyboard and number buttons 1-10, while the tablet features a touch screen. Kids will have fun pretending to email Scout or tapping away in five learning modes – ABCs, numbers, games, music and messages. Plus, the laptop can be customized to help children spell their name. The take-along handle makes it great for learning on the go!”
Ages 2+ years; MSRP: $24.99

KIDIZOOM ACTION CAM 180

“Kids can capture their adventures wherever they are with the Kidizoom Action Cam 180. The 180° rotatable camera lets kids take photos and selfies from all angles, plus shoot videos with fun features like slow and fast-motion. Use the included accessories to mount the camera to a bike, skateboard and more while taking great action shots anytime, anywhere. Add the all-weather, waterproof case for use up to six feet underwater. For even more fun, play one of the three included games. With the included micro USB cable, children can upload photos and videos as well as recharge the battery.”
Ages 4+ years; MSRP: $49.99

KIDIZOOM SMARTWATCH DX2

“The perfect tech for kids, Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2 lets them take pictures, videos, play games, tell time and more! Featuring a new sleek and stylish design, this durable smartwatch includes 55 digital and analog customizable watch faces to help kids learn to tell time. This smartwatch features two cameras that allow children to capture everything from action video to selfies that can be customized in the Silly Yourself app and made into new watch faces. Includes an assortment of new games including Monster Catcher, which uses the camera and augmented reality to help kids find and capture monsters in the real world. Kids can also use the watch's motion sensor for active play challenges or to track steps. Using the included Micro-USB cable, upload photos and videos as well as recharge the battery.”
Ages 4+ years; MSRP: $59.99

These are only a few toys that VTech has to offer. Check their website for more ideas.

Remember that play is learning, so pick out the most educational toys for your kids and make these times teachable moments!

Happy Parenting,
Tania


I want to thank VTech Toys for the opportunity to view their products. I was not paid or coached to write this blog post. The information about the products was provided and these are my own opinions.