Judith Kerr’s story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea has delighted children for decades. Unlike young Sophie’s large, stripy friend, your tea-time guests will be expected, so give your child’s birthday party a twist in the tail with a tiger-themed afternoon.
If your child is tiger-mad, start the day off with a visit to see them at your local zoo. There are lots of ways to help save the wild tiger population around the world, including adopting a tiger with the WWF: this would make a fantastic birthday present. Send out orange, black and white striped invitations made from card or send these teacup invites and add paw-prints in black marker.
Decorate the party room with orange balloons and black and white streamers. Cut black craft paper into paw-print shapes and stick them in tracks across the floor and up the walls, even on the table. This might make a very good treasure hunt for the kids later on. Once they have all arrived, get them all into the mood by handing out tiger masks, or paint their faces. Read them the story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea – helpful for those who don’t know it already.
Cover the table with an orange paper cloth painted with black and white stripes, and black and orange plates, cups and napkins. Or lay the table for a classic tea party and add paw prints to the tablecloth. Dot a few food tins that you’ve covered with ‘Tiger Food’ labels along the middle. As the tiger drank all the tea from Sophie’s mum’s teapot, serve their party drinks from teapots instead of jugs, for a change.
As well as their favourite party sandwiches, serve tiger-coloured drinks and snacks such as cheese puffs, Red Leicester cubes on skewers and orange jelly segments. The birthday cake could be striped, made from chocolate and plain sponge layers and topped with orange icing and black paw-prints. A cake stand of black and orange iced cupcakes will look great in the middle of the spread.
If you would like to add a craft-activity element to the afternoon, get the children to make their own tiger masks. Alternatively, they can create their own model tigers from play dough. Make a tiger from paper, stick it to the wall and get them to take it in turns pinning on its tail, blindfolded. Finish off the afternoon with a hunt around the house or garden for the tiger.
For going home, fill tiger jungle party cups with tiger-themed goodies, or hand out jungle party kits complete with finger puppets and stickers. Beanie tigers make great prizes for games (or put them at each place at the tea table) – and they won’t eat everything in the fridge or drink all the water from the taps!
Click here to shop for your tiger tea party supplies at Party Pieces.