For young party guests of ages around 4 years of age there are a number games that will get the kids familiar with each other in an entertaining and enlightening manner. These games are suitable for both girls and boys but work well within the context of a tea party, either Victorian or Princess theme.
The first activity that can be played is introductions, where the guests go around the room exchanging their ‘calling cards’. The calling cards themselves can be playing cards from various themed card games (explained later) or home made calling cards, which the young guests make as a party activity when they first arrive.
If there are 6 to 8 guests then the card game Crazy Eights is ideal for making sets of these calling cards. The Crazy Eights card pack consists of sets of 4 picture cards. There is a Disney princess themes set of these cards that has 9 princesses, with 4 cards of each princess. There are many different themed Crazy Eights packs of cards available at stores or on the Internet so finding a suitable theme should not be an issue. You will need to buy two packs of these cards so that you can give up to eight people a complete set and have them exchange one card with each guest so that they end up with one each of the cards.
For parties with more than 8 you may need to make your own cards to give out from pictures on the Internet or simply have your guests write their name (or mark/symbol) on a small card.
When these cards have been given out the game can be played in reverse, that is the guests go around the room with a complete set of cards and collect their own set by exchanging a card with each guest.
There are variations of this matching style game and one that is suitable for a story themed princess party is to give out images of popular stories. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White are three classic fairy tales that have many colorful images of the scenes on the Internet. You will need to give each guest a picture and have him or her find other guests from the ‘same story’. Then when they are in small groups have them arrange themselves in the correct picture sequence to ‘tell’ the story. This story arrangement activity can be done ‘one group’ at a time at the end of the activity when the guests have found their correct group. For most of these stories 3 or 4 scenes (pictures) should be sufficient and a large group (up to around 16) can comfortably play this game using 4 scenes from 4 stories.
I have used real Victorian calling cards (purchased from EBay) for a similar introductions game that also incorporated a vintage game of ‘funny conversations’, during a recent Victorian tea party event for my 14-year-old daughter. I purchased twenty or so distinctive vintage calling cards then made prints of them from scans. If you are handy with an image editor you can incorporate the guest’s names on images of these vintage cards, then print them out.