Table Cloth Fort and Tea Party

Table Cloth Fort and Tea Party

I have girls.  My oldest, especially, is all girl.  I promised myself I wasn’t going to let “princess” enter this house.  I can’t tell you my shock when we walked into a toy store when she was little, and she declared, “Princess!” while pointing at the display.  Gasp! Well, as any good mom does, I have embraced her interests. So today we had a tea party.

Baking with Kids

Baking has so many teachable moments built into it.  From measuring and learning fractions to learning to read ingredients and recipes.  I help my oldest try and find words she might be able to sound out like “eggs” and have her tell me how many we need.  I put out the baking soda, salt and baking powder and have them try and figure out which one says “baking soda.”  Baking has the tactile element kids crave too.  I’ve found the more I do tactile activities, the less my kids are putting their hands in the toilet, dumping out all my lotion or coloring their bodies with permanent markers.  So, we bake.
For our tea party, we made banana bread and cookies. If you want my favorite sugar cookie recipe you can find it here.
Why banana bread for a tea party?  Well, just look:
Here’s my favorite recipe for banana bread.  Baking is not made easier with kids.  Let me just put that out there.  There will be messes (as proof by the pictures below).  When there are accidents, I just say that it’s fine – accidents happen and try not to make them feel bad about it.  However, if they’re not being helpful (i.e. not obeying, grabbing at things they have asked to grab, not sharing) – they’re done “helping.”  They’re kicked out of the kitchen.  Abby can crack an egg without shells better than I can because she’s been doing it since she was two.  Even my one year old gets in the mix while I hold his hand as he dumps ingredients.
When the bread was cooled, we cut it into shapes for the tea party.

Let the Tea Party Commence

The girls are always wanting to wear their fancy dresses.  Here’s their opportunity.  Guess what – I decided I’d dress up too.  I decided to throw the party in their new play house.  All you Pinteresters are going to love this.  We set it up with special dishes, cookies, banana bread, strawberries and lemonade.  The girls even made some things from their own kitchen.  We read “Fancy Nancy” books, talked in fancy voices and dined together.
The play house?  Yes, it is over our dining room table.  I thought something like this would be fun for the girls.  When I say “like this,” I imagined I might sew five rectangles together and cut a hole for the door.  Luckily, I asked grandma if she’d want to make one.  This was her creation.

How do I get a table cloth playhouse??

The pattern is out of print. I am working on getting together a pattern to be purchased through Meaningful Mama. I am also working on a way to be able to get these custom made for your children. Details to come. If you are looking for something immediate, Amazon does sell these Pacific Play Tents Cottage House Tent and a card table version – Table Fables Fabric Play House (Pink Play House) (affiliate links added for your convenience).

 Does this all seem too involved?

 Make it easy!!  Don’t make anything from scratch.  Take left over cookies from Christmas or Oreos and put them on a fancy tray.  Have a tea party at one of their small tables or set your table special for the occasion.   Throw a couple sheets or blankets over the table like I used to before we received the gift of this amazing play house.  Make it easy for yourself, but have a tea party.
If you are looking for a great resource full of more ideas, you should check out these weekly activity plans for early childhood (affiliate).

 Here’s a picture of just the house:

table fort diy tutorial



    • Jess says

      Technically that’s a ripe banana. Not rotten. It’s the best time to eat them because it’s packed with more nutrition than a ‘perfect’ yellow banana and it’s sweeter! Just stick in the freezer when they get to this point if you don’t plan on using it right away :)

      • says

        You are absolutely right. Thanks so much for the freezer tip. I stick them in the freezer for smoothies, but it is great to do for banana bread to until I have another one that is perfectly RIPE. :-) Thanks!

        • PAM MILLHOFF says


        • says

          Okay, so I get it that Grandma does not want to mass produce the tent… she would rather spend her free time with the kiddos….. but maybe Grandma could be talked into just selling the pattern and instructions for a dinning room table size tent, instead of the card table size patterns that are floating around……. I would certainly buy the pattern from her …

          • says

            I want to hire someone that knows how to create a pattern and sell it. She actuality used the card table pattern from McCalls and then adapted it to the size of our table. I know nothing about patterns. Would that be hard to do?

  1. says

    McCall’s pattern M6369, in case anyone want the pattern. I stumbled across a picture from your blog via Pinterest and I thought, “Hey! That looks strangely familiar! I’m in the process of making that RIGHT NOW for my daughter for Christmas!” I really like the extended version to fit the dining room table ~ just wish ours wasn’t an oval pedestal table!

  2. says

    I love everyone’s comments, and I’ve passed it on to Grandma. She isn’t gonna bite on making a business, but as Ken’s Happy Wife pointed out, the pattern is McCall’s pattern M6369. Thanks for the interest.

    • says

      Thanks so much. It’s so helpful to have this link! I have such a hard time correcting my children’s funny little words and phrases. I love that.

  3. Ming says

    This is the cutest! I just wanted to say that even though the pattern is out of print I discovered quite a few listings on ebay for anyone who is interested :) I am tempted, I wish I knew how to sew! :)

  4. Marya Mann says

    I just emailed McCalls. I really want the pattern too! Badly! Id love to buy if your mother will make one for me :)

  5. Audrey says

    Wow, what a cute idea for a fort! My kids are in their 20’s so I don’t think I’ll be making them for them…but I would LOVE some extra Christmas $. What would you pay for one of these cool table Fort?

    • says

      There’s a couple links in the comments for Etsy shops. Here’s another one I found where the person is charging $100. Looks like people are charging anywhere from $78 to $140. Just search for table cloth play house in Etsy to check it out.

  6. says

    Good morning!
    I have not made one of these, and I am not minimizing the work involved by any means, but I do think, even without a pattern I could do this. Please visit my shop @ and check out the quality of my work. Also, my FB business page @
    Right now, I have just finished and packaged for shipping the last halloween costume and am starting to work on gingerbread costumes for a california dance company’s nutcracker recital (a repeat customer from last year).
    If anyone is interested in discussing ordering one of these, please feel free to contact me either through Etsy convo, or my FB page or @
    I think this would be a fun job and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

  7. Wanda Glasser says

    I’m going to be making a table tent for a friend’s grandchildren. Because there are two children, we decided to use two card tables instead of just one. This will also allow the children to leave the tables up and not have to take down for meals. Looking forward to getting started.

    • says

      That is such a great idea. Thank you so much for sharing this. I bet a lot of people will benefit from the thought of putting two card tables together. Have fun with it!

  8. Debbie Kais says

    I would also buy the pattern. I don’t understand when ladies don’t want to share things among other moms.

  9. Shannon says

    I would love to see the directions for custom making the little dollhouse fort! Is there some way to be on a waiting list? What an adorable idea! Just found your site and I’m really enjoying it! Hope to see lots more like this! Shannon

    • says

      I have been trying to get a digital pattern in the works. I’ll keep you in the loop. I’m so glad you are enjoying my site, and I’m so glad you are here!

  10. Kay says

    I made this for my granddaughter’s sixth birthday. I bought the McCall Pattern off ebay for $20. The material and accents costs about $125. It took me about 30 hours to make it. The pattern is actually for a card table so I had to adjust it to fit their dining table. She absolutely loves it and it has been especially useful on their recent “snow days.” I also purchased a small plastic tote to store it in. I can send you a picture if you like. I would consider making as special order but it would be expensive because of tgeh time involved.


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