Caroline – American Girl Doll Tea Party

Caroline Abott 1812 Tea Party

The drums sounded, gathering the attention of all the young girls. Then the familiar words sang out, “Oh say can you see…” 

“It’s the National Anthem!,” The girls shout out. A song known by Americans of every age. Played at all sporting events, patriotic events, and now at an American Girl Doll book club tea party.

So why today? The Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812. Meet Caroline takes place during the outbreak of the war on Lake Ontario. Francis Scott Key, on the other hand, was off the coast of Maryland when he witnessed the battle at Fort McHenry, that inspired him to write the infamous poem. Key made such an imprint in the American culture, I couldn’t leave him out of our discussion. 

I passed out a sheet with great pictures to help learn the lyrics, as we listened to the anthem from the top. You can find the sheet here:

This is a nice worksheet of a quick summary of how Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner:

A YouTube video under three minutes long on Key and the The Star Spangled Banner. I showed this to my children after the party.

We also discussed the sacrifice Caroline made to give up her beloved rug in order for her grandmother to keep her winter coat. And how Caroline was able to help the Americans in their battle against the British. A couple of the girls shared a time they sacrificed something they loved to help someone else. So sweet.

Next we made these pieces of artwork using bleeding tissue paper. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of all 9 of the girls artwork. They all did a great job. I love how Lil’ Miss included the flag in her picture. Someone was listening today😉.

This is a simple, fun art project. All you need is painting paper, crayons, spray bottle (forgot to show in picture), and bleeding tissue paper. The bleeding tissue paper needs to be cut into 1 – 1 ½ inch strips I bought everything from Walmart. The bleeding tissue paper had to be ordered but I was able to pick it up two days later.

First draw an outline of a picture. Since we were doing nautical for Caroline, the girls drew boats, waves, and sun. Next we lightly sprayed our pictures with water and placed the tissue paper color of choice on the picture. After the picture was completely covered with the bleeding tissue paper, we sprayed them with water again to completely wet the paper. (Note you don’t want to super soak it or all the colors start to run all the way down the sheet.) Now let the pictures sit and dry completely. This makes it a good craft to do first so it has time to dry. At the end of the party, when the artwork was dry, we went to pull the tissue paper off and revealed beautifully colored masterpieces!

While our art dried, we had a snack break. I served Jello cups with Mandarin slice boats. One mother and daughter made paper boats filled with goldfish. These were super cute (should’ve taken a pic!)!

Our final craft were lake treasure necklaces. We talked about how the finger lakes are different from the ocean. However, they do have white sand beaches and sometimes you can find spiral snail shells in the sand.

For this craft, I had the girls roll up a small square of paper and place in the bottle to act as a funnel to add a small scoop of sand. They placed a dab of Elmer’s glue on the cork and placed in bottle (some girls chose not to glue the cork, sorry moms). Next we took a shell, which I had added metal jump rings to beforehand, and laced it through the hemp cord. We placed the shell to the bottle, then wrapped the cord around the neck twice before tying it in a knot. The girls slipped on their new necklaces and ran off to play together. 

I was fortune for this craft as I found the 6 packs of tiny bottles, and sand at the Dollar Store! The hemp cord, shells, and metal jump rings I had leftover from other crafts. However, they originally came from Michael’s.

The final touch was the wonderful aroma in the house. To keep with the nautical mood, I put Harbor’s Edge in my Scentsy lamp. Such a lovely, light scent. Have you heard of Scentsy? Click on the link below to find a wonderful collection of wickless candles and much more.

I thought another great activity, for the tea party, would have been to make boats and have the girls race them across a little pool by blowing into a straw. I chose not to do this activity since the weather had been coldish all week. It wasn’t a good time to play in water. However, here are a couple links I liked. Or it could have been a STEM project where you give them a bunch of random materials (foil, Styrofoam, egg cartons, balloons, clay….) and they create their own boats. Then there could be a race for speed and a challenge to see which boat holds the most pennies.

Overall, it was a wonderful time had by both the girls and mothers. I can’t wait to host again in January. We will be reading Rebecca Rubin from 1914. 

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