TGS: Penny's Tea Party

The Grape Sisters: Penny’s Tea Party

“Penny, Aunt Liz just arrived!” called out Penelope’s mother. 

Penelope’s aunt Liz lived far, far away.  She only came to visit once a year and it always took a little time for Penelope to feel comfortable with her again.   Each visit, Aunt Liz always picked a special fun activity for them to do together.  As Penelope walked out to the front yard to greet her Aunt, she wondered what they would do together this time.  She was both nervous and excited. 

During lunch with her mom and Aunt, Penelope sat quietly until Aunt Liz turned to her and said, “I was thinking we could host a tea party for you and your friends.  Your mom told me you have a club called The Grape Sisters.”

“Do you think they would come over for tea and cupcakes?” asked Aunt Liz. 

“I could invite them,” replied Penelope.  “We’ve never had a real tea party before. We’ve only pretended our dolls were having tea!” 

“Why don’t we make some invitations that you can deliver to them at school tomorrow?” suggested Aunt Liz. 

“I’ll get my markers and some paper!  I’ll be right back,” said Penny as she ran out of the room.

“I’ll draw a picture on the front,” began Penelope as she set out all the materials.  “We can both write our names inside.  I learned how to write my name in school!” 

“Sounds like a good plan.  I’ll fold the paper and write the message,” said Aunt Liz.    For the next hour, the kitchen table turned into a card-making workshop.  They passed the cards back and forth for the other to work on.  The whole time they talked and laughed.  Getting to know each other again was even more fun than Penelope had thought it would be. 

The next day Penny brought the cards to school and gave each of the grape sisters one.  “The tea party is next Saturday,” she explained. 

“Are we dressing up?” asked Rania.  “We always dress up the dolls when they have a tea party!” 

“Yah, let’s dress up and wear fancy dresses and jewelry,” said Tasha. 

“I think my mom will let me borrow some of her necklaces,” said Ali. 

“And I can wear a fancy hat from my great grandmother,” exclaimed Lela. 

“Everyone bring one your dolls, too,” Penny suggested.  “They can have a tea party, too!”

The girls all smiled and nodded in agreement. 


Saturday arrived and Penelope woke up very excited.  She knocked on her aunt’s bedroom door.  “Aunt Liz, are you awake yet?” she asked as she tip toed into the room. 

“Come in,” Aunt Liz replied.  “You’re up early.  Are you ready to make some snacks and set up for the party?” 

“Yes! Let’s do it!” Penny yelled out as she put both arms in the air.

They walked into the kitchen talking about the foods they were going to make.  Her mom was already up and walked into the kitchen carrying a box full of dishes, she said, “This old tea set belonged to my grandmother, your great grandmother.  These are very old therefore we have to be gentle so as not to break them but I think your grandmother would be happy to know you’re using them.  I’ve got some errands to runt today so I’m going to leave you two.  I’ll be back later.  Have a great day!”    

As her mom walked out the door, in the kitchen Aunt Liz and Penelope started washing the tea pot, saucers, cups and plates.  Then one by one Penelope carefully carried the dishes into the dining room and set the table for six.  


“The table looks great.  Too bad we don’t have any flowers!” exclaimed Aunt Liz.  

“Oh, I have an idea!” announced Penny.  “I’ll be right back,” she said as she walked out into the back door.

A few minutes later she returned carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  “Those are gorgeous!  Where did you get those?” asked Aunt Liz. 

“Our neighbor, Ro, has a big garden and lets mom and me pick flowers there all the time.  Sometimes I go over to her house and help her care for the garden.  She grows flowers and vegetables.  It’s a lot of fun to work in the garden.”  

Penelope pointed up toward the cabinets, “Can you reach the vases on top of the cabinets?”  

Aunt Liz brought down a beautiful blue and turquoise pottery vase and filled it with water.  Penelope placed the flowers in the vase and then carried it over to the table.  “Perfect!” exclaimed Aunt Liz.  “Now let’s make some food for this party!” 

For the next few hours, Penny and Aunt Liz  made a variety of tea party snacks.  They made two types of sandwiches and then cut them into small squares.  Then they made a fruit salad with strawberries, mangos, grapes, kiwi, and apples.  Next they made and frosted cupcakes. Finally they made homemade cookies.  Penelope checked on the cookies each time the timer went off.  “They’re done!” she declared and Aunt Liz carefully reached into the oven and pulled out the hot cookie sheet and then put another cookie sheet with unbaked dough into the oven. 

“We’re going to have lots of cookies!” smiled Penny as she set the timer for another 17minutes. 

“You’re right,” said Aunt Liz.  “That recipe made more than I thought it would,” she laughed. 

“That’s OK,” said Penelope.  “My dad will eat any extras.  He loves cookies!” 

They continued cooking and decorating until everything was ready. Then they went back to their rooms to get dressed.     

They both put on fun dresses and Penny added some rainbow striped tights! Then Aunt Liz gave her some bracelets and necklaces to wear accentuate the outfit even more.                        

At noon Grape Sisters arrived all dressed up just in time for lunch.  Hats, dresses, fun jewelry, fun shoes!  They sat around the dining table with their dolls on their laps and laughed and talked. 

“These little sandwiches are so fun Penelope!” said Rania

“and these cupcakes are delicious!” continued Ali.  “Thanks for making me vanilla cupcakes.  You know how much I hate chocolate!” 

The other girls laughed, “True Ali, we know you hate chocolate!” 

“This lemon ginger tea is really good,” exclaimed Tasha. 

“I know,” said Penelope, “I wasn’t so sure about it but Aunt Liz had me try it and I liked it! ”

“Aunt Liz, I wish I had an aunt like you,” declared Lela.  “This tea party was a great idea!”  

“Yah,” said the other girls in unison. 

They hung out and had fun playing all afternoon.  Then one by one the girls hugged and thanked Penelope and Aunt Liz and headed home. 

Tasha was the last to be picked up and she said, “Penny, this was the BEST tea party ever!” 

“Thanks Tasha,” beamed Penelope. 

After they were all gone, Penelope turned to see the mess that was left behind.  “Oh, cleaning up is not going to be so much fun as the party,” she exclaimed. 

“Well, no,” said Aunt Liz, “it won’t be as fun as the party was but you and I can still have a good time.  She turned up the music, tied an apron on Penelope and herself and they began to clean up all the while singing, dancing and talking.  

While washing dishes, Penny was standing on a stool at the sink in her fun dress, apron and bare feet.  “You’re right Aunt Liz,” she said, “this is fun!” 

But just as she said it, one of the tea cups slipped out of her fingers and crashed into the sink.  It shattered.  She was stunned by the noise of the glass breaking. 

“Oh, no!” She exclaimed!  “Mom is going to be so mad!” 

“OK, OK, no worries.  First let’s clean it up.  Thankfully all the glass stayed in the sink, so let me just put some gloves on and clean it up,” said Aunt Liz.  “Please bring me a garbage bag and hold it open for me.”  

Penelope brought a bag and held it open for the broken pieces to be placed in it.  And then she began to cry. “I didn’t mean to break great grandmother’s tea cup!” 

“Shh, shhh,” said Aunt calmly, “No worries.  You’re mom will understand it was an accident.” 

“How about we don’t tell her?” suggested Penelope hopefully.  “We’ll just put the dishes back in the box.” 

“No, that’s not the best way to handle this.  It was an accident.  Your mom might not be happy but she deserves to know,” explained Aunt Liz. 

“OK, how about YOU tell her,” suggested Penelope.

“Hahaha,” laughed Aunt Liz. “Nice try kid, but this one you have to take responsibility for.”         

They finished up cleaning up from the party and, tired out, they sat down on the couch to watch some TV. 

Later that afternoon Penelope’s mom came home.  “Did you all have a great time?” she asked. 

“Yes! We did.  The Grape Sisters loved the tea party!” she explained. 


Before bed, Aunt Liz said, “hey young lady, remember what we talked about? “

“Yes,” said Penelope reluctantly.  “I’ll tell her.” 


“I’m happy you all had fun today,” her mom said as she tucked Penny into bed. 

“We had a great time, Mom.  Aunt Liz is fun.  And she makes good cookies!” smiled Penelope. 

Nervously she continued, “Mom, I broke one of the tea cups.”

Her mom frowned and sighed.  “Oh, that’s too bad,” she said.

“It was an accident,” continued Penny. “We were being very careful cleaning them after the tea party but one was so slippery with the soap that it slipped and broke.  I’m sorry mom.” 

“It’s OK.  Thank you for being honest with me and telling me.  I’m sorry to hear one broke but I’m happier that you used them and had fun. What good are dishes if they just stay in a box?”  She hugged Penelope and sang her their bedtime song. 

Before her mom was even finished with the song, Penelope had fallen sound asleep exhausted from the tea party and all the fun of spending the day with Aunt Liz.       


Discussion Questions:

Do you have any relatives that live far, far away?

Have you ever had a tea party with your friends?

What would you make for snacks or lunch if you were hosting a tea party?

Have you ever broken something or did something and it was hard to tell the truth?