Monday, May 10, 2010

Tea Time Anytime

This is a shelf that rotates cooking activities for the girls.  It is currently set up for preparing tea.  Tea parties are multifaceted.   It begins by choosing a menu, we may bake or simply put goldfish crackers in a pretty bowl.  The table must be set, which might require ironing.  It should be pretty, if flowers are in the yard they can be picked and arranged.  The water is heated in an electric kettle that I chose because I can adjust the heat of the water.  Once the water is hot a child can pour it into the pot.  We prefer tea balls over bags but I need to purchase loose tea so recently it has been a bag.  I also need to pick up sugar cubes and limit the amount used.  Grace cannot help herself from eating all the sugar in the bowl!
My sister is a tea aficionado and put together a great set from her collection for the girls.  It is all fine bone china and made in England.  Plastic ware can prevent them from needing/learning to be careful, focused and graceful.  Yes, something could get broken-but I never let them use something I absolutely couldn't live without.
My goal, and the reason for having everything they need accessible on the shelf, is so they can do it on their own.  I still am helping at this point but they need me less each time.  I usually need to leave the room to give them space and keep myself from offering unneeded help/direction.
Remember it should be fun so don't get too caught up on "etiquette".  Each time you do it the children will pick up more and more etiquette naturally.
I confess there are times when I introduce a new activity like this, and it bombs!  Try not to (I have to tell myself this) see it as a reflection of you, the activity or your child.  It simply wasn't the day for it.  Give it a few more tries at another time and if things still aren't coming together,  reevaluate.


  1. I always learn a lot about mothering when I read your blog. I love it! Even though I am not a mother.

  2. I agree, again it's inspirational. My kids would love to do something like that. It's really nice to see that they can really prepare for it and enjoy the end result while learning at the same time!

  3. I just found your blog through Solanah. I am really loving it! I adore how your girls embroider and can use an iron. I was also noticing how the layout of your kitchen looks just like mine only in reverse! I am looking forward to reading the older posts I have missed.

  4. I am new to your blog, but gracious i love it! I have a fair number of your entries and i just want to say that i would to be a child in your home! The way you let your little ones explore and introduce new activities is simply lovely. I am very happy to see that homes like this still exist!!!

  5. I love this! You've inspired me to do likewise... love the trolley idea. Tea time, here we come! xx Lucy


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