Tea time can be quality time to connect with your kids — all the way from the “tea party” of toddlers through high school, and beyond. Throwing a kids tea party for your little one is a wonderful way to meet them on their level, and it just might spark a lifelong love of tea in your kids. Nonetheless, they will love this special Q.T. with you and it is sure to create fun memories for you both. The sweet conversations you’ll have with them during the process are priceless. Here are my top tips as a tea-loving mother.
Tip 1: The game plan. Let your kids be part of the planning process. They can choose which friends (or stuffed animals) to invite, which tea to make, and which snacks to serve at the party. They’ll love this opportunity to be in charge and they can even help prep the spread or set the table.
Tip 2: Kid-friendly teas. There are tons of caffeine-free herbal teas to choose from. Rooibos-based teas, like Blood Orange Smoothie, are great options, as are fruit teas like Strawberry Fields. I usually let the kids decide by smelling a few teas side by side. My kids often choose the juicy, fruity, “yummy” teas, most of which are delicious both hot or iced. I don’t ever add sugar or honey personally, because I don’t want to invite the crazy train to the tea party. On that note, one of their favorites is Sugar Tamer, a beautiful ruby red hibiscus tea blended with flowers and licorice root, to naturally sweeten it. It’s like a sophisticated fruit punch.
Tip 3: The tea set. Use the “good china,” or at least not plastic. This instills confidence in the little ones when you trust them to be gentle and teach them to pour tea like a pro. I love using our Going Gongfu tea set because it’s small, light-weight, and not fragile nor prone to chipping. And in between “tea parties,” I enjoy having my own gongfu tea sessions.
Tip 4: Brew strength. For kids, I tend to make the tea strong enough that it has a full flavored body, but not so strong that it overwhelms their sensitive little palates. For “spicy” teas like mint and ginger, you might choose to brew it at half-strength by using less leaf. Remember to let the tea cool quite a bit before you serve it so that you don’t burn their mouths. Kids have much lower heat tolerance than adults.
Tip 5: The snacks. Keep the snacks healthy and light. You want it to be more about the experience than a full blown meal – and seriously, what kid doesn’t love snacks?! Tiny sandwich wedges with the crust cut off are fun finger food. You can try PB&J or a more traditional tea sandwich with cucumber and cream cheese. Include a few tiny side dishes to share – filled with nuts, berries, cheese, or crackers.
Tip 6: Timing is everything. You can probably get started anytime after two and a half years old and you’re likely in the prime time at 5 years old, but that will vary with each kid.
Tip 7: Throw all the RULES out the window. At The Tea Spot, we love to say that there are no rules to tea. We offer steeping guides to every tea, but that’s just a starting place for you to begin exploring. It’s all a discovery process on your journey of tea. The same advice applies to tea parties. Don’t get bogged down with propriety and rules. Most importantly, just have fun, young and old alike!
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Have you thrown a tea party for your kiddos? Tell us what worked and what didn’t. We’d love to hear!