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Tea Party (and a Tea Giveaway!) (CLOSED)

Sweet Pea is 4 years old.

From:  Sweet Pea loves a good tea party, however, I partly posted about this activity so I could give away a bag of vanilla tea.  🙂


  • A tea set (real, toy or imaginary).


  • Help your tot set the table (or floor) for their tea party.
  • Invite a few of your tot’s stuffed animals to the party.
  • Allow your tot pretend to serve tea and snacks.
  • Have fun!

Observations: Sweet Pea loves tea parties and all other types of pretend play.  This sort of imaginary play is probably her favorite thing to do right now.

I highly recommend playing make believe with your child, whether it is just having a tea party or pretending to be pirates, princesses, superheros, dinosaurs or whatever else your child is currently in love with.  Imaginative play helps your child comprehend the world, learn social skills, build memory, expand his vocabulary and a whole host of other good stuff.

Notes from the Trenches:  Full disclosure: Imaginative play is probably the hardest type of play for me to engage in with Sweet Pea.  I love doing arts and crafts with her, going to the park, reading aloud and lots of other activities, but pretend play simultaneously makes me anxious (“OMG! I have so much else I should be doing!!”)  bored (“How many times in a row can she possibly want to pretend that we are dogs?”)  and guilty (“I should be enjoying this because she is only going to be a little girl for such a short period of time.”).

After many episodes of this, I came up with a simple solution.  I set a timer.   Pretend play used to stretch out in front of me with no end.    Now, I tell Sweet Pea that we only have 10 or 20 minutes to play, set a timer, and can actually (mostly) enjoy the time with her.  If I start to dwell on the fact that I haven’t started dinner yet, I mentally picture the timer steadily counting down and am able to focus my attention back to Sweet Pea.

Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Frugal)


I drink a lot of  tea.  I mostly stick with decaf since any caffeine I consume  tends to keeps me awake until 3am.  I recently ordered some (amazingly delicious) Decaf Comoro Vanilla Tea from Harney & Sons, but they accidentally sent me regular instead of decaf.  When I contacted them about an exchange, they very kindly told me they would send me the decaf and to just give the regular away to one of my friends.  How lucky for my readers!   I thought the bag of regular vanilla tea would make a perfect giveaway for one of you.

How to Enter:  Just submit a comment below telling me what your favorite type of tea is.

The Fine Print: This giveaway is for a 1 lb bag of  Harney and Sons Vanilla Tea.  This is a loose leaf tea, not contained in tea bags.  You must leave a valid email when you submit your comment so I can contact you in the event that you win the contest.   I am using to select the winning comment number from all of the valid entries.  This contest is open to continental U.S. residents only.  The deadline for entry is Sunday, October 2, 2011 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time. Winners will be contacted and announced shortly thereafter.


17 comments to Tea Party (and a Tea Giveaway!) (CLOSED)

  • What a great giveaway! My favorites are Twinings Irish Breakfast, or Earl Grey w/ a drop of vanilla extract+milk+honey (a homemade rendition of Starbucks London Fog), or Rishi Black Vanilla loose leaf. Glorious. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • I love Good Earth Sweet & Spicy Tea

  • JenRay

    I have a 4-year-old as well, and she is also loving imaginative play. Lots of dinosaurs and pirates lately. I know it is good for her (and my little guy too) but I have EXACTLY that same host of feelings about it. I would rather do almost anything else! Occasionally I come up with something fun to add, and then I regret it because she likes it so much we have to do it over and over (like building a pirate ship from the couch cushions!) I will try the timer trick today!

    Particularly in the cooler months, I drink a lot of Adagio teas. One of my most favorites is Earl Gray Moonlight. The flavors they add for the Moonlight variety are wonderful. For decaf options, they have some wonderful Rooibos teas. All loose-leaf too, and they have $2 sample packs! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I actually love all tea….but probably green tea the most. 🙂

    Love your site!!

  • Maren

    What a sweet idea, to make an extra bag of tea into a give-away. I love tea also and have a drawer full of teas (bags and loose) from all over the world. I have two favorite tea purveyors, one is from the US (Republic of Tea), one from Germany (Sonnentor). My favorite tea from the Republic of Tea is the Decaf Mango Ceylon, my favorite from Sonnentor is “Probier mal”, which is a sampler of all their loose teas (most of them are decaf). Enjoy your Decaf Vanilla!

  • I like Sleepy Time and Earl Grey the best.

  • Melissa

    I LOVE vanilla anything, but have never had vanilla tea. Green tea is a staple in my house all year, but I love to change my tea preferences depending on the season (apple cinnamon- fall, peppermint-Christmas, summer-peach, etc.)

  • Donna C

    I LOVE green tea!!

    I’ve never tried vanilla but it sounds delicious.

  • Santina

    What lovely ideas you have to share about tot activities. Thank you abundantly 🙂

    I also love tea, and love vanilla anything, although I have never tried vanilla tea. I imagine it would be absolutely delicious. My sister recently brought me a box of “Earl Grey Green Tea”. What a lovely combination ! Yet, this is not my favorite tea. My favorite tea is Jasmine !!

  • I love what you had to say about pretend play. I can really relate to all those feelings you expressed. I’m going to borrow the timer trick next time. Thanks!

    My favorite tea is chai. But I bet I’d love that Vanilla, too! 🙂

  • I actually don’t want to win the giveaway, but I wanted to give you a heads-up that you named your little girl in your post, instead of using Sweet Pea. Thanks again for all of your great ideas! I have the same problems with pretend play with N. I love the timer idea!

  • Salma

    Hi Shannon,
    Thank you for the possibility to participate in this giveaway,
    I love a good cup of tea,
    I’d like to win this bag of vanilla tea, I’ve never tried it

    Best regards

  • Amanda

    How delightful! We mistakenly received a cooler of frozen beef tenderloin one year just before Christmas, and when I called to report it they just told me to keep it! Best Christmas dinner ever!

    That said, your timer suggestion is pure gold. I’m definitely going to try it since I have the same feelings about pretend play. I really WANT to like it but I feel pulled toward so many other things! So thank you 🙂

    The tea sounds lovely. Have you tried their coconut green tea? Amazing. Would be delighted to try the vanilla!


  • Erin

    Wow! I’ve had the exact same feelings you’ve mentioned regarding pretend play: guilt, anxiety… exactly! Thank you for articulating this point so well, and letting the rest of us feel like we’re not the worst moms in the world for having these thoughts 🙂 I will be trying the timer trick for sure!
    Although I don’t usually drink caffeinated tea, either (I tend to stick to chamomile at bedtime), when I do I like oolong. The vanilla sounds amazing and I would love to try it!
    Thanks again for your wonderful blog and fantastic ideas!

  • Rondah

    I like all kinds of teas. I’ve never tried vanilla though.
    Thanks for the chance to win
    rjs682 at yahoo dot com

  • Julie

    This is so exciting! My favorite kind of tea is peach passion tea from Celestial Seasonings or any sort of creme brulee flavored tea.

  • Ryana

    I like chamomile tea.
    ryanac32 at yahoo dot com