Storytime at Home: Tea Party Time!

Posted about 4 months ago by Sarah Fenninger
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Welcome to the Storytime at Home series! Every other week, we share a list of book options tied to a kid-approved theme, a craft you can set up to go along with the theme, songs/rhymes you can do during storytime, and additional enrichment activities. All books are available at Richmond Public Library, and crafts will involve items you likely have at home already! Our hope is that we can make it easy for you to share stories with your little ones and create a little bit of library magic at home. 

P.S. Love library storytimes? Take a look at all in-library storytime options here. There is a storytime for your child every morning at our various branches!

Okay, now to the fun stuff…

Tea parties are a great activity for kids. They promote imagination, encourage pretend play, and support motor development. This will be a great topic to read to your children about before hosting a tea party of your own. In our house, our esteemed guests include teddy bears, babies, dinosaurs, and farm animals. The more, the merrier! The library has a wonderful selection of tea party books, which we’ve included below. When you visit, you can also search ‘tea’ or ‘tea party’ in our catalog, or ask a librarian to help you find the perfect one for you and your child.

Reading to your kiddos turns them into confident thinkers. Making books a regular part of your daily routine is a great way to build children’s love of reading and learning. Storytimes also help build excitement around reading to support their literacy development. 

Here are a few book options you can choose from for your tea party storytime.

There are many ways to make reading fun and engaging for your little one! Click the arrow below to see some of our favorite tips for bringing stories to life at home.

Click here to see some of our favorite reading tips
  • Point at the pictures and ask your child what they see. Help build their vocabulary by pointing to pictures and saying the word aloud. 
  • Ask your child questions about the story: What do you think will happen next? How do you think this character is feeling? This character is going to the park; do you remember when we went to the park? 
  • Read with expression and enthusiasm, and use different voices for different characters. 
  • Act out what’s happening in the story. For example, pour tea into your child’s cup when someone in the book pours their tea.
  • As your child gets older, count objects in a book, discuss the different colors they see, point out shapes in the story, etc. 
  • Snuggle up and be patient. Reading is great bonding time for you and your child. Take your time walking them through the story. If your child wants to turn the page or be finished with reading, that’s OK too. You don’t have to read every word or even every page for reading with your little one to be beneficial for their development. 

We love adding songs and rhymes to our storytimes. This is a great way to practice language with your child and support their physical (motor) development through movement. 

Here are two songs and rhymes you can use for this tea-party-themed storytime.

Rhyme: Tea for Two
Do the motions in italics as you are speaking

Here’s a cup (hold left fist up)
and here’s a cup (hold right fist up)
and here’s a pot of tea. (bring thumb out of fist on left hand)
Pour a cup, (pour into your right cup using your left thumb as tea pot spout)
and pour a cup, (do same pouring with right thumb into left hand)
and have a drink with me! (mime drinking tea)


Sing: I’m A Little Teapot
I’m a little teapot, short and stout,
Here is my handle, here is my spout
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout,
Tip me over and pour me out!

Adding a craft along with a book is a great way to continue allowing your child to learn, explore, and grow. Crafts are a nice supplement as they encourage motor development, creativity, self-confidence, and more. 

In fact, art and craft activities:

  • Build fine motor skills. Actions such as painting, coloring, gluing, and cutting develop small muscles in small hands and improve coordination skills as children learn to use both hands at the same time. 
  • Support early literacy. When children make art, they learn vocabulary and how to follow directions when getting verbal instructions from parents and caregivers. They also boost their communication skills via talking about their work!
  • Teach early math concepts. Math skills are used frequently in arts and crafts. Kids learn about and recognize different shapes, count and sort art supplies, and even measure out materials. 
  • Encourage creativity. Art helps develop creativity, self-expression, problem-solving, and curiosity. 
  • Boost self-esteem. Doing arts and crafts can give children a sense of achievement and allow them to take pride in their work, which builds confidence. 
  • Offer bonding time. Kids love spending quality time with parents and caregivers, and arts and crafts are a great opportunity for this.

Here is a craft activity you can do along with the tea party theme. 

Materials Needed

  • Paper plates
  • Tea pot template, printed
  • Paper towel/toilet paper tubes
  • Cardboard
  • Markers, crayons
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Directions

  • To make a tipping tea pot…
    • Fold a paper plate in half
    • Print out a tea pot (template here)
    • Have your child color it in
    • Cut it out and glue it on one side
  • To make the tea cups and saucers…
    • Cut tubes to desired size for cups
    • Using leftover tube, cut a one-inch ring
    • Make slits in one end of the tubes, then fold the flaps over until you’ve created the bottom of the cup
    • Glue the one-inch piece to the tube for the handle
    • (Optional) Cut circles out of cardboard to use as saucers
    • Have your child decorate the cups and saucers with markers, crayons, etc.

The fun doesn’t have to end at books, songs, and a craft. There are many ways to enrich a storytime with additional activities and lessons – especially for this tea party theme!

Here are a few ideas for you and your child: 

  • Throw your own tea party! Gather stuffed animals, babies, superhero figurines, etc. and invite them to the tea party. Use plates, cups, food, etc. and act out serving tea, eating cookies, etc.
    • Tea parties are for all children! You can have a princess tea party, dinosaur tea party, monster tea party where you drink monster juice instead of tea, superhero tea party where you drink superhero tea to get fast and strong, etc. Get creative and make the tea party work for your children and their interests!
  • Take your tea party outside! Throw a blanket on the ground and soak up some sun while having your tea party outdoors.
  • Print tea party coloring pages for your child to color and design
  • Splurge on a family tea party at one of Richmond’s tea rooms like The Queen’s Library Tea Room or The Jefferson Hotel
  • Watch Alice in Wonderland (available to rent via our catalog)
  • Listen to Disney Princess Tea Party album (available to rent via Hoopla in our catalog)
  • Listen to The One and Only Sparkella Makes a Plan audiobook (available to rent via Hoopla in our catalog)

We share these Storytime at Home posts twice a month, so be sure to check back soon for more. You can also search “#storytimeathome” to see all past posts.

Sarah Fenninger

Sarah Fenninger is a lifelong book worm and library lover, and an enthusiastic appreciator of puns, creative outlets, silliness, and FUN. She considers herself lucky to be able to combine all of these things into a role as a Library Associate in Youth Services and Outreach with Richmond Public Library. Sarah loves interactive children's books and singing songs that promote motor development and movement. When she's not at work preparing crafts or reading silly books about dinosaurs in underwear, Sarah can be found at one of Richmond's many local parks/trails and spending time with family, including her husband, daughter, cat, and two chickens.

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