Involving your preschooler in an afternoon of tea is rewarding for both you and your child. Here is a guest article by gluten free consultant, blogger and homeschool mom Elizabeth "Elle" Brassell, sharing her experience sharing tea with her two preschoolers:
"My last child is the only girl of our five blessings. Boy, were her four brothers happy that she would take their place of being brought out to a ballet once a year. While I still take my sons to Broadway shows, concerts and the symphony a few times a year to appreciate the arts, they are now off the hook for the ballet. And wouldn't you know, my daughter is in love with ballet! Since she was a year old she has had several toy tea sets given to her and we have been in the tradition of having tea everyday since she could hold a cup. Of course it wasn't hot then. In the South, we love iced tea and so she would have a little cup of peppermint or an herbal orange vanilla roobios blend. She has had to work (or earn) her way up to have a porcelain tea cup and now has a few in her own collection.
Either hot or cold, it's a nice little treat that we always share in a more fancy way when we are with her grandma or her aunts, who are all huge tea lovers. I must confess they make great treats which just adds to the excitement! While several of my boys are much older now, they still drink tea and will make it for themselves. It is a habit formed from a young age. The younger boys are still enjoying it and we have named tea flavors by boyish names, such as " robot" tea! They all have their own tea pots, very manly for the boys of course, like a football or a black modern pot. Everyone loves to pour their own and it's a great deal of fun.
My desire to teach my children about having tea was for many reasons. First, I wanted my active sons to learn etiquette and how to sit still for a bit to talk with the adults that care about them and want to know more about who they are. It's never forced on them and they always love it. We made it special several times a year even going to tea rooms to have a "proper" tea. Then,even more importantly, the added benefit of relaxing and getting detoxified. Detoxified? What does taking tea have to do with detoxing? Well, quite a lot actually. First of all, taking a rest from your day is a great way to balance your mood and refresh your mind. We typically do this after school as a wonderful way to wind down and connect before starting chores or heading back to more school work. We like to put on some relaxing music in the background and after 15 minutes or so, everyone is in a better mood, ready to take on whatever is due next. I am even ready to tackle dinner!
The other benefit in taking tea is it gives us a chance to refuel our energy sources with a little nourishment. A typical English tea is served later in the day, between lunch and dinner usually. This is where a few bites of a sandwich, (tea sandwiches are just sandwiches cut into 4's usually) maybe a slice of a protein rich quiche with a few pieces of fruit and maybe a small treat, give us the energy to make it through the end of the day."
Read more about Elle's gluten free living, homeschooling adventures and more here: