Month: April 2012

Cultural Activity Printout: Surf Break

Looking to take a break? How about a Surf Break?

Free Coloring Book Page

Download your cultural activity printout here: Surf Break

Once you’re done, submit your creation to [email protected] for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win!  Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!


Earth Day with the Red Panda Network at Oakland Zoo

Last Saturday the Oakland Zoo celebrated Earth Day with their “Take Action for Animals” event.  Conservation organizations from all over came out to teach little citizens about animal awareness and protection. I’ve been working with the Red Panda Network for nearly five years now. While Red Pandas have been gaining popularity in the last few years, most people still don’t know about them. So I was pleasantly surprised to see how popular our booth was.

top left picture: Pinju, one of the red pandas available for adoption via the Red Panda Network

middle right picture: Master Shifu via ShareTV

all other pictures from the day of the event

Most children were shocked and excited to learn that Master Shifu from Kung Fu Panda was actually a red panda. The children, as well as many parents, were curious and enthusiastic to be learning about an animal they had just heard about for the first time. We had over 200 future conservationists come to our table to create a Red Panda mask. To learn about Red Pandas visit:  The Red Panda Network. They also have a great program Red Panda Ranger program for children who want to learn more about Red Pandas.

Cultural Activity Printout: Connect the Dots

Looking for a little Bali surf adventure? Connect the Dots in this week’s cultural activity printout to discover what’s riding the Kuta Beach waves alongside your board.

Free Coloring Book Page

Download your cultural activity printout here: Connect the Dots

Once you’re done, submit your creation to [email protected] for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win!  Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist! To see past submissions, visit our Flickr page.

Behind the Design: Sanur Floral Print

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

Ever wonder how the Tea textile designers get that hand-printed look for dresses like our Sanur Floral Sporty dress?

Yes, we actually take the time to carve out linoleum blocks to achieve the perfect look. Pictured above are photos of our talented textile designer Amber and her work as she developed the graphic for our Sanur Floral Sporty dress.  Pretty cool, huh?

How to Batik (kid-friendly!)

Our Bali-inspired children’s clothes collection featured the craft of Batik, an art form we saw and practiced while in Bali. Traditional Batiks are created with hot wax, in a dying technique which allows the craftsman to form lush patterns and designs.  We wanted to find a way for little citizens to Batik that was safe.  Below is our step-by-step guide on how-to Batik- no hot wax needed! All you need is  glue, paint, a t-shirt and an open mind!

I chose to Batik a shirt- however you can Batik any cloth materials.  Think of how much fun it would be to Batik pillow cases?

DIY Batik for Kids

You'll need a shirt, a piece of cardboard to stick between your shirt, acrylic paints, washable gel glue, and a paint brush.

The first step is to design your Batik pattern.  You’ll use the glue to do this. It can be a little tricky to wield the glue, so you may want to have your little ones practice glue drawing on cardboard first.  You can also map out your design first with pencil. I also used a scrap piece of cardboard to put in the shirt so the glue wouldn’t seep through to the back of the shirt.

Kid Friendly Batik DIY

Where ever you put the glue will be white. The color will show through the negative space. Pretty cool, huh?

The next step is hardest. You have to wait for the glue to dry and this will take at least 24 hours.  Playing the waiting game can be hard when you have little citizens eager to paint!

Once the glue is completely dry, break out your acrylic paints, your paint brush, a mixing area, and a water bowl to clean the brush and start painting! While painting, you’ll want to keep the the piece of cardboard inside the shirt for the same reason you kept it in while gluing- you don’t want the paint to leak through to the back of the shirt.

DIY Batik For Kids

Once the Batik is painted, leave it in a safe place where the paint can dry. This will probably take at least 12 hours.  Once dry, you can either peel off the glue or put it in the washing machine. I chose the latter as it was much easier and had great results. Check out my finished Batik shirt below.

DIY Kid-Friendly Batik ProjectThe picture minimalizes the cool effect the process created.  The colors are much more vibrant and the designs pop more in person. All-in-all, this is a great project for those looking to craft a gift for a loved one (Mother’s Day or Father’s Day Batiks?).

Please share your Batiks with our community at Facebook. We’d love to see your little citizens artful, Bali-inspired work!

Hertiage is Great: Exploring Britain

Today we’re featuring guest blogger Linh Tran, who traveled to Britain with her two kids, daughter age 3, son age 5.

Traveling with Kids

Britain.  The only thing that caught my eye as my family and I shuffled through customs at Heathrow airport after a red-eye flight was a banner by the Heritage Foundation of a castle reading, “Heritage is GREAT Britain.”  Apropos, this trip to England will my children’s first trip to visit their grandparents where they will probably have a memory of it in the future.  We hoped to show the children around Essex, where their father grew up, give them a taste of English pastimes and flavors, and teach them a bit of the queen’s English.

Traveling with Kids

First up was a walk along a footpath behind granddad’s house.  Nothing better to beat jet lag than fresh air and sunshine.  We learned the hard way to avoid the prickly nettle leaves and how, thankfully, mother nature creates balance by growing dock leaves close by to soothe the sting.  The biggest hit near granddad’s house was not feeding the horses or finding the most feathers on our walk, but the zip line at the local playground where the children can sit and zip between two posts.

Traveling with KidsThere was another zip line at a playground by the seafront in the town of Maldon, where generations of my husband’s family were born and bred.  Cool fact my son found out was that his great great great grandmother was born in The Queen’s Head pub, still operational today.  The children enjoyed seeing all the barges and sailors working on their sails as we walked along the estuary.  We had lunch on the high street and the children surprised us by eating their entire portion of fish whereas they left lots of chips on their plate.  We also introduced them to Cornish pasties, sausage rolls, Yorkshire pudding, smarties push ups, and no trip to the UK is complete without a copious amount of Cadbury’s chocolate.  They delighted in tasting the local favorite Rossi ice cream in Southend-on-Sea.  We had a tragic family-sitcom moment when 2 licks into my daughter’s ice cream cone, it fell to the ground and rolled down the slope.  My son generously shared his cone and we perked them both up with carnival rides and mini golf on the beach front at Adventure Island.

Traveling With Kids

By the end of our week long visit, the children began sounding British when they asked for more biscuits, bananas, and ice lollies.     They started using words like lorry, boot, queue, and cheers.  Most importantly, they reconnected with their grandparents and got a glimpse of what life might be like growing up in Essex.  Heritage is great, indeed.

Traveling with KidsTraveling with Kids

Summer Fashion Report: Rompers

Summer is all about fun, and what’s more fun than easy, breezy rompers!

(From left to right, top to bottom: 1) Hair Envy 2) Adriano Goldschmied 3) Rory Beca 4) ASOS 5) Dolce & Gabbana 6) Betsy Johnson 7) Marc by Marc)

To see more, visit our fashion romper Pinterest board.

From a beach cover-up to an evening dinner jumpsuit, these rompers surely fit the spirit of summer. Easy to wear and accessorize, these one-pieces make looking on trend simple.  Check out Tea’s twist on rompers for girls.

With heels, piles of jewelry or over a bathing suit- how would you fashion your romper? Tell us in the comments section below.