Monthly Archives: June 2012

June 30, 2012

Activity: Make Brazilian Music

 

Make Brazilian Music Activity!

Tea staff member Cindy has her two children jam out to their own Brazilian-inspired music!

Have your child play the tambourine, guitar, drums, flute, or any other instrument they want to make their own Brazilian music! As they’re rocking out, snap a few pics and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest starts 7/1/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.

Brazilian Music Children's Activity

Leigh Rawdon's (Tea Co-Founder) son has fun making Brazilian music!

This activity was inspired by our Boy’s Lapa Polo Shirt. The Lapa Polo first debuted in Destination: Brazil in Spring 2009.

Boys Lapa Polo Shirt

It was named for a neighborhood in Rio with a lively nightlife and has a lively multi-colored dot print. We’re betting it goes with your Little Citizen’s lively personality!

June 29, 2012

The Maasai Jumping Celebration

We’re introducing guest blogger Pam Geller, a freelance marketing consultant, who traveled to Nairobi, Kenya with her three kids, Kayla | 7 yrs, Drew | 6 yrs, and Jenna | 3 yrs, who just happened to be wearing Tea on their trip.

Travel with Kids to Maasai Kraal

When we visited our tour guide Daniel’s Kraal (Maasai rural village, visible in the background of the photos above), we were invited to witness their lion dance which includes jumping.

Travel with kids Jumping Tradition with Maasai

Maasai jumping is a tradition done at celebrations like a wedding.  The highest jumper gets the most ladies (of course)! They were kind enough to invite us to try. Check out of the video of us taking part in the Maasai jumping tradition.

 


 

June 28, 2012

A Visit to the Maasai Kraal

We’re introducing guest blogger Pam Geller, a freelance marketing consultant, who traveled to Nairobi, Kenya with her three kids, Kayla | 7 yrs, Drew | 6 yrs, and Jenna | 3 yrs, who just happened to be wearing Tea on their trip.

 

Travel with kids to Maasai Village in Nairobi, Kenya

It was incredible to visit a Maasai “village” located in Nairobi, Kenya.  A “Kraal”(“Kraal” — krôl, kräl) is a rural village, where a Maasai family lives, their huts in a circular area, to protect their livestock at night. Our Safari guide, Daniel,  took us to see his family’s Kraal. Daniel’s family consists of one dad, seven moms, and 70 brothers and sisters.  WOW!  Yes- 70 brothers and sisters.  Only Daniel and Daniel’s brothers with their respective wives and children live in the village we visited.  After the brothers showed us their lion dance and how high they can jump, we were invited to go inside their village and see how they live.

Water…no aquifer; they get their water from nearby lakes and streams.

Food…no grocery stores; they crop their own food by hand, in dessert conditions…(mind you…)

Eating utensils…no forks; they gather around a large bowl of food set on the ground and scoop up the food with their fingers or with pieces of bread.

Fire…no matches; they make fire the old fashion way with sticks and elephant poo!

Homes…no brick and mortar; they build their home with mud, sticks, cow dung and cow urine!

Wealth…no money; they measure wealth in terms of cattle and children.

Medicine…no hospitals; they use the urine of animals.  It is thought that the urine of animals is holy and that if used in the right way it can cure sickness.

American Girl with Massi villager

To see how they live in comparison to us, well, was inspiring and humbling.  Amazingly our oldest daughter, Kayla, who is 7, got it.  Here is a passage from her journal that she kept on our trip, “People are poor in Africa.  Okay, when we were driving in the Maasai Mara, we stopped at a village, we saw how the Maasai people live, and their house is made of cow poop and sticks. The girls have to make their houses and it takes three months and they don’t have shoes they are barefoot. “

 

June 27, 2012

Activity Printout: Katut Motorbike

Did we see a rooster riding a motorbike when we stopped by Katut’s shop? In Bali, many fourth-born children are named Katut. This means you could have the same name as many of your friends!

free coloring book pageDownload your cultural activity printout here: Katut Motorbike

Once you’re done, submit your creation to blog@teacollection.com 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!

 

June 26, 2012

The “Reality” of Parenting

Back by popular demand is guest blogger Naomi who has a United States passport, but considers herself a global citizen and currently lives in New Delhi, India.  Along for the great adventure is her husband, one teenage traveler, two little citizens and an Indian street dog.  She blogs about their life (including an upcoming relocation to Singapore) at Delhi Bound [http://delhibound.com].

boy with spidermanBefore we moved to India, our kids were at that perfect age for splendiferous birthday parties.  The kind where you could simply have a friend’s older child dress up in a costume to surprise the birthday child. The type of parties where “theme party” meant matching plates, napkins and silverware.  When we had those types of parties, the cake was artfully crafted by yours truly (the process included licking my fingers as I frosted) and the balloons didn’t have helium.

Birthday Party in India

At a birthday party in Delhi where it's very common for parents to have elephant or camel rides as a main attraction.

When we arrived in our first foreign land, I was blown away by the extravagance, carnival atmosphere, the pressure of everything that was married with anything “party.”  I was consistently under-dressed in my shorts and tank top, and never felt like our birthday gift was quite enough.

 

 

I started to explore the excess. What is it that my kiddos really want?

More than a high-fallutin’ birthday party, they want to know that they matter.  They don’t care if the goody bags adhere to the theme and they sure aren’t bothered with what the invitations look like.

Instead of artfully done up (over the top) lunch boxes and mini cookie cutter sandwiches, little ones really just want us to turn OFF the tv / youtube, sit with them at the table and ask questions about their day.

I often hear parents say that on the weekends they feel pressured into doing instead of being.  Regardless of  family dynamics, our littles just want to be with us.  We don’t have to spend big bucks on entertainment.  Downsize.  Simplify.  Don’t do, just be.

In the age of recording virtually every waking moment (instagram, facebook, tumblr, etc. and etc.), please know that while photographs/photo books record amazing memories for generations to come, often times our children secretly wish that we would put down the camera and experience the moment right along with them.  I sometimes purposefully leave my camera at home on family outings. It’s empowering not to feel the need to capture every moment with a camera, but instead with my own two eyes.

Finally, for us social media freaks (I’m a self-proclaimed addict), let’s not get too soaked up in what everyone else is doing.  We’ll forever be behind-the-times when it comes to beautiful instagram photos, creative picnics and afternoon playdate planning.  Let’s not let someone else’s ‘reality’ dictate ours.

June 13, 2012

Introducing Destination: Nordic Design


Children's clothes inspired by Scandinavian Design

The photos above are from our children’s clothes designers’ cameras. Whenever they travel abroad for inspiration, they take many, many photos which they later use to reflect upon when developing patterns and graphics for each collection.

Our fall 2012 children’s clothes line will be inspired by Scandinavia, a region with bright colors, clean designs, and whimsical graphics. We’ll be exploring Nordic design with some fresh Finland cuts and colors, a touch of the Swedish scene and modern Danish fashion. Fall is going to be packed with style, check back with us tomorrow at teacollection.com to view the fall collection preview.

Share with us below, what do you love about our new fall destination?

June 4, 2012

May’s Activity Book Contest Winner

Thank you everyone who entered our May Activity Book Coloring Contest! As always, it’s hard to pick just one winner with so many amazing budding artists.

This time we say congrats to Ryan, who beautifully colored Ganesh.

Tea Collection Coloring Book Contest

We also want to take a minute to highlight some of the honorable mentions. Below on the left is a little citizen who enjoyed coloring our Mermaid  page and on the right is Mile’s who loves our Jaguar coloring book page.

Tea Collection Coloring Book ContestTea Collection Coloring Book Contest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Browse all the entries on our Flickr page.

Interested in entering the contest for next month? Take a picture of your child’s completed activity book picture and send it to us at blog@teacollection.com with “Activity Book Entry” in the subject line. We pick one winner each month to receive a $100 Tea gift certificate. We’ll also post all honorable mentions on our blog page and all submissions will be posted on our Flickr page.

Download all of our activity book pages by visiting our cultural activity printouts blog tag.

 

June 1, 2012

Bedtimes, Jet Lag and Time Zones

Back by popular demand is guest blogger Naomi who has a United States passport, but considers herself a global citizen and currently lives in New Delhi, India.  Along for the great adventure is her husband, one teenage traveler, two little citizens and an Indian street dog.  She blogs about their life (including an upcoming relocation to Singapore) at Delhi Bound [http://delhibound.com].

creative ways to beat jet lag with kids

Our family is very soon set to begin another relocation and pretty big move across yet another ocean.  As we start to organize our passports and boarding passes, my thoughts fall quickly to jet lag and bedtimes!

Our typical experience with the dreaded jet lag is that it takes us ONE full day of adjustment for each time zone that we’ve crossed (so from India to Nebraska, we figure on nine days).  That’s a lot of days that can end up “wasted” unless you look at it creatively!

Fill a small bag with new items (yes NEW!), including a flashlight and explain to your children that when their bodies wake them up and it’s still the middle of the night, that instead of fully getting out of bed, they can use their flashlight and read in bed, or color on the floor right near their bed.   As soon as we get UP and out of bed, we instantly tell our bodies to cease from resting.  It isn’t a perfect solution, but it can offer some extra time for mom and dad to get some shut-eye.

Creative Ways to Beat Jet Lag
Another thing to remember with jet lag is that often your kiddos have NO choice but to fall asleep in the middle of dinner a couple of days after you’ve arrived.  Heavy lids, droopy limbs and a need for sleep that is impossible to resist is so normal.  Stave it off by getting as MUCH sunlight as possible during the day and stay away from processed sugars!

Bedtimes are another struggle in our household, no matter which time zone we’re in.  Try starting the process just 30 minutes earlier than normal!  Depending on the age of your children (our two youngest are currently 5 and 8), it can make a WORLD of difference!  After just ONE week of an earlier bedtime, we notice that our children are more rested in the morning (even if they get the same amount of sleep overnight) and even eat better during the following day!

When do your little travelers go to bed?  How do you help your family adjust from jet lag?