Month: April 2013

Not So-Fari: Experiencing African Wildlife Without Leaving The United States

The crocodile tee is your son’s favorite shirt and he’s mastered the lion’s roar, it’s time you bring the wildlife of South Africa alive with a trip to the zoo.

A tour of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa may not be in the cards for your summer vacation, but it’s important to remember that we’re able to explore exotic wildlife right here in the United States!

Have you heard of Safari West? Located only 75 miles north of San Francisco, Safari West is home to over 400 exotic mammals and birds. You can choose to stay overnight in one of their authentic African safari tents or a cottage, complete with a private bathroom and kitchenette. This 400-acre wildlife preserve has plenty to offer – check out their 2013 Photo Expedition two-day workshop if you’re interested in working on your photography skills.

We hear the San Diego Zoo has one of the country’s best lion exhibits. Want to spend more time amongst the animals? The ‘Roar & Snore Safari‘ allows you to pack up and stay overnight on the campgrounds. If you live in the area you should look into their summer camp where your children would experience daily interaction with rhinos and giraffes.

Dallas, Texas is where you will find one of the top African Elephant exhibits. The Dallas Zoo‘s Giants of Savanna exhibit offers access to elephants, giraffes, impalas, zebras, lions and other native African animals. Don’t miss out on the giraffe feeding while you’re there! For $5, you’re little one can hand feed a giraffe fresh greens and rye crackers.

The Kansas City Zoo was ranked number one in the nation by authors Allen W. Nyhuis and Jon Wassner for their “African Animals and Exhibits.” Their 95-acre African exhibit represents five nations with an extensive collection of animals. Elephant demonstrations are held daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Soon the Cincinnati Zoo‘s African exhibit will be the largest animal exhibit in zoo history! Currently they’re working to expand the yard for the Massai giraffe and creating a new and improved home for the cheetahs “where guests will be able to witness cheetahs doing what they do best – running!”

What zoo’s are your favorite for African animals? We want to hear!

Visit your local Tea retailer to find out if they have any zoo favorites in your community.

Let the adventures begin!


*Photo Credits: Giraffe from the Kanas City Zoo, Elephant from PLOS blog, Lions from the San Diego Zoo*

Story Time


“Tonight you get to pick three books!” Sound familiar?

Whether it’s a nightly routine, an afternoon activity or a monthly trip to the book store, reading with children is one of the greatest bonding experiences we have with our little ones. Together we’re able to travel to far away places to meet heros and Kings, giggle with talking animals, and escape reality. As fun and whimsical as children’s books may be, they truly help our little citizens gain a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. We believe it’s important that we introduce multicultural books into our nightly routines to open their eyes to the great big world they’re part of.

Today we’re sharing three of our favorite South African children’s books with you in hopes that they’ll be incorporated into your routine in one way or another!


Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales, Various Authors and Illustrators

32 of Nelson Mandela’s favorite African folktales bound into one book. These stories have been passed down from generation to generation in Africa, now it’s time you share them in your home in hopes that the stories will live on through new generations worldwide. Complete with a map, you can see where each story originates. Travel through Africa by way of story with your little one with this beautiful collection of tales!

The Mother of Monsters, Retold by Fran Parnell and illustrated by Sophie Fatus

The Chief’s daughter Ntombi, isn’t afraid of the frightening Ilunge River like everyone else. When she goes there for a swim she finds a very unhappy monster, Mother of Monsters, causing more trouble than she could ever imagine!


The Gift of the Sun, Diane Stewart and Jude Daly

Thulani loves to bask in the sun, but life as a farmer leaves little time for this. One night he has an idea to exchange his troublesome goat for a sheep, the first trade of many in hopes of making his life easier. With every trade, his wife becomes more and more irritated until one day, Thulani receives a gift from the sun that will ultimately change his life forever.




How Does Tea Inspire You?

A year ago we traveled to South Africa and were inspired to create the pieces you see in our current collection. We reached out to three of our favorite crafting bloggers to see how our collection inspires them. You wouldn’t believe the amazing projects they’ve come up with! But, before we share their projects with you, we’d like to share a little project of our own.


Our Nova Trapeze Mini Dress was the main inspiration behind our project.

The pattern is bold & colorful, reminding us of exotic fruits. This is a no fuss dress, so we thought it was important that our project was too!








A Big Thank You to Stacy, Helen, and Rachel for being a part of this!

March Activity Book Winner

Congratulations to Anthony, our March activity book winner! We were so impressed by your use of color, it’s almost as if the zebras are jumping right off the page!


Browse all the entries and honorable mentions 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 with “Activity Book Entry” in the subject line. We pick one winner each month to receive a $100 Tea gift certificate. To get the new activity book, simply make a purchase at Tea and we’ll send you one with your order. You can also download activity book pages here from our inspiration page.