Category Archives: Activities

December 5, 2013

November’s Activity Book Winner

November Activity Book Winner

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.

Download a few of our activity book pages by visiting our Inspiration page.

September 30, 2013

DIY: Panda Costume

Panda Costume

Supplies for Tea's Panda CostumeStep 1: MEASURE YOUR CHILD

  • Circumference of head
  • From between the eyebrows to back and bottom of neck
  • Shoulder to shoulder
  • Shoulder to wrist (both arms)
  • Around the largest part of the arm (both arms)
  • Base of neck to the crotch
  • Around the chest (at the nipples)
  • Around the belly (at the belly button)
  • Around the hips (at the center of the bottom)
  • Inseam (from the crotch to the ground)
  • Around the thigh at the widest part (both legs)

With each measurement, add approximately 10″ (for the seams, the thickness of the fabric you will use, and extra breathing room). When in doubt, give yourself extra fabric for the suit—you can always take it in and make it smaller.

Make Your Own Panda Suit from Tea Collection

Step 2: BUY YOUR FABRIC

Estimate the amount of fabric you’ll need based the total of your final measurements. You will need the same amount of black and white fabric. Tell the staff at your local fabric store that you are looking “sherpa craft fur” or something similar to it. You can choose a black or white invisible zipper, just make sure it is a length that fits the torso of your child, from the crotch to the base of the neck. Don’t forget to buy any of the other supplies you will need when getting your fabric.

Make Your Own Panda Suit from Tea Collection

Step 3: START WITH THE HEAD

This is where you get a little creative! In order to make the panda head round and like a hood, use a ball that is close to the size of your child’s head (volleyball, soccer ball). From the white fabric, cut a square piece that fits all the way around the ball, with a bit extra. Wrap the fabric around the ball loosely with the fuzzy side facing the ball. Next, use safety pins to pin back the four corners of the fabric square in a circular way. This will be the opening for the face of the costume. Work slowly around the whole ball, loosely pinching the fabric and pinning it so that after you sew all the pinched spots, you will turn the hood right side in and the fuzzy side will be a flush circular shape. After sewing all the seams and pinches, choose the spot that will connect to the rest of the costume at the bottom of the face opening and cut a slit from there that is half the measurement of the circumference of your child’s head.

Step 4: THE EARS

To make the ears, just eyeball the size you would like them to be and cut two squares from the black fabric. (Always over-estimate when cutting into the fabric.) Here again you can just sort of ball them up until they appear to look like an appropriate panda ear and freestyle sew it together. Next, join the ears up with the white hooded head you made. Safety pin the ears on before sewing so you can really see where they are going to sit on the hood.

Make Your Own Panda Suit from Tea Collection

Step 5: THE BODY

Take a big cut out of the black fabric that is at least longer than the largest measurement you took from your child’s torso. Keeping the furry side facing inward, form it into a tube, then sew the seam where the two edges meet to form the tube. Do the same for the two arms. Remember, you want your panda to be able to move, so do everything with a little extra room. Next, take the two arms and place them on either sides of the upper torso area of the large tube. Pin them in place while you trace around the arms with your chalk to make the arm holes. Cut the holes out. Sew the arms on using your black thread. To finish the arms, you can fold the wrist seam in and sew it if you want a cleaner look.

Between the fur of the fabric and the fact that your child may only wear or fit into this costume for one season, nothing needs to be perfect! So don’t stress about mistakes and imperfections on your side.

Next, cut an oval shape from your white fabric, place it onto the front of the black torso you just made, and sew it on. Then find the center of the top of the chest opening, take your zipper, and cut straight down the center of the torso the same length as your zipper. Sew it in!

Step 6: THE PANDA BOOTY

Follow the same process for the legs as you did for the arms, but leave even more room in the legs than you think you need to (wider at the thighs and tapered at the ankles), and make them longer, too. Once you have your two legs, place them side-by-side. Now is when you kind of need to make it up—you are essentially making pants. After you figure that one out, sew the bottom onto to the upper torso.

Step 7: PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

Last but not least, don’t forget to sew the HEAD on! Then unzip the suit and let your child try it on. Presto! Panda time!

Make Your Own Panda Suit from Tea Collection

And do a little dance!

Jackie Jones is a graphic designer and illustrator who has had the pleasure to create projects with clients all over the world. She currently lives in the fruit valley of Washington with her husband Andy, and is painting up a storm for her first children’s book.

September 5, 2013

DIY: Pretty Panda Teddy

What are you going to do when your little girl grows out of her adorable Pretty Panda Tee?

I thought it’d be fun to turn it into a pretty little teddy bear!

1. Gather your supplies: Tea’s Pretty Panda Tee, old baby socks/stockings, filling, needle, thread, scissors, pins, iron, sewing machine (optional)

2. Iron wrinkles out of shirt.

 

3. Cut back and front panel out of shirt. Line up graphic on back and front with good sides facing each other. Trim shirt leaving about 1″ around design. Sew around panda keeping about 3/4″ away from edge of graphic. Make sure to not make any of the curves too narrow or she will look funny when you stuff her. Also make sure you don’t accidentally sew into her little flower.

4. Turn her right side in & stuff her to make sure everything looks ok. If not, adjust appropriately. Once she looks like you would like you can trim some of the excess fabric from the inside. Lay your socks or stockings underneath the panda and judge how long you would like them to be. Trim down socks/stockings if there is excess.

5. Stuff the foot of both stockings. Leave of the top of socks without stuffing. Pin feet to bottom of panda. Sew across bottom of panda and feet.

7. I worked with a baby shirt so I did not have much excess fabric near her flower. This left me with an awkward bit of the shirt’s collar sticking out of the top of her head. I hand stitched that part to make it look better. I also took in the bottom edges to make the curve where her body met her feet more gentle.

8. I wanted her feet to feel heavy and for her to have floppy legs so I shoved all the stuffing towards the bottom of the foot and stitched around the top of the stuffing.

9. All done! Now you have a cute little panda with hanging feet.

 

Here she is with her new friends – Vintage Minnie, Blue Ostrich and Black Bear. They are all envious of Pretty Panda’s stylin’ argyle feet.

 

A Moomah + Tea Collection Exclusive: DIY Tiger Collage

It’s time for part two of our Moomah the Magazine exclusive crafting series! In honor of our new fall catalog, they’ve created an amazing tiger collage. Looking for more tiger inspired goodies for your little one? Don’t miss our new Character Tiger Graphic Tee, our cozy Woodcut Tiger Pajamas or our bold Pouncing Tiger Tee… you’ll discover how much power can lurk in a shirt!

Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to receive the latest issue – Take it away ladies!

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Tea Collection’s fall collection is inspired by the Chinese Art District. When we envision Chinese artworks, we think of delicate brush strokes making thin lines with black liquid paint. In our eyes, those abstract lines come together in the shape of one thing: a tiger and her stripes.

With the tiger being one of Asia’s most recognized species, we thought it fitting to put together our Tiger Collage as a nod to China’s art world, animal kingdom and of course, Tea’s newest collection.

WHAT YOU NEED:

• Tiger Template
• 12” x 12” Black and Blue cardstock
• 12” x 12” Orange cardstock
• Glue Stick
• Spray Fix
• X-acto Knife
• Tape
• Pencil

CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR OWN TIGER COLLAGE

 

July 22, 2013

A Moomah + Tea Collection Exclusive: DIY Panda Mask

Today’s post is one we’re so excited to share with you! It’s no secret we’re huge fans of Moomah the Magazine; their photos transport you, their recipes are delicious and their original crafts keep little ones busy for hours. We’ve teamed up with the amazing ladies at Moomah to bring you 4 exclusive activities for Destination: China and today they’re kicking off the series with this adorable panda mask. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to receive the latest issue and if you’re on Instagram, following them is a must – their summer travels will have you packing your bags in no time. Take it away ladies!

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Earlier on this year, we were invited to view Tea’s China inspired collection preview in NYC. Though the room was filled with so many of the most adorable new looks for kids, the first item that caught our eye was the sweetest long sleeve-T, with a timid looking panda sporting a pretty pink bow behind her ear. Though that was adorable enough, we were encouraged to turn the shirt around, only to see that the T was double sided! How much cuter can a child’s panda shirt be, then one with both a panda’s front and behind on show.

We were inspired. Tea’s Back To School delivery reflects a Chinese Eastern Pop theme – their street style, pop culture, kitch icons, and modernized versions of traditional crafts. The prints on Tea’s outfits encourage bold stripes and geometric shapes, and of course, pandas! With paper cuttings being a traditional Chinese craft, we decided to modernize the idea, and intertwine it with all other design aspects of their line. The result? An adorable Panda Mask – a clear mixture of our traditionalMoomah aesthetic, mixed with Tea’s beautifully designed and inspired collection.

 

 

 

June 6, 2013

Our Top 10 Children’s Apps

 

We’d be lying if we told you we never pass our little ones a smart phone or an ipad to keep them entertained. The truth is, sometimes it’s just easier – especially when traveling! With so many game apps available today, we thought it would be fun to share our top 10 favorite apps with you. They teach new languages, allow world exploration, help quiet loud nights, and make fractions fun! And remember, while a lot of these apps are over $0.99, in the end you’ll appreciate the ad-free, no fuss design the cost gets you.

Do you have a favorite that you don’t see here? We want to know! Leave a comment below.

1. Sleep Pillow Sounds $1.99 – Although this isn’t a game your children can play, we thought it was important to include. It can be hard to sleep in a new bed with unfamiliar sounds when traveling, but with the help of this app the foreign sounds will be quieted. We consider this to be a must when traveling with children.

2. Endless Alphabet free – We must warn you that skipping the ad before you hand your device over to the kids is key to this ‘free’ app, and once you get to the drag and drop screen you might not want to let go! The idea is for your little one to match the letters on the screen to create a complete word. The longer you keep a finger on the letter, the longer the letter is sounded out (maybe headphones would be best in public?) and once you’ve completed it, the definition is acted out by your new colorful monster friends and you’re on to the next!

3. Toca Kitchen $2.99 – Your children will be preparing 12 different ingredients 180 ways in no time! Since this app isn’t a timed game, there’s no pressure to get to the next level – they’ll able to explore at their own pace. Prefer a vegetarian mode? No problem, they’ve got you covered!

4. Barefoot World Atlas $4.99 – Travel the world through your 4 inch screen with this beautiful app. Geographer and BBC TV presenter Nick Crane will be your guide as you fly around the (3D) world exploring oceans and continents, meeting different people and learning about their way of life. Explore and discover the big world we live in.

5. Petting Zoo by Christoph Niemann $0.99 – You may know him as an illustrator from The New Yorker, but here you will see his illustrations come to life through alligator’s teeth as guitar strings and octopus arms as a mandolin. It’s silly, charming, and perfectly entertaining.

6. Stack the Countries $1.99 – A wonderful way to help your little ones learn country capitals, landmarks, and geographic locations. Want to start smaller? Try the Stack the States app.  They’re simple and effective!

7. PBS Parents Play & Learn free – This interactive app is specifically designed for parents. Providing you with dozens of games, you’ll be able to connect every day “teachable moments” to math and literally skills, making trips to the grocery store more exciting for everyone! This free app can be toggled from English to Spanish – perfect bilingual families!

8. Learn Spanish free – Or Japanese, French, Italian, German, Mandarin, or Portuguese with each MindSnack apps. With 9 different games, your children will build essential vocabulary and conversational skills. Unlock levels as you progress and watch your avatar grow smarter and brighter!

9. Peekaboo Barn $1.99 – Although language packages (other than spanish) are an additional $0.99 per bundle, we think this app is a wonderful way to learn animals and the sounds they make. You can also record voices so friends or visiting family can capture their own voice for your children to hear.

10. Oh No Fractions! $0.99 – Math isn’t always a favorite, but with this app it’s easy to see how fractions compare, add, subtract, multiply, and divide through visuals. Keep track of your child’s progress with the statistics feature. The design is sleek and simple, and will have fractions learned in no time!

 

May 1, 2013

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a day for celebration! The fifth of May is the anniversary of the Mexican army’s unlikely victory in 1862 in the fight for independence from French forces. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’ve rounded up a few recipes and DIY’s for this year’s fiesta.

Tablescapes – Mix & match old vases with cigar boxes to create a unique tablescape. Add bright flowers and succulents to bring your table to life!

Embroidered Textiles – The art of embroidery dates back thousands of years. Today, the hand stitching can be found anywhere from cocktail dresses to cocktail napkins.

Paletas –  These pineapple and lime Mexican ice pops are sure to be a hit.

Piñata Crackers – This is a DIY your little ones won’t want to miss. Fill them with candy as set them out for your guests to takes as party favors.

Mexican Corn Salad – Bright, delicious, and easy to throw together!

Paper Garland – We were smitten with Lovely Indeed’s orange & pink flag garland. An easy DIY to liven up your fiesta.

Upcycled Vases – Rinse out your old  tin cans, fill them with sand & succulents (or fresh flowers!) to create new vases.

Piñata Sugar Cookies – Mini piñatas in the form of cookies? Yes, please!

[image source with links: Ruffled, Photobucket, Sweet Life, Poppy Haus, ValSoCal, Lovely Indeed, Inspired By This, SheKnows]

April 22, 2013

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: DIY ‘Tea-Shirt’ Bracelets

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Today, we have Corey Villicana back on Studio T to share a beautiful DIY with you.

What better time to repurpose some of your children’s stained and abandoned tea brand clothing. Make a set of braided bracelets that your little ones can wear well into the summer!

Make sure you follow Corey’s adventures on her website and facebook page. We can’t wait to see the colorful bracelets you create. Take pictures and tag @tea_collection on instagram, your bracelet may just end up here on Studio T!

Thank you Corey for this gorgeous how-to!