Countdown to Special Events

Today we’re featuring 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 littles and an Indian street dog.  She blogs about their life (including an upcoming relocation to Singapore) at Delhi Bound [http://delhibound.com].

Using recycled toilet paper rolls and your imagination, create a fun and unique way to count down the days until upcoming special events!

When I was a little girl, my mom would often help us make paper chains to count down to special events.  As my kids grew up in Ohio, we did the same.  These chains marked the big summer vacation, or when daddy would come home from a business trip.

Fast forward to our lives abroad and we have graduated a bit from the paper chain variety!

Recently, I created a countdown for the kids, to mark our next big journey, a relocation to Singapore from New Delhi, India.

Ask your friends and family for some help and collect toilet paper rolls.  It takes some time to accumulate 31 + rolls!  Enlist the help of your children and paint the rolls a myriad of colors and then add a number to each one – one for each day of the countdown.

DIY Toliet Paper Tubes Activity

[One option is to instead have an advent-type calendar and simply label the tube with the actual date of the month, but we opted to use it backwards, whereby the roll with the number 1 on it, served as the one opened before the BIG day!]

Staple the bottom of the tubes shut. I hung our tubes on a long strip of ribbon that was affixed to the wall with nails (simple!).  Then, inside each roll, place handwritten or typed instructions.  Some suggestions?

  • Ice Cream at your favorite shop
  • New crayons (or markers, or stickers – based on your kiddos age and preference)
  • Have a sleepover in the living room
  • Play dress-up and have a makeup party with mama
  • Wrap up your siblings in toilet paper
  • Pick some flowers and have dinner on the floor like a picnic
  • YOU choose what we have for dinner!
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood and photograph interesting things
  • Decorate your car!
  • Shaving Cream in the Shower!
  • Surprise your teachers tomorrow with cinnamon rolls

DIY Toliet Paper Tube Chain
Each morning during this project, your children get to wake up and pull the instructions for the day.  Once they have “drawn for the day” remove that day’s tube from the ribbon, so that they can visually SEE the remaining days left until the countdown is concluded.

Get creative!  I would love to hear your ideas for additions to this list.  What would your children enjoy?


April Activity Book Winner!

Thank you everyone for participating in our April Activity Book Contest! We are always overwhelmed with all of the talent.  Tea fans surely are the most creative little citizens. Congrats to Chiara who created this awesome Jaguar mask from our Modern Mexico Activity Book.

Coloring Book Contest

We also have two honorable mentions listed below. Jacob’s (age 6) Shy Frog on the left and Mia’s (age 7) Balinese Mermaid Goddess on the right.

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.

 

Snorkeling in Mexico

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world).

Laura, who works in Product Development, recently returned from a trip to Mexico. Check out her adventure below!

I turned 30 in January. To celebrate my husband and I went to Tulum, Mexico.  It was amazing!

I’m not one for tours, but we had a photographer/guide along with us one day and it was awesome. He showed us some of the best places to swim and snorkel in the area. He led the way and showed us the best path to take through the water and where the best spots were for pictures. At the end of the day, we had a disc full of memories to take with.

We started at at Dos Ojos, which is a Cenote, or freshwater sink hole. The water is around 30 feet deep and the cavern walls are covered with stalactite and stalagmite formations. There is very little light, but in some areas the sunlight filters in, giving it a magical and spooky feeling. The water is beautiful, clear and filled with small fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Akumal Bay we swam with turtles and rays.

Akuma Bay Turtle in Mexico

We also swam around a lagoon called Yal-Ku. The water was warm and there were so many fish it felt like swimming in a fish tank!

Traveling Rome: A Child’s Perspective

Today we’re featuring guest bloggers Kristen Daniel, a teacher at San Francisco Friends School, and her two girls Lilly (10) & Clem (8), stylistas in-training and adventure enthusiasts, who just returned home from their trip to Rome. They explored the city and are excited to present all of its wonders through the lens of a little citizen. While on their trip, the girls modeled items from our Spring Bali girls clothes collection.

Looking for a walkable city rich with archeological and architectural sites and, most importantly, delicious food, we settled on a trip to Rome during our daughters’ spring break.  We rented an apartment in the cobblestoned Roman neighborhood of Trastevere and spent many hours wandering its medieval maze of backstreets.  Arriving in Rome on a dazzlingly bright Easter Sunday morning instantly transported us from the San Francisco fog.  Lily, 10, and Clementine, 8, soaked up the spring sun and slurped up the amatriciana.

Winding through the narrow streets away from the crush of vendors selling mini-Colosseums, a doll repair shop’s window display caught Lily’s eye.

traveling to Rome with kids

“This caught my eye because it was only doll heads.  No bodies and definitely no full dolls!” -Lily

Emails and texts are ok when stateside, but nothing beats getting a postcard in the mail stamped with official Italian francobollos.

Traveling with kids in Rome

“I got stamps from a little corner store and asked for them myself. ” – Clem

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“I’m mailing a letter to a friend! The mailboxes are pretty high to reach.” – Clem

Contemporary Roman graffiti decorated the backstreets of Trastevere, reminding us of the San Francisco Mission District close to home.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“I really liked this graffiti because I couldn’t really figure out what the expression of the women was.  At the bottom of the picture you can see cobblestones, and we had to walk on them all day!” – Lily

Waving to kids on their way home from school translates easily.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

Long lines can bring out the sillies.  Clem accessorized her dress with a belt and sunglasses and worked out some energy in the courtyard at the Vatican museums.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“It was SUPER hot dancing and prancing around!” – Clem

An attempt to step off the cobblestones for a bit needed a helping hand.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“On the little path of stone, there were lots of big gaps so I almost fell over while taking the picture.” – Clem

Part of the fun was learning to dexterously manipulate the public drinking fountains like a real Roman.  Delicious,  fresh, and free water was available in almost every piazza.   It took some practice before we could have a sip and keep our shoes dry.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“This was the most hard thing and the most fun thing in Rome.  I probably soaked my feet 5 million times!” – Lily

Nothing beats a gelato after hours of pounding the cobblestones.  Best gelato in Rome?  The gelateria closest to your apartment or hotel.   Stracciatella and nocciola got the best reviews from our discerning tasters more accustomed to Mitchell’s mango or grasshopper pie.

Traveling with Kids in Rome

“It’s always a little chilly in the afternoon and gelato made it colder, but at least it tasted good!”  – Clem


 

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 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!

 

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.