How-to-beat the heat when it’s hot, hot, hot

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 [].

girl with bucket

Going off my experience of living in a climate where it’s often “TOO HOT!” outside to play, I will share my favorite things to do with children that encourage creativity, kindness and exploration.

The temperatures are rising all across the United States, and in the warm climate areas of the world, and kids are saying those dreaded three words, “Mama, I’m bored.”

We have some sure-fire crafts, activities and things to do that will help to beat the heat.

First, our favorite.  Using ice cube trays, fill them with water that is tinted with either liquid watercolor or food coloring (if your children are older).  Freeze until solid, then after removing them from the tray, place them strategically on a piece of white fabric that is laying directly in the sun.  Move them around every so often to distribute the melting colors, and end up with a beautiful piece of art, with all of the hard work being done by the sun.

Even if you do not own an ice cream maker, using a resealable bag can be just as much fun (and it doesn’t take nearly as long).  Place 1/2 cup of both milk and heavy whipping cream, along with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp vanilla into a quart size resealable bag.  Put two cups of ice into a gallon size resealable bag.  At 1/2 – 3/4 cup of salt to the ice.  Place the sealed liquid bag into gallon bag and seal tightly.  Massage, rock and shimmy-shake the large bag for 10-15 minutes.  Keep shaking and massaging the bags until the mixture feels like ice cream.

Get a bucket, some liquid detergent from the kitchen, some sponges and wash the car.  Of course, parents may want to have the last rinse, to ensure that no suds are baked onto your vehicle.

Combine an indoor picnic with a mid-afternoon dance party.  Nothing beats the heat like some indoor munching and boogeying.

Last but not least, create an indoor snowball game.  Roll up white socks into themselves, making balls.  Using the couch in your living room or a dining room chair, create protective “base” walls and go to town throwing snowballs at your family members (being sure to remove any breakables  before Operation Snowball begins.

Discovering Ireland

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).

Margaret, who works in planning & operations, recently returned from a trip to Ireland. Check out her adventures!

Kylemore Abbey, in the Connemara region near Galway.

Kylemore Abbey, in the Connemara region near Galway.

Earlier this month,  I traveled with my friends to Ireland for a wedding.  The wedding took place near Drogheda, a small town about an hour north of Dublin.  I had never been to an Irish wedding before, and it was quite the experience! The wedding itself was fairly short – but then the festivities continued all day.  Later in the evening, the “afters” arrived (additional guests who were not invited to the ceremony and dinner, but show up later in the evening ). Finally, at 2am the party broke up – but then there was a wedding brunch the next day as well!  The Irish certainly know how to celebrate!

Racing Boats in Galway

Racing boats in Galway. We just happened to be in Galway for the dramatic finish of the Volvo Ocean Race – an around-the-world regatta that had begun in October 2011 in Alicante, Spain.

After the wedding, we took some time to drive around the countryside. The first challenge was driving on the right-hand side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right-hand side, as well as shifting with the left hand. We managed not to crash, but we did have a tire blow out in the windy narrow roads of Connemara.  We were amazed at how many people stopped to help and make sure we were okay, and we were able to get the tire fixed and get back to our hotel in Galway.

Burial Mount at Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne).

Brú na Bóinne, a 5000-year-old burial mound in County Meath. The inner chamber aligns with the sunrise on Winter Solstice.

My favorite site in Ireland was the burial mound at Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne).  It’s one of a series of ancient burial mounds that were recently discovered in Ireland, and is over 5000 years old. Although the Neolithic people are not considered especially advanced, they were able to build this mound in such a way that the sun shines directly into the chamber on the Winter Solstice.

Cliffs of Moher

With my friend Sue at the Cliffs of Moher

Ireland was beautiful (I’ve included photos of my favorite places below!), but it was rather cold and rainy. It was actually quite reminiscent of summer in San Francisco, in fact! So after Ireland, we did hop over to Munich for a few days to enjoy the sun for a few days.

Rathaus in the Marienplatz, Munich.

In front of the Rathaus in the Marienplatz, Munich.

Tea’s Activity Book Contest


free coloring book page

Above is Nico, one of the Tea kids, who is coloring the snow monster graphics from our Nordic Design Activity Book.

Have you entered our Activity Book Contest for the month of July? 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. We’ll also post all honorable mentions on our blog page and all submissions will be posted on our Flickr page.

Two pages from our New Nordic Design Activity Book artistically colored by Nico.

We can’t wait to start seeing entries from our new Nordic Inspired Activity Book. If you haven’t received it yet,  you can download activity pages on our Inspiration page online at You can also download activity pages from our past collections here:

Good Luck! We can’t wait to see what you create.

Activities: Make a Dragon Mask

free coloring book page

Tea staff member Marjorie has her two children create dragon masks inspired by Korea.

a. Dragon printout
b. Markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
c. String
d. Hole punch
e. printer


Free Coloring book page

1. Download our Dragon outline from our Activity Book.
2. Using a projector, resize the image until the dragon head will fit your child’s head as a mask.

coloring book contest
3. Print the mask and use markers, colored pencils, or paint to fill in the design.
4. Cut out the mask. Use a hole punch to put holes on each side of the mask.
5. Have your child hold the mask in front of the eyes. Tie the string on one hole and wrap it around the back of their head, resting the string on their ears and tie the other side of the string to the opposite hole.

free coloring book mask

As your children are wearing their masks, 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 ends 7/31/2012. Visit to enter.

This activity was inspired by the Sejong Dragon Pant which first debuted in Destination: Korea in Spring 2010.

Sejong Dragon Boys Pants

Named for the king who invented the Korean written alphabet, these pants feature an embroidered dragon graphic on a cargo pant style.

Activity: Make a Spirit Stick

How to make your own spirit stick

Looking to add a little spirit to a gloomy day? Look no further! You can make your own spirit stick. This activity is perfect for all ages and easy to create.  Oh, and did we mention just how fun it is too?

DIY Make your Own Spirit Stick


a. Tree Stick
b. Tissue paper/ Ribbon/ Scarf/ or any other textile to give it “spirit.”

This activity is quite simple, perfect for the littlest of citizens. Simply decorate your stick with “Spirit.” Paint, glitter, markers, textiles or anything else you can find around the house looks great fastened to this stick.

As your children are shaking their spirit sticks, 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 ends 7/31/2012. Visit to enter.

This activity was inspired by the Sanga Dress, which first debuted in Destination: West Africa in Spring 2008.

The Sanga Girls DressThe dotted swirl print is inspired by Mali motifs and hand dyed textiles.

How the (yarn) ball got rolling…


First Tea Collection Pima Cotton Sweaters

First Tea Collection Pima Cotton Sweaters

Who knew three Pima Cotton baby sweaters could launch a company?  Emily and Leigh knew that this no fuss style would keep babies warm and stylish.  For ten years, we’ve been traveling the world but still remain true to our roots with our Chinese Baby Sweater.  Get your little one bundled up in style and see where the world takes this little citizen.

Activity: Make an Authentic Japanese Fan

How to Make a Japanese Fan from Paper

Tea staff member Marjorie has her little citizen create a Japanese fan.


a. Fan outline (link provided below)
b. Colored pencils
c. Scissors
d. Watercolors and paintbrush
e. 1-3 Popsicle sticks
f. Glue or tape


How to make a Japanese Fan out of paper

1. Download the Japanese fan outline online here:
2. Pint the fan on thick cardstock paper.
3. Once printed, color in the graphic using colored pencils.
4. Use watercolors to paint in the background.
5. Once colored and painted, cut out the fan shape with your scissors.
6. Flip fan over and add a Popsicle stick to the backside using tape or glue. For added strength, use three Popsicle sticks and make a  “Y” shape.

While they’re crafting their fan, snap a few pics of your little citizen 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 ends 7/31/2012. Visit to enter.

This activity was inspired by the  Butterfly Dot Dress, which first debuted in Destination: Japan in Fall 2009.

Butterfly Dot Girls Dress

The Japanese inspired print featuring a flurry of red butterflies on a field of blue dots has come back in a classic flutter sleeve silhouette.