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].
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Tea staff member Marjorie has her two children create dragon masks inspired by Korea.
a. Dragon printout
b. Markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
d. Hole punch
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.
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.
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 www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.
This activity was inspired by the Sejong Dragon Pant which first debuted in Destination: Korea in Spring 2010.
Named for the king who invented the Korean written alphabet, these pants feature an embroidered dragon graphic on a cargo pant style.
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?
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 www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.
This activity was inspired by the Sanga Dress, which first debuted in Destination: West Africa in Spring 2008.
The dotted swirl print is inspired by Mali motifs and hand dyed textiles.
Tea staff member Marjorie has her little citizen create a Japanese fan.
a. Fan outline (link provided below)
b. Colored pencils
d. Watercolors and paintbrush
e. 1-3 Popsicle sticks
f. Glue or tape
1. Download the Japanese fan outline online here: http://bit.ly/japanesefan
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 www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.
This activity was inspired by the Butterfly Dot Dress, which first debuted in Destination: Japan in Fall 2009.
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.
Evan, Tea's copywriter, has his daughter make her own paper.
With just a few supplies and minimal direction, your little citizen can have fun crafting their own paper! Read on below for the easy step-by-step guide on creating paper.
a. White or brown paper
b. Watercolor paints
d. White crayon
1. Use your white crayon to draw whatever you would like on your paper.
2. Once you’re done drawing, paint over the crayon with watercolors to see your image appear.
The finished product- pretty cool, huh?
While they’re painting their paper, 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 www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.
This activity was inspired by the Hanji Floral dress which first debuted in Destination: Korea in Spring 2010.
Inspired by handmade decorative Korean paper. We brought it back in its original printed poplin wrap style dress with side tie closure. Be an original!
Esther, who works in Tea's marketing department, has her daughter demonstrate how to make candy sushi while modeling the Butterfly Dots Dress from Tea's anniversary collection.
Is your little citizen a sushi addict? If so, they’ll love our sugary take on the hand rolls. This Japan-inspired activity isn’t only fun, it’s also delicious too!
a. 1/4 cup butter
b. 4 cups mini marshmallows
c. 6 cups crisped rice cereal
d. 20-25 gummy worms
e. 1-2 boxes of fruit leather
f. 12×17 inch baking sheet
g. 2-quart saucepan
1. Grease the 12×17 inch baking sheet.
2. Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add marshmallows to the 2-quart saucepan and stir into butter until smooth.
4. Remove mixture from heat and stir in the rice cereal until it’s evenly coated.
5. Turn the baking sheet so that the shorter ends are at the top and bottom. Then press the marshmallow mixture on the sheet, distributing it evenly.
6. Starting at one side and one inch up from the lower edge of the mixture, place gummy worms atop the mixture end to end in a horizontal line.
7. Gently roll the lower edge of the marshmallow mixture over the gummy worms.
8. Then stop and cut the log away from the rest of the mixture. Use the same method for 4 more logs.
9. Slice each log in 1-inch-thick “sushi” rolls and wrap them individually with a strip of fruit leather.
While making the candy sushi, snap a few pics of your little citizen baking 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 www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.
What’s more fun than playdough? We can’t think of much. Follow this simple step-by-step guide on how-to make playdough and you’ll be having a blast in no time!
a. 2 cups flour
b. 2 cups warm water
c. 1 cup salt
d. 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
e. 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
f. food coloring (liquid, powder, or unsweetened drink mix)
g. scented oils
1) Mix all of the ingredients together.
Tea staff member Cindy has her little citizens set out to make playdough!
2) Put the mixture in a pan on the stove and continue to mix over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken and will soon resemble mashed potatoes. When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.
Important Note: If your playdough is still sticky after you remove it from the heat, you simply need to cook it longer. Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is dry and feels like playdough.
3) Turn the dough out onto a clean counter or silicone mat and knead it vigorously until it becomes silky-smooth. Divide into dough balls for coloring.
4) Make a divot in the center of the ball and drop some food coloring into the divot. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the body of the playdough. Add more dye to achieve your perfect color. Be sure to keep the raw dye away from your hands and the counter by using gloves or plastic wrap to keep your hands and counter clean. Only the concentrated dye will color your skin, so as soon as it’s worked in the dough, bare hands are safe.
5) Once it’s dyed, you can create unique objects and designs. Cut shapes using cookie cutters or layer your playdough colors for a 3-dimensional look. You can even bake your playdough shapes in the oven to make hard dough figures and ornaments.
When you’re done, store your playdough in an air-tight container. If it begins to dry out, you can knead in some water until the dough begins to soften again. If it becomes too soggy, you can re-heat it to drive off the extra water the dough absorbed.
During the process, snap a few pics of your little citizen creating their playdough 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 www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.
This activity was inspired by the Floral Vine Dress which first debuted in our Turkey-inspired collection in Spring 2007.
Influenced by decorative 16th century Iznik pottery and named after the town in which pottery was made, this dress is surely a staple for every girl’s wardrobe.
Leigh Rawdon's (Tea Co-Founder) son creates his own sailboat!
Sail the high seas with this fun egg carton sailboat activity inspired by Destination:Brazil. With few supplies and easy assembly, this activity will have your little one out sailing in no time.
Lid of an egg carton
Hole punch or sharp pencil
Straw or stick
Paints & paintbrush or markers
Cut a triangle from the construction paper.
Punch 2 or 3 holes along one side of the paper.
Weave a straw or stick through the holes in the paper triangle.
Paint the inside of the egg carton lid.
Tape your sail to one end of the boat.
Once you’re done, snap a few pics of your little citizen sailing their boat 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.
This activity was inspired by our Kasato Stripe Dress which first debuted in Destination: Brazil in Spring 2009.
It has a Japanese aesthetic with nautical notes named after the boat that brought the first Japanese immigrants to Brazil in 1908.