Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Tea Party

Tea parties, picnics, whatever you want to call them, pretend eating scenarios seem to come very easily to most children. It's probably because we spend so much time trying to get them to sit down and eat! We have the cutest video of Little C pouring tea for everyone, giving her bear some tea to drink and then cutting and serving some food.

At this early stage, tea party/picnic pretend play is super simple to set up. We bought a dinnerware set and a Velcro fruit and vegetable set from Target, added a tablecloth (actually left on the floor from a water play session earlier in the day) and some friends and we were ready to go! In place of the play dish set, you could always use paper/plastic plates and cups and the baby forks and spoons you use to feed your child. I do really like the fruit and vegetable set because little ones can practice motor skills by cutting or pulling the two pieces apart and matching skills by finding the two halves that go together (and if you're a little silly like us, use your imagination and literacy skills to create new foods like the straw-mato!).

Here are some simple actions for you and your child to perform:
  1. Pouring a drink
  2. Stirring the drink
  3. Cutting the food (if you have the Velcro set)
  4. Setting the food on the plates
  5. Serving food and drinks
  6. Pretending to drink (make a slurping noise like you're drinking!)
  7. Pretending to eat
  8. Helping a stuffed animal/doll eat and drink
And vocabulary to practice...the list could be endless! Names of people at the picnic, the different drinks and foods, the various utensils and dishes, pour, drink, stir, cut, eat, scoop, empty, full, hungry, thirsty, more, refill, hot, cold, juicy, sweet, sour...and if you want to go beyond, name the colors and shapes of the objects you're using. Just don't forget to have fun, too!

Age: 17 months


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