Toddler Activity: Tea Party and Manners

Who said tea parties HAD to be fancy? In this house, we have pajama tea parties sprinkled with lessons on manners.

Mila has recently entered the pretend play stage. She and I play with certain toys and do different voices all the time. Since she has a few tea sets, she’s been asking to have a tea party.

Well… minus the tea. Turns out, she’s not the biggest fan of tea, but she loves chocolate milk.

When I told her we’d be having a tea party for brunch, she went and grabbed her tea supplies and a few friends too. I grabbed everything else.

Here’s what we used to have a successful tea party:

  • Brunch food
  • Tea cups with chocolate milk (oh the irony)
  • Kindness Rules!
  • Stuffed animals
  • Play tea pots
  • A BIG imagination

For our sandwiches, I used a heart cookie cutter to make them a little festive. Mila took noticed and loved that. She also loved the macaroons and veggie straws. Everything she ate, she had her pinky out

We did a grazing board because for some reason Mila will eat more this way.

She had the option to dress up in dresses, but she insisted it be a pajama tea party. How could I refuse?

Our little party started with Mila making everyone ‘tea.’ With a tasting promptly after.

She ate and fed her friends. I was informed of what was in all the different tea pots she used too.

Her tiger, baby, and blue Mickey Mouse were the guests of the century. They say quietly mostly, but they did help teach Mila a lot about manners.

A tea party felt like a perfect time to talk to Mila more about manners and being kind. We have these talks fairly often, but it was a great opportunity to demonstrate table manners.

First, we read Kindness Rules! We love Hello!Lucy and their set of books. Their My Mom is Magical is one of Mila’s favorites. We read it completely through and stopped on the pages that talked about eating nice and neat.

They used a wolf and the main character as examples. The wolf ate messy, but the elephant was full of manners.

To demonstrate messy and nice eating, Mila’s animal friends happily volunteered.

Her tiger ate messy without using utensils. Mickey Mouse used every manner and ate without making a mess.

I asked her to tell me the difference between the twos eating styles. She laughed wildly at the tiger, but ended up saying Mickey’s style was how she wanted to eat.

She continued eating, using her manners and making sure to remember how to eat neatly.

We took the time to talk about kindness words. I quizzed her on when to say please, excuse me, thank you, and so on. Kindness Rules! gave her a nice refresh and visuals on how it can be mean when we don’t use manners or are not kind to one another.

Overall, we had a fantastic tea party brunch. It wasn’t extravagant, but it was memorable in so many ways.

Does your toddler like tea parties? If not, what’s their favorite way to pretend play?

Also, I’m taking suggestions on different teas Mila would like. Let me know in the comments.

While you’re at it, please, check out these bloggers take on tea parties too:

Toddler Activity: Stormy Clouds Experiment

Rain rain, go away, come back another day! Or if you insist on staying, it’s a perfect time to introduce the water cycle to toddlers.

Mila LOVE experimenting. I try to tailor to her learning style as much as I can. She would prefer doing an experiment every day, but that’s not always possible. Thankfully, teaching her about rain and the water cycle gives us an amazing opportunity to get dirty and make what she calls Stormy Clouds.

This experiment is fun for both toddlers and adults. It not only talks about the rain cycle, but you can incorporate color recognition, the Scientific Method, and motor skills too; so much learning packed in one rainy day activity.

Here’s what you’ll need to make stormy clouds:

I’m going to first start off by saying this activity can get messy. Whenever there is food coloring, it somehow gets everywhere. I’d recommend placing a plate, mat, or some sort of paper under your big jar. Of course, food coloring will clean up, but it’s nice to just take some precautions.

Once you get an area where you’ll experiment set up, fill a big clear jar with water. The jar I used had a lip on it. I filled it up to the bottom of the lip so it gave me some room to put the shaving cream.

Next, mix your food coloring with water in little jars and bowls. Your child will be either scooping the colored water with a spoon or using a pipette. I used very small Tupperware containers for this step. For the water/food color combination, I used 8-10 drops of food coloring and eyeballed the water. I wasn’t too scientific about the measurements!

Then, add shaving cream to look like a cloud on top of the BIG jar of water. I did this step after the food coloring because Mila would not have had enough patience to wait for all of the colors.

After you’re set with the cloud, have your toddlers start spooning or dripping the dyed water over the could.

It takes a little bit for the water to penetrate through the cloud, but once it does, it’ll look like rain drops are coming out of it. Mila enjoyed using purple the best since it was easier to see. Although, it was fun to do a huge mix of colors.

Throughout the experiment, we talked about how clouds make the rain and then it goes down to Earth. I’m not a huge science buff, so I turned to Little Raindrop, which is a cute book that talks age appropriately about the water cycle! It has adorable pictures and tells the story about a single raindrop. Mila got this when she was one and it was too advanced for her. At almost three, it’s perfect!

Even if your child is not interested in learning about the water cycle or even into rain, the activity is fun to just make a mess and play with colors. I showed a group of adults this activity and they enjoyed it too. It really is fun watching the shaving cream turn different colors.

Next time it’s raining or anytime you want a hands on activity to do with your child, this Stormy Clouds Experiment is perfect!

If you liked or tried this activity, let me know in the comments!

Check out these rainy day activities from other moms!

Always Blow the Bubbles.

In a month, Mila will be three.

Three whole years of learning about and loving her. I’m going to admit, two has been my favorite. It’s a gift that I only have a month more to cherish.

If I could go back to a year ago and talk to myself about parenting, I’d tell myself one thing.

Always blow the bubbles.

When she has her bubble bottle outstretched to you, take that ten minutes and blow them. Even when you’re swamped with work and need to clean, blow the bubbles.

This is the purest time in their lives. The world around them is magical.

With all the worries adults have going on, bubbles are the only thing on a toddler’s mind. That and seeing their favorite smile in the world.

Bubbles are, of course, metaphoric.

They can be singing, or playing, or running, or listening, or dancing. Whatever it may be, when your child asks, try and blow the bubbles.

The years go so fast and in the moments you drop everything, time stands still.

Their laugh is all you can hear. And their smile… well, there hasn’t been a sweeter sight. They’re engrossed in the moment as much as you. All it took was focusing on this second.

Work, a dirty house, and other adults will always be around, but they won’t be little forever.

There will come a time where they don’t want you to blow bubbles. They’ll just do it themselves. The freedom you crave now will come and those toddler cuddles and desires will fade away.

Two and these toddler years are hard, but they go away so soon.

For us, two ends in a month.

If three-year-old Mila’s mom came to talk to me today, I bet she’d tell me the same advice…

Always blow the bubbles.

What advice would you give to toddler moms?

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part 13

In all the weird things my toddler does, this one has me the most perplexed.

A few weeks ago, I bought Max, our dog, a new chew toy from chewy.com. This pink bunny would be perfect in distracting him away from all of Mila’s stuffed animals… or so I thought.

When I opened it out of the box, Max wagged his tail so much and was so excited to get a new toy. But, there was someone else who had their eye on it…

She still hasn’t let it go either.

Mila has taken claim to this stuffed bunny. Max isn’t even allowed looking at it without her interjecting. Before we leave the house, she hides it in her closet so he can’t get to it. It’s a cat and mouse game that I don’t quite understand.

Instead of her other stuffed animals being saved from Max’s love of chewing, she has protected this bunny with all of her might.

At least this is one toy that doesn’t go into the bathtub.

So, here’s my daughter with the dog’s her chew toy bunny. In her zoo full of crazy colored stuffed animals, for some weird reason, she’s crazy over this particular one.

Toddlers are just weird.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part 12

If you were wondering if I ran out of weird things Mila does last week, I didn’t. There was just other things to share.

Don’t worry, she’ll always be full of weird things.

Mila’s bedtime routine consists of brushing hair and teeth, reading books, and snuggling. But, a couple months ago, she added something new.

Every night before bed, Mila brings fruit snacks and Capri Suns for a midnight snack. It’s almost on cue. When she’s tired but still fighting sleep, she gets up and gets in the snack cabinet. Then comes with her hands full with these sweet treats.

Every. Single. Night.

I guess it’s sweet that she thinks about me and brings me snacks too. She could just keep them for herself… so that’s sweet.

It’s just a really weird thing to have added into a bedtime routine, especially after her teeth are brushed.

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, toddlers are just really weird.

Does your toddler ever bring food to bed?

One Way to Trick Your Toddler Into Brushing Their Teeth.

If your child is anything like mine, they can’t stay still. Especially when they’re doing something as mundane as brushing their teeth.

I’ve finally found the trick to get Mila to brush her teeth and do it right.

All it took was Pizza and his friends.

Okay, I know everyone loves Pizza updates. You’d never imagine how central he is in our everyday life. This time, it was finally for my advantage though.

Mila has had issues with brushing her teeth since the beginning. I would have to hold her down to get them cleaned

I did different tricks like making her laugh, having her brush mine then me hers, and changing her tooth paste and brushes. For a few months, I even told her they’d fall out if we didn’t brush them. Some things worked… for a little while.

This time though, I’ve found the golden ticket

Since Mila has started dance class, she’s become this little performer. All eyes have to be on her and she loves when she gets to teach dance moves.

One morning, when it was time to brush her teeth, she did her usual refusal.

She was playing with Pizza and his friends and a light bulb went off. I asked her if Pizza knew how to brush his teeth. She said no and I asked her if she wanted to teach him.

Weirdly, she said yes.

For the extended weekend, she had to have an audience while brushing her teeth. I set them up in the morning and she did her lesson.

Now that it’s routine, she doesn’t give any complaints when I ask her to brush her teeth.

All it took was the power of teaching, Pizza, and a few toys.

Does your child have any issues with teeth brushing? What are some tricks you’d share that made the journey easier?

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Nine

Mila is back doing her weird things, like normal. This one really makes me laugh, especially since I have no idea where she got it.

Like most kids, Mila likes to eat snow. She’ll get a handful, says something, and then eats it.

Well, I was curious as to what exactly she was saying. Sometimes toddlers speak really fast. Mila does when she’s excited!

Anyways, I figured it out. She calls the snow she’s going to eat snow cookies.

It’s the cutest, but weirdest thing to call snow. But at least she’s not asking me when Santa is coming back anymore.

I still have zero idea where she heard the phrase snow cookies. She insists that’s what they’re called. Of course, that means everyone around her calls then that.

I guess toddlers and their made up words are just meant to be weird.

Single Mom Probs: Part One

Single mom problems…

When a quick trip to run some errands turn into making sure all their favorite toys have to go with us. Then then insisting said toys cannot stay in the car by themselves.

Oh, the horror of that possibility.

Once you’re inside of said errand spot, holding the toys becomes quite boring. They start to play on the floor.

As it’s time to leave, they forget one on the ground. But there’s no man left behind here.

You’re five minute trip, easily becomes thirty minutes. They only want to take one toy inside, so you’re arms are fuller than before.

But nothing beats that smile.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Seven

Kids have amazing imaginations and Mila is no different. She loves to pretend, which makes me happy that she’s so creative and playful.

Sometimes though… she takes it to the next level.

Her favorite thing to pretend to be is a dog. Normal, right? Every kid goes through this stage. It’s fine. But, every morning as of lately, she goes and gets Cookie Crisp and says it’s her dog food. I fill up her bowl and she’ll eat it all.

That’s one way to get your toddler to eat!

Then, she took it one step further. After asking for a bowl of milk, I figured she’d just put her ‘dog food’ in there. Nope. She had to make me laugh and do this.

Toddlers are just weird, especially mine.

Documenting Gratitude in 2021.

Earlier this week, I talked about how I failed to even remember 2020’s word of the year. I also didn’t keep up with something that was important to me.

I’m sure you’ve seen it on some type of social media, but it’s a gratitude jar. Every day or week, you write down something that made you feel grateful. Last year, I tried to do every day and I succeed until March.

This year, I’m challenging myself to one every week. Plus, Mila is going to be accountable to tell me what made her smile this week.

I want Mila to know she’s important and that she has a big space in our home. Even though she told me chocolate milk was the best part of last week… which is also funny if you read yesterday’s post.

Anyways, every Sunday, Mila and I are going to have a little chat about our week. Whatever we’re thankful for, I’ll write it down. Then, I’ll keep it locked up tight in our jar.

By the end of the year, there will be 52 or more pieces of gratitude on paper.

Hopefully, this will make the both of us smile. If 2021 is relatable to 2020, we’ll need the moments of gratitude next New Year’s Eve.

Have you thought about ways to document this next year? I’m also keeping a journal too.