Flower tea party, fairy stew, nature soup, witches potion, wizards brew, dinosaur punch, or turbo fuel. Whatever you call it, this simple, fun, and creative activity is one of our all-time favorites.
The setup takes less than 5 minutes, it gets the kids outside, and most importantly, they stay entertained for a long time. Today my toddler played with this for over an hour in the morning and another hour in the afternoon with her brother!
All you need is a large pot or bowl, water, a few drops of food coloring, and items found in nature such as flowers, leaves, rocks, twigs, and herbs.
Add in a couple of ladles or spoons and little cups or bowls and you’ve got a flower tea party to delight the kids. But seriously, call it whatever you think your kid will be into and they’ll love it. If you can identify and speak to their interests, it’ll be that much more fun.
We have a cute little Green Toys Tea Set that is great for outdoor tea parties. It is sturdy, made from recycled plastic, and even food safe.
But we’ve used everything from bowls and buckets to flower pots and empty bubble bottles as tea party cups.
I also have a silver plated play tea set that was my grandma’s. It’s really too nice to use for outdoor play. But I feel like rather than collect dust in a box, we should make memories with it. The kids love it and it is really special.
You can also set up this activity using a water table or a large plastic bin.
Reasons to Love a Flower Tea Party
This activity offers opportunities to observe the intricacies of nature more closely, practice fine motor skills, and play with water.
You can start with a nature walk to gather ingredients. Then, invite the kids to pull petals off flowers and think about other “ingredients” they’d like to use.
Sometimes the only thing that I actually set up is the big bowl of water, ladles and bowls and then they do the rest. They harvest herbs from the garden, pick grass, daisy flowers from the backyard bushes, and get to work.
There’s something about the repetitive scooping and pouring in this activity that is really soothing. It’s wonderfully calming for kids and adults. I enjoy this activity as much as they do!
This activity is also a beautiful way to honor and use cut flowers right before they get moldy.
You can also add on to this activity. Give favorite figures a bath in the flower soup or water plants with the water when finished.
Benefits of Repeating Activities
As I was going through pictures for this blog post, I realized that we have done this particular activity a lot over the past couple of years.
I have also been thinking about the benefit of repeating the same creative activities with kids because we’ve been on a major watercolor painting kick.
Sure new and novel activities, projects, and art mediums are fun. But there’s so much value in doing the same things over and over again.
Each time we play flower tea party, we find different natural elements. We have a new name and vibe to our party. There are different bowls and serving tools. But it’s the same simple activity. And there are the same sweet feelings of playing together, enjoying bits of nature, and creating.
Doing the same activity also builds kids’ confidence and they find new depth with their exploration and play.
If your kids love tea parties, be sure and check out one of our favorite books called Tea with Oliver.
My son was so enamored with this book as a toddler, that for Christmas a few years ago, I ordered prints of a couple of the illustrations.
Mika Song, the author and illustrator, was so sweet and included a handwritten note and drawing in our package. We have them framed in his room.
More Ways to Play
We live in San Diego and winter is pretty warm so this type of outdoor water play is possible outside, even in February. But if you live in a cold weather climate, you could have a flower tea party inside, or make these amazing looking frozen sun catcher ice ornaments.
If you enjoy outdoor nature activities, be sure and check out my blog post on Imaginative Chalk Art Ideas. Many of the ideas feature items found in nature, and they are a fun and easy way to mix up an outdoor chalk art session!