Awhile ago I posted a short story about children’s tea parties. My thought was “What if we give the children water?”
When another tea party began I seized my opportunity. I asked if they’d like some water and of course the answer was yes. I had to get the “real” dishes for this party. It was going to be special.
So what happens with a tea party when you just add water? You double the number of guests and the boys come too… that’s what happens! Seriously, the boys were all over this leaving behind their trains and block building to venture into the world of tea parties. And they loved it! More children equals more cooperation which is absolutely essential in order to have a turn with the tea pot. Invited guests included JR, CC, AH, LH, JM, and EV.
And then someone invited the puppets to the party too. What fun! It really helps to have enough tea cups for everyone. L made sure that each puppet had some tea.
Water has to be the most inclusive material you can give to preschoolers. I could give you example after example of how water can bring children together and our little tea party would only be like the pinky claw of the Tyrannosaurus Rex of water play and inclusiveness. For just one other example, check out this post about our rain barrel.
“It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” -Leo Buscaglia
Learning and Literacy:
The children have opportunities to
-make decisions and solve problems peacefully
-be creative and use their imaginations
-gain understanding about the adult world
-share and take turns
-speak and listen
-explore ideas like volume and conservation of mass
I was impressed with how careful the children were with the water and the tea cups. There was a small spill but it was easy to clean up and they really tried to keep it all in the cups. The amount of water I gave them was very little and yet it was enough for what they wanted to accomplish.
Would I do this again? Yes.
The next step is to get working on tea party invitations and or guest lists. I will look for my next opportunity so that we can weave a little written language into the play. I should emphasize that even without the written language steps towards literacy are taking place as children speak and listen to one another. Speaking and listening are components of developing literacy and need to be valued!
Any more ideas for how we can build on our tea parties? Please share.