While we Americans are responsibly self-isolating for at least another month, a cheerful attitude helps keep the peace at home. Give yourself a mental health break from coronavirus news updates and lift your spirits with one of these tea-themed activities. These ideas are designed to encourage the family to put those screens away, connect, get creative and make some happy memories.
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1. Throw A Tea Party for Your Housemates
- Search TeaTime Magazine‘s recipe database for whatever ingredients you have at home.
- Consider holding the tea party al fresco for a change of scenery and breath of fresh air.
- Pull out your favorite teacups and set a pretty table to make the occasion special.
- Use a zigzag stitch to sew a hem on any pretty fabric remnant you’ve got at home to create a child’s tea party tablecloth.
- Find tea party recipe and etiquette books for kids and adults amongst our recommended tea books.
- The kids can make centerpieces, favors, place cards and help prepare the meal.
- Announce a tea party theme, play games (like this downloadable Tea is for Terror Murder Mystery) or ask everyone to dress themselves in costume.
2. Expand Your Tea Palate and Hold A Tea Tasting
- Raid that tea cabinet! Try steeping a different tea everyday to sample your entire tea stash.
- Set out your favorite teapot and fancy teacups or fun mugs to give the day a special touch.
- Organize a tea tasting of 3 or more teas and invite the family to taste together and discuss.
- Create a DIY Tea Tasting Journal with these great suggestions from Adagio Teas’ TeaMuse.
- Start a tea subscription (see #6 here) to go on a global adventure through the world of tea without leaving home.
3. Host A Zoom Virtual Tea Party
- Zoom gives you 40 minutes of free videoconferencing for unlimited participants and the ability to record the session for posterity. Select “Gallery View” to see everyone at once.
- Set up a mount for your phone or tablet, or use a laptop or PC camera to keep your hands free.
- Be mindful of talking over each other to keep the conversation understandable.
- You can meal plan the courses and each household can prepare the same recipes to enjoy together on the call.
- Invite the whole gang; this will be the easiest large tea party you ever host!
4. Solve A Tea Puzzle
- Use an MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) Panel for a steady and moveable surface to puzzle on (found at Home Depot).
- eBay has oodles of tea puzzles, many factory sealed.
- Sip a delicious tea as you work.
- Click any picture below to purchase.
5. Plan Your Next Tea Tour
- Dreaming of future tea travels is the perfect pick-me-up during temporary confinement.
- Reach out to your tea friends to see who’s in for a tea trip and discuss its budget and length.
- Explore our state afternoon tea directories to chart the U.S. tea tour of your dreams.
- Feel free to email us for recommendations.
6. Scrapbook Your Favorite Afternoon Tea Parties
- Dig up photos of your favorite teatimes and print at home or order.
- Get inspired by tons of layout designs on Scrapbook.com.
- Make this a social activity by holding a virtual scrapbooking session with your scrapper friends (see Zoom tips above).
7. Do Some Tea-Themed Reading
- Check out our tea-themed book selection for toddlers to teens.
- Go sleuthing in a tearoom setting and try out back-of-the-book recipes: Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mysteries, Karen Rose Smith’s Daisy’s Tea Garden Mysteries, H.Y. Hanna’s The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries, Susan Page Davis’ Tearoom Mysteries, Julia Buckley’s Hungarian Teahouse Mysteries, Amanda Cooper’s Teapot Collector Mysteries or Kirsten Weiss’ Tea and Tarot Mysteries.
- Beef up your tea knowledge with Mary Ann Rollano’s list of the “10 Best Tea Books to Make You an Expert” on her blog, Life Is Better with Tea or Jee Choe’s “Best Tea Books” on her blog Oh, How Civilized.
- Try one of the novels below (click to purchase), which weave tea culture into their stories.
8. Fashion Show! Create Your Next Tea Ensemble
- Try on a variety of outfits to suit your next afternoon teas at a high-end hotel, frilly tearoom, garden tea party or trendy new tearoom.
- Get the kids in on the fun, a great opportunity to teach them what not to wear to afternoon tea (i.e., no ripped jeans or overly high-cut/low-cut pieces).
- Encourage your tea friends to do the same, pose for photo shoots, and share pics amongst the group.
9. Color on A Tea Theme
- Adults and kids alike can work on these coloring books together.
- Send your final masterpieces to isolated loved ones, especially the elderly, with a kind note.
- Click any picture below to purchase.
10. Order Afternoon Tea To-Go
- Several tearooms are offering their afternoon tea and cream tea menus for pick-up or even delivery!
- Use our afternoon tea directories to locate your nearest tearoom (likely you know it well already, right?)
- Call, or visit their their website, Facebook or Instagram page for their latest updates, to see if they are offering takeout. Typically you will order online in advance and pick-up curbside at a designated time.
- Coordinate with your local tea friends to order on the same day to cater your Zoom virtual tea party (see #3 above)
- Scroll through these Instagram pics to see the takeout afternoon tea from Albuquerque, NM’s St. James Tearoom.
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