Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my fortnightly series where I share a favourite picture book and a craft or play activity to go with it. This week, I’ve chosen The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr*, and created this lovely little role play tuff spot.
If you don’t know the classic book The Tiger Who Came to Tea, then you’re missing out! It’s the story of Sophie, who unexpectedly finds a tiger at her front door, who asks to join Sophie and her mummy for tea. Unfortunately, the tiger drinks up all the tea and eats up all of the buns, as well as everything else in the house! What will Sophie’s daddy say when he comes home from work? (Okay, yes, it’s a little bit antiquated in its portrayal of family life, but it’s still a nice story!)
The week before this activity, we took a couple of trips to charity shops to find some teapots, cups and saucers. I managed to pick up everything that you can see in these images, and more, for less than £15.
The ‘table cloth’ was purchased on Amazon for less than £2 – it was actually enormous, but I cut it to size very easily, with a pair of long-bladed scissors.
Earlier in the day, I made some fruit teas in each of the teapots, then left them to cool completely before use. I imagine that you could just use cold water, but I was under the impression that the colours and smells would be more intense if I used boiling water to brew them. I used strawberry, peppermint and chamomile and honey teas, for a mixture of bright colours and delicious smells.
Then I left the toddler to explore!
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We have borrowed The Tiger Who Came to Tea from the library on many occasions, so I knew that M would enjoy this tuff spot. She also loved exploring in the charity shops when we went teapot and teacup hunting – it was great fun trying to find little teapots, which would be perfect for little hands.
M has also spent quite a bit of time playing with the empty teapots, cups and saucers since we bought them. For this reason, I thought this tuff spot might go one of two ways; either she’d be bored with her new ‘toys’ as she’d already spent so much time playing with them, or she’d be completely into it. Fortunately, it was the latter!
M loves pouring, so she was thrilled to discover that the teapots had tea in them! She enjoyed finding out what colour each tea was going to be, and smelling the different scents. M spent a good hour circling the tuff spot, moving from one teapot to the next, refilling them from the cups and exclaiming, “this is fun!”
As you can see from the photographs, B came along and got involved in the fun, too. I was impressed with her role play skills for a ten-month-old! It was so lovely watching them play together, something which B is able to participate in more effectively now, as she gets older.
Eventually, M really ramped up the sensory experience by reaching into the teapots and removing the teabags, squeezing and tearing them to explore what was inside. Once both girls had soaked their tights and made a thorough mess, we decided it was time to tidy up!
If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here, and you might like to join my Early Years craft and activity Facebook group; Play Craft, Explore. We’d love to have you! And lastly, don’t forget to Pin it!
*Affiliate Link – I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk.