From nursery rhymes to imaginary parties with dolls and teddy bears, tea time captures children’s imagination like nothing else. Perhaps it’s the element of ritual, or the opportunity to be fancy with dresses and good manners. Or perhaps they just like the way tea tastes! Whatever the reason, if a child in your life is fascinated with all things tea, encourage their exploration into this vast and wonderful tradition, and it’s bound to turn into a lifelong passion.
Very young children might start with a toy tea set, sized just for them. With a sturdy set made of wood or plastic, even toddlers can practice pouring and serving, and sip their imaginary Darjeeling.
Older children, meanwhile, might be ready for the pleasure of a real china set, whether it’s a tiny, doll-sized set or one just large enough for a kid-sized serving of actual tea.
Books make another always-appropriate gift option for kids of all ages. For story lovers, choose a classic that involves tea and tea parties, such as Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, or A Bargain for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban.
Budding chefs might enjoy a cookbook of teatime recipes for scones and cookies, and older children might enjoy learning about the history of tea traditions or about the etiquette of tea parties and tea ceremonies.
And, finally, there’s the tea. While it’s not recommended for children to drink tea or other drinks with caffeine until adolescence, there are plenty of non-caffeine varieties out there, including tisanes and rooibos. Choose naturally sweet flavors, such as fruit varieties, chamomile, or those with a bit of dried honey incorporated into the blend.
And be sure to cool the tea to a temperature more tolerable for young palates. Many children prefer their tea to be lukewarm.
Take a look at our roundup of tea-related gifts. There is sure to be something perfect for any tea-loving boy or girl.
Toy Tea Set
The cheerful turquoise-and-red color scheme of this chunky wooden tea set from Djeco Toys will appeal to boys and girls alike, and the fox is sure to charm them, too. We like the wooden teabags on their strings, and the way the cake can be “cut” into servings. It even comes with a tray for serving.
Djeco Toys, $44
This assortment of 100 tea bags from Davidson Teas has flavors that will delight a developing palate. Included is Bing Cherry with Almond, French Vanilla, Spearmint Orange Spice, and Meyer Lemon. The herbal blends have a touch of dried honey in them for sweetness.
Davidson Teas, $26
A Mythic Tea Infuser
Teach your child how to brew loose tea in an infuser from Ototo with this adorable sea creature. Baby Nessie comes in three colors (turquoise, green, and purple) and its silicone body pops open to hold a generous amount of loose tea leaves. Children will be delighted to see Nessie’s long neck rising out of a steaming mug of tea.
Tea that Blooms
Blooming teas from Teaposy are truly works of art that “blossom” from a bulb to a beautiful flower before your eyes, a spectacle that will delight children and adults alike. To brew, place the bulb in a glass teapot and cover it with boiling water, then sit back and watch the show. The Dream Posy set includes a box of six blooming teas, a 24-ounce glass teapot, and a warmer for the teapot.