In need of a mid-morning break? Discover poetry tea time. Eager young children looking for attention are an added bonus. Throw on a kettle of water to warm, sort through your varieties of tea, pour out a little honey and serve up a small dish of treats. Grab a book of poetry and light a candle. You’re all set.
We instituted daily tea time out of necessity. While working from home with a preschool-aged child, spending four hours in the morning without stopping for a breath is tough on all of us. We needed something to help hold him over until lunch break. I read about homeschool moms doing weekly poetry tea time and thought that might work for us. They set out a special table cloth, break out fine China and fill a beautiful dish with sweets.
Ours is a bit simpler with a plate of cookies from our favorite local bakery, cups of tea, a simple candle and a childhood classic book of poetry. Shel Silverstein’s Falling Up and Where the Sidewalk Ends are perfect to start with. We’ve expanded to seasonal collections of poems since it’s included in the book list of the Exploring Nature with Children homeschool curriculum we’re following.
Warming up a pot of hot water, picking cookies and steeping tea bags takes only a moment. But my son has my undivided attention during the whole routine. Even better, he helps pick his tea bag, squeezing out honey and stirring our cups. We enjoy 3-4 poems, talking about the silly and sometimes serious meanings behind them. And then the moment is over and both of us are full of love and sweets to help us get through the rest of our morning.
This ritual keeps expanding every time we get a new jar of honey (using fresh honeycomb is a science lesson in itself), tea bag rest or candle, but it’s neatly contained on the counter. I feel a bad habit of collecting teapots coming on (there are so many at the thrift store). But knowing I’ll quickly run out of room keeps me sane. Make this as fancy as you want it to be!
As I return to working in an office, tea time is the thing I will miss the most during my workday. While I now have the luxury of getting a fresh cup of coffee from the nearby coffeehouse, my little isn’t there to deal out a piece of chocolate or crunchy cookie. I’ll always cherish the moments I’ve shared with him while home the last 15 months of the pandemic.
And who says you can’t have tea time during the weekend?