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When I was traveling abroad (long before having children), I fell completely in love with the concept of tea time. It’s not widely practiced in the U.S., and I was pretty sure that I discovered one of the best kept secrets.
It’s completely genius! Take a mid-morning break. Enjoy something to drink and have a savory treat. It’s so refreshing and a perfect way to break up the rush and chaos of life.
I knew I had to bring this back home. And over a decade later, I’m still smitten with the tea time tradition. It’s something I’m passing on to my children, and I feel that is has been a simple way that quickly connects us.
Tea time does not have to be super fancy, and honestly, you don’t even have to drink tea. It’s more about the experience. It’s about taking time to just relax and enjoy wonderful company.
Our tea time tradition is such a delight to my children. It’s a simple way to make our normal routine special. It’s so nice to pause for a moment and forget all the cleaning that needs to be done, the errands that need to be taken care of, and all of the other tasks that I dread.
I don’t know what it is about eating delicious food together, but I’m pretty sure it’s good for the heart and soul!
We do it at least monthly and sometimes weekly. We don’t even do it in the morning. It’s actually a perfect afternoon snack time experience for our schedule.
The only rule is to make it fun – not a chore. So for me that means, no cooking, baking, or prep work. Instead I use something I can quickly grab from the pantry.
We recently found a brand new and perfect tea time snack that I’m excited to share about!
Since they are nice and soft, they have the homemade feel to them with zero mess because I didn’t have to bake them. They are super fun to cut up into bite-sized squares too, giving them an extra tea time feel.
The one that is my daughter’s favorite has chocolate chips — the Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar.
My son’s favorite is a caramel filled brownie — the Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards Caramel Brownie Bar.
And my favorite has rainbow chips — the Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards Butterscotch Blondie Bar.
We found the delicious Betty Crocker Soft Baked Bars at Walmart in the cereal aisle. I was having one of those days where everything on my agenda took double the time I anticipated, so I decided to splurge and get an entire box for myself. Then I grabbed the ones that my kiddos love to store in the pantry.
Since our tea time isn’t on a regular schedule, I love keeping simple snacks on hand that don’t require refrigeration or any extra steps. They are also great to grab if I need a quick snack on the go. As someone who loves a chocolaty, decadent treat, these are guaranteed to hit the spot.
Now I’m going to give you a peek into our home to see how I put together our quick and easy, yet impacting tea time.
Set the scene
Sometimes I light candles or lay out a tablecloth. We even use a real tea party set! There are tons of tea cups and dishes at thrift stores. These are perfect to use with children since you don’t have to worry about your grandmother’s china getting chipped or broken.
Keep it simple
In my life, if it’s not something simple, it usually doesn’t happen. Find something that you like and remember the rule. It can’t be a chore!
Sometimes we bring in a favorite book. Other times we sit and just talk. And most times, we have some soft and snuggly guests too.
Include something yummy
We always have a fun and sweet treat for tea time! My own children really look forward to this because we don’t indulge often. And there is something about food that gets people to open up and bring them together. If I have to ask my children a question, chances are that they will give me a nice detailed answer if I have some food to offer them at the same time.
Since the Betty Crocker Soft Baked Bars have three delicious varieties, it is super easy to please everyone!
Engage with one another
Part of what is so impactful about tea time is connecting with my children.
There are two questions that I love to ask to get some conversation going.
1 – What was your favorite part of the day?
2 – What was something you wished had happened differently?
I get some of the greatest answers to these simple questions!
Another favorite activity is reading to them. They love to pick out a favorite book and listen as I read it aloud to them.
Our tea time is incredibly special. I know that each year is only going quicker and quicker, and before I know it, they will be all grown.
It is my hope that when they look back on these special times that they will have great joy in remembering our tea times. And I especially hope these times will outweigh the memories of the rough days!
For now my children remind me that we need a tea party every time they spot our yummy Betty Crocker Soft Baked Bars in the pantry! And I can’t wait for the next time. How about you? What is a way that you hit the “pause button” with children to slow down and just put away the craziness of life. I would love to hear about your tradition!