Tea-Stained Treasure Map

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Every morning my husband brews a cup of tea, an endless point of fascination for Travis. So today, I set up a game that would give him ample time to play with tea!

First, I gathered all the different teas in the house and brewed a small cup of each – as luck would have it, we had quite a variety, from black tea to turmeric tea to chamomile, which made for a nice variety of colors.

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Once the cups had cooled enough, I removed the tea bags and set Travis up with heavy paper. First we squeezed the tea bags directly over the paper to observe what happened…

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But then he much preferred to spoon on the tea liquid. This went on for quite some time!

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I offered him an eye dropper, thinking it might be nice practice, but the spoon was the definite favorite.

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Towards the end, we returned to rubbing the bags directly on the paper, resulting in little flakes of tea leaf left behind, which gave it a cool look!

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I set the paper aside to dry, but the fun didn’t end there! Travis wanted to play with the leftover tea water and tea leaves for a while. We talked a lot about what we could smell, and why some of the teas were a lighter color than others.

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My favorite look was the slightly yellowed-paper effect from the turmeric tea.

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After our “maps” had dried, I drew a sample treasure map for Travis, and explained to him what maps are used for, and he decorated another.

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If you want, make your map lead to real treasure, like a little toy or snack hidden around the house! We would definitely do this activity again.

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Valentine Garland

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Much as with the Paper Snowflakes I made to decorate our home for Christmas, this project is really more a grown-up craft to make the house feel festive for Valentine’s Day, and Travis was a bit too young to help. Preschoolers on up, however, might love to help cut out the hearts with you!

To set up, I cut hearts from pink and red construction paper, and then smaller hearts from white paper to fit in the centers.

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Arrange your larger hearts on a work surface and squirt glue in the middle of each – I did briefly enlist Travis to help with this task!

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Lay a length of red-and-white twine across the gluey hearts, making sure to leave enough twine at each end for hanging your garland, and then press the white hearts down on top.

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Once the glue dries, adorn your home with hearts! Travis did enjoy helping me select the location for our garlands, including our front door and hallway bench. You can repeat this simple craft as many times as you like to decorate all the areas of your home.

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