I guess we’re a tea party kind of a family. I don’t know which I love more … the herbal tea or the grace and courtesy lessons that come with serving tea. My daughter, Christina, and 3½-year-old granddaughter, Zoey (Christina’s niece), have had lots of fun with our grace-and-courtesy tea parties.
Zoey enjoys herbal tea at almost any time, so we transplanted organic peppermint and spearmint plants as part of our small-space gardening work this spring. Zoey has lovingly watered the plants (and I’ve helped when she isn’t at my home). Zoey loves the fresh mint tea she can make!
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How to Make Fresh Mint Tea – YouTube Video
This activity has a number of steps, which Zoey was proud to be able to do. The activity uses many practical life skills we’ve worked on previously, such as pouring, spooning, using a mortar and pestle, unscrewing and screwing a lid, and serving tea. Be sure to watch to the end of the video to hear how much Zoey loves fresh mint tea!
Materials Used to Make Peppermint Tea
- Peppermint plant (We got our organic peppermint and spearmint plants from Home Depot. Our spearmint plant has bigger leaves and more of them, although it hasn’t been used as much. Our peppermint plant is looking a bit scraggly, but it’s well loved!)
- Child-size apron (Zoey is wearing a Montessori Services apron.)
- Fine-mesh strainer
- Placemat (mine is from Montessori By Mom)
- Mortar and Pestle (such as one from Montessori Services). These are real tools, so you can use them for herbs and spices as well as a number of practical life activities.
- Tea infuser (I love the stainless steel tea infuser we have that squeezes out excess water and tea.)
- Teacup and saucer
- Electric kettle, microwave, or tea kettle to heat water
Steps to Make Fresh Mint Tea
These are the steps we used. Feel free to adapt your activity for your child or classroom.
- Break off and count 10 fresh mint leaves (can be 7-10). Tea for children should typically be weaker than for adults.
- Rinse tea leaves.
- Put tea leaves in mortar and pestle and lightly crush them. Instead of using a mortar and pestle, the tea leaves could be torn or crushed with the fingers.
- Put the lightly crushed leaves in a tea infuser.
- Fill teacup with hot water by pouring hot water over the infuser. (You could make a larger serving in a teapot if preferred.) For children, it’s best to not use boiling water.
- Let tea steep for 2-5 minutes. Again, weaker tea for children is best.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Clean up, of course!
Zoey’s Steps When Making Fresh Peppermint Tea
Break off and count 10 fresh mint leaves (can be 7-10, depending on size of leaves and strength of tea preferred).
Rinse tea leaves.
Put rinsed tea leaves in mortar and pestle and lightly crush them. Instead of using a mortar and pestle, the tea leaves could be torn or crushed with the fingers.
Put the lightly crushed leaves in a tea infuser.
Fill teacup with hot water by pouring hot water over the infuser. (You could make a larger serving in a teapot if preferred.) For children, it’s best to not use boiling water. I always heat water for tea in an electric kettle. I have an especially nice one because I use it every day and have matcha green tea daily. The one I have can heat water to the exact temperature needed for a particular kind of tea. For matcha green tea and tea for Zoey, I always use the lowest setting. For Zoey’s tea, I still let it cool or don’t even heat it to that setting.
Let tea steep for 2-5 minutes. Again, weaker tea for children is best (and it’s hard for kids to wait too long!).
I love Zoey’s manners at serving tea!
Serve and enjoy!
Clean up, of course!
(Note: In case you’re wondering, Zoey’s outfit is from Gymboree, my favorite place to shop for kids’ clothes. The top has an adorable cat on it!)
I’d love to hear about your experiences making tea and/or having tea parties with children!
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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