Now that Giggles is fast approaching one-and-a-half years old, her desire to play pretend is getting stronger. Most afternoons, I’m finding myself with pinky high in the air, toasting to her babble and pretend-slurping on the tea she prepares for me. Her stuffed toys aren’t spared either, taking down cupfuls as she dutifully pours them down their furry mouths. They might also find their faces stuffed directly into her teapots, especially if she thinks they’re feeling particular thirsty.
Not that I’m complaining really. I must admit, we’re already into tea set #2 and I’m pining for another because really, there are plenty of cute ones out there. Plus, her sweet demands to do yet another “cheeussss!” is pretty damn cute. Here are some of the most gorgeous sets I’ve got my eye on:
Raduga Grez Tea Set in Wood or Pastel
Russian wooden maker Raduga Grez was a bit of a darling on Etsy for its handmade toys and timeless aesthetic. Unfortunately, they’ve closed their own store indefinitely, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find these tea sets at online retailers with discerning tastes. These sets are made with lime wood, stained with water-based colours (for the pastel set) and left unvarnished, so the tea drinking will unfortunately have to strictly be left to the imagination.
Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Wooden Tea Set
Yessss, this is that Magnolia. The one whose cupcakes and aesthetic we used to yearn after. Joanna and Chip Gaines have inked an ongoing partnership to lend their farmhouse chic expertise to Target and the collaboration has also in turn, benefited us moms and our kids. This set of four features tea fixings in shades of pastel, and I squeal every time at those little napkins and tray. We have a set and I can’t wait ’til Giggles can master moving things on that tray.
Green Toys Tea Set
I’ve dubbed this one our workhorse tea set. Green Toys makes its stuff entirely from recycled plastic, and manages to keep it BPA- and phthlates-free, and food safe while doing so. What this means is that you can actually give the pieces a quick wash, bundle them into a bag and take it out for kiddo to enjoy her own tea the next time you have a picnic.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Steep & Serve Tea Set
Melissa & Doug’s feature-packed set one-ups the standard offering with biscuits, tea bags and even a menu for your kid to take orders for their pets’ preferred drink.
Kmart Wooden Toy Set
My limited experience with Kmart toys hasn’t been all so positive – I find the materials a little cheap and wonder if it can withstand the whirlwind that is Giggles. Still, you can’t knock the Australian retailer for its super reasonable price points. The design of this tea set buzzes with the bright colours and clashing patterns of the Memphis Movement, so when your little one ages up in a few years, his or her beloved tea set will be a good way to introduce her/him to art history – if mama and papa are so inclined.
Plan Toys Tea Set
We’re big fans of Plan Toys here at the M&G house. We like that there’s never a worry about their sturdiness, and our toys are made in Thailand using eco-friendly rubber wood. Of course, it does mean that you pay a little more for what you get, but I can see a set like this lasting for years and when more kids are on the way.
Odin Parker Tea Party Set
American retailer Odin Parker is my new favourite online toy store find. Their products are made to be gender neutral, and they totally appeal to my desire not to fill our play spaces with bright, garish coloured objects. Plus, the website lists the number of free meals your purchases funds to their initiative to feed hungry kids (though they don’t get too specific with just how they plan to do this, so take note). This tea set stands out from the pack for the cute little holder that stashes pretend tea bags within, the little container of matcha powdered green tea, and that little ordering card for kiddo to play cafe owner.
Pottery Barn Tin Tea Set
I’ve found a few tin tea sets online, but none of them look at chic as this one on Pottery Barn. This 13-piece unicorn-themed number made of an iron alloy cannot be drunk out of, unfortunately, but might be a great option for an older kid who prefers a more grown-up looking set. It even comes with its own little carrying case so those tea parties can travel.
How do you drink your tea during play time? Tell me in the comments!