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Miss Spider's Tea Party

“Grit is not just simple elbow-grease term for rugged persistence. It is an often invisible display of endurance that lets you stay in an uncomfortable place, work hard to improve upon a given interest, and do it again and again.”

– Sarah Lewis 

Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk

Unaware of her reputation as a scary predator in other bugs’ eyes, Miss Spider is hope filled as she prepares for and invites the garden insects to her tea party. Finally, a timely rainstorm allows her the chance to prove that all she wants is to spend time with others and have tea!

What are we learning?

🔹Empathy → As we read about Miss Spider’s attempts to get the other insects over for tea and their responses, we practice developing cognitive empathy (knowing how another person feels and what they might be thinking, also called perspective taking.)

🔹Number Recognition → On each page we count up to the next number of insects (“four bumble bees buzzed” and “nine spotted months kept safe”). We also discuss the number of legs spiders have and have multiple opportunities for counting and developing focus as we find different insects on each page.

🔹Rhyme → Told in flowing verse, every page has multiple opportunities for locating rhyming words through either hearing or seeing the words. You can also take it a step further with your child by coming up with rhyming words not on the page.

🔹Persistence → Persistence is the ability to stick with something, meet challenges and push ahead in order to either reach our goals, or learn and grow. We get a wonderful example of persistence as Miss Spider continues to invite bugs to her tea party throughout the story. Even though she is upset and feels defeated, she continues to hope for guests and still helps the wet month when she sees he needs her. 

Outdoor Tea Time

Outdoor tea time is a simple and cozy way to add wonder and a special element to any walk or hike. The steps are simple and the reward is huge! 


  1. Plan your walk or hike: Decide on a good distance, a park, or a hike that your family is looking forward to. Consider what makes sense for your family keeping in mind distances, ages, and the weather.

  2. Gather your materials: Brew some tea (or even cocoa) and once it has cooled a bit (to a safe temperature for explorers) add it to a travel thermos. At Tinkergarten, we love to use different fruit teas that are not caffeinated (blueberry and peach tend to be favorites!) Grab a backpack and add the thermos, as many mugs as people, a yummy snack, snack blankets or handkerchiefs, and a blanket for sitting on (optional). Invite your explorer to choose their favorite stuffed animal and either put it in your bag or bring their own backpack to carry their stuffed friend.

  3. Head out: Take off on your adventure and enjoy your time outside together! Wonder with your explorers about the animals and plants you see and encourage using as many senses as possible to learn about nature along the way.  

  4. Have a tea party! Once your adventure is almost done, find a spot to lay out your blanket or to just settle down for a moment. Pull out stuffed friends and enjoy your yummy treats and sip your tea together. On cold days, this is a magical and warm way to take a break and give our bodies energy to finish strong!


Adding in a warm drink to outdoor time on a chilly day activates the senses of touch, taste and temperature – a huge sensory system win! Also, introducing something new and unique into an activity you do somewhat regularly heightens the investment and excitement for everyone involved. It also gives kids tools they can use to stay warm in colder weather and that is a super way to extend outdoor time while also helping kids develop persistence and grit!

More Playful Learning

Looking for more ways to develop early literacy, persistence, and a host of important skills that help your child become a curious, capable learner who can contribute to their world? Join Magnolia Outdoor for Tinkergarten classes! Find this season’s schedule of classes and events on our classes page.

(The above activity ‘Outdoor Tea Time’ was created by our team at Tinkergarten and adjusted for you and our community by Magnolia Outdoor. )


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