Because tea consumption has been so much a part of American life, manufacturers have long offered sets of diminutive teapots, sugar bowls, creamers, and cups and saucers for use in the playroom. Since the 18th century, children have used their little sets to practice the rituals of tea serving, tea drinking, and tea socializing. The pretend play of tea parties encourages children to use their imaginations, assuming the roles of the adults they know or wish to be. Tea parties require kids to play with others and to share with others. Kids (parents hope) practice table manners and demonstrate poise and control in the handling of delicate plates and cups and in making polite conversation with their table mates. Tea sets and the parties they encourage let kids practice at being adults in a manner that is playful.

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  • Title: Tea service
  • Date Created: 1800-1899
  • Type: Play Sets
  • Medium: porcelain, hand-painted
  • Object ID: 77.3077