So, I drink tea like my life depends on it. I live day to day with the knowledge that I am a British stereotype. Love the stuff! Oooooh, love a cup! This means we have an obscene number of used teabags in our sink each day.
As with the post last year on paper making, this activity started with my youngest's curiosity. I throw the used teabags in the sink and then sweep them down the garbage disposal later in the day, but she'd taken to finding them and pulling them apart to play with the tea inside. As with the pulpy toilet roll soup in the bathroom sink, I decided it was time to take this activity outside!
I saved up a couple of days worth of used teabags for the kids to disect and muck around with. Gave them a bunch of kitchen utensils, sieves, bowls, trays and jugs of water, plus a couple of little tea strainers for them to play with.
They had a lot of fun pulling the teabags apart, then mixing the tea leaves up with the water and then straining the mixture through things to collect the leaves again. I threw a few fancy words at them like "sediment" and "filter" and they watched to see how long it took for the tea leaves to settle when you stirred up the clear jug.
With them being interested in that, I thought it might be worth trying to see what happened with finer particles, so I got out the microplane and they grated sidewalk chalk into water too. They got the idea that the fine particles settle more slowly, but by this point there was so much colour and gunge that we just decided to play at "making potions".
All in all about 15 teabags and a three sticks of sidewalk chalk kept them happy for around two hours. I'm diligently saving my used teabags for a repeat performance now. Next time I might give them some sand to put in, so they can see how fast that settles compared to the tea leaves. Also some cloth to strain the mixture through, because they were disapointed that the chalk particles could not be sieved out of the mixture like the tea leaves could.
Right, I'm off to make a cuppa. Kettle's just boiled ;)
Read your fortune from that gross splatty heap of tea leaves if you dare!