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It's tea party time!

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tea party set and play food

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Now that the nicer weather is here, it’s the perfect time for a tea party on the veranda. My daughter has been begging for a new tea set, teakettle and play food in order to host tea parties in her new outdoor playhouse. I wanted to find something for her that was really pretty and good quality not something flimsy that wouldn’t last after one season. I came upon two amazing companies, Educational Insights and Learning Resources, which had just what I was looking for.

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Learning Resources is a leading global manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational products trusted by teachers and parents and loved by children for 30 years now. New Sprouts® is one of their award-winning lines featuring contemporary toys developed especially for toddlers to promote role-playing and imaginative play.

I received one of their new 2014 products to review called the New Sprouts® Healthy Lunch. This is an awesome set that contains 15 pieces including: slice of turkey, bread, lettuce, tomato, yogurt, various fruit to make a delicious fruit salad, bowl, carrot and two chocolate covered pretzels. All of the pieces are contained in an adorable green oval basket. When I first opened the set and looked at the play food I instantly noticed that this food was not like other play food in terms of look and quality. In my experience, I’ve had instances where some play food you can squash easily because the plastic is so flimsy. I did not feel that way at all with the New Sprouts line. They’re soft but they have substance as well as texture. I love the fact that the pieces are ergonomically designed so that little hands can grasp the pieces easier. In addition, New Sprouts also offers Healthy Breakfast, Healthy Dinner and Healthy Snack. Each one of these sets retails for $19.99 and is available at www.learningresources.com.

You cant have a food at a tea party without dishes and a kettle! That’s where another great company called Educational Insights comes in. They manufacture playful products with educational value, including subject-specific classroom products, teacher resources, educational toys, and games. Seasoned educators as well as parents who know firsthand that learning has to be fun design their products. Educational Insights has a brand called Chet the Cat™ and Friends, which features a really cool blue cat named Chet along with his friends Parfait Poodle, Ready Rabbit, and Marv the Parrot. They sent me the Chet the Cat™ and Friends Dish Set as well as the Chet the Cat™ and Friends Kettle for review.

My daughter loves cats, so she couldn’t wait to open the products when they arrived. Even the packaging is cool. It’s very colorful and the storybook-like illustration of Chet the Cat is awesome! I loved everything about the dish set and the kettle. The dish set is great quality. The pieces are sturdy and not flimsy at all. The dishes are safe to eat on and they are made of durable melamine that is dishwasher-safe. The 24 piece set includes dishes, bowls, cups, forks, knives and spoons and each piece is designed with a fun, whimsical illustration of Chet the Cat, Parfait Poodle, Ready Rabbit, and Marv the Parrot.

The kettle is just simply amazing! It has so many fantastic features such as a real sounding boiling and whistling noise. It’s very much like how a real kettle sounds. The purple and teal color works well together and the illustration on the kettle is of Marv the Parrot and Parfait Poodle. The best feature of all is that this kettle actually holds and pours water or juice. The dish set retails for $29.99 and the kettle retails for $21.99. Both pieces are available on www.educationalinsights.com or you can check the store locator for local retailers here.

Between the play food, great dishes and the amazing kettle, my daughter had the perfect tea party. She loved being able to pour actual drinks and eat off the plates. She was making all sorts of concoctions! I highly recommend the products from Educational Insights and Learning Resources. The quality and design of their products is superb.

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