“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men,” said Willy Wonka in Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Besides nonsense, what else should wise men cherish occasionally? Candy, of course!
Combining candy, poetry, and nonsense makes for a spectacular themed teatime. See the ideas below for decorations and ways to celebrate the hilarious nonsense that is Roald Dahl!
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To get you started, here are a few of the many, many wonderful poems written by Roald Dahl.
From “Attention Please! Attention Please!”
By Roald Dahl
‘Attention please! Attention please!
Don't dare to talk! Don't dare to sneeze!
Don't doze or daydream! Stay awake!
Your health, your very life's at stake!
Ho–ho, you say, they can't mean me.
Ha–ha, we answer, wait and see.
From “Mike Teavee”
By Roald Dahl
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
The following treat ideas are inspired by Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory!
- For no-fuss treats, serve bowls of candies such as skittles, M&Ms, nerds, jelly beans, or other colorful candies.
- Drink hot cocoa fresh from the chocolate river in Willy Wonka’s factory!
- Create your own “fizzy lifting drinks” by serving glasses of Sprite and allowing each kid to doctor them up using food coloring to“invent” their own kind of drink. Bonus points for most creative name! Supplies: Sprite, food coloring, plastic cups.
- Make your own chocolates in an ice cube tray (no baking required!): Mix your favorite chocolate and candies into each section of the ice cube tray, until about ¾ of the way full. Then empty a full bag of chocolate chips into a bowl and add 1 Tbs of shortening. Melt by microwaving in 30 second intervals and stirring between each. Then pour the melted chocolate into the ice cube tray to cover. Refrigerate until hardened. Use a butter knife to pry the chocolates from the tray and enjoy! Supplies: ice cube tray, chocolate chips (all types), candy/marshmallows/nuts/etc., shortening, bowl, tablespoon. Source: Kristen at Fun Filled Flicks.
- Make simple chocolate swirl lollipops from Jodi at Meaningful Mama. Supplies: chocolate, pot, squeeze bottle or ziplock bag, popsicle or lollipop sticks, tray
- Make Wonka’s three-course-dinner bubblegum (very complicated and not for the faint of heart!). See the recipe on Food in Literature.
- Make a candy tree out of a tree branch, string, and small candies. It’s as easy as tying the candies to the tree with string and letting them dangle like ornaments!
- Use dot candy strips and wrap around napkins for a simple napkin ring--see an example on Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. You can also use lots of dot candy strips to make an edible wallpaper or table runner.
- Strew M&Ms or other candies around the table, or hole-punch multicolored construction paper and use the punched circles to add color to your table.
- Make a lollipop bouquet out of pipe cleaners twisted together. See instructions on the Enchanted Homeschooling Mom here (the instructions call for a glue gun, but twisting pipe cleaners together should work too).
- Make lickable wallpaper using fruit-rollups with this guide from Meri Cherry. Supplies: fruit roll-ups, cookie cutters, parchment paper, a sock.
- Connect the teatime to science and math with these candy-themed scientific activities from Little Bins for Little Hands.
- Design your own Golden Ticket wrapper. What would it look like, and what would it say? Bonus: include a rhyming message for the lucky finder!
- Make a necklace out of gummy bears, gummy worms, and other gummy goodies. Supplies: needle, thread, gummy objects.
Poetry books by Roald Dahl
Poetry Teatime is a great time to share poetry. It's also a great time to hear a chapter from the current read-aloud, and Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a scrumptious choice!
- To study the book in more depth (including its connections to the Great Depression), check out the links on As We Walk Along the Road.
- Use the conversation starter questions from the family dinner plan on Growing Book by Book for some amazing ideas of how to involve the whole family in discussing the book.
- While you’re at it, why not check out a book about inventions such as 100 Inventions That Made History.