Today’s teatime theme is about the “silly old bear” that everyone knows and loves--that’s right, it’s Winnie-the-Pooh. The story of Winnie-the-Pooh comes from British author A. A. Milne, who was inspired by his son Christopher Robin’s fascination with a bear named Winnipeg at the London Zoo. In fact, most of the characters in the stories were based on stuffed animals that Christopher Robin owned. These stuffed animals are now on display at the New York Public Library.
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A. A. Milne was a soldier in WWI and a playwright, but he’s best known for his humorous and easy-to-read poetry and stories about Winnie-the-Pooh. The Winnie-the-Pooh books aren’t just for children, though. The Latin translation of the Pooh books is the only book in a "dead" language to feature on the New York Times bestseller list. There have also been multiple scholarly books published using Winnie-the-Pooh to explain complex philosophy.
Here’s an example of how clever and delightful A. A. Milne’s poetry can be.
When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three,
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I'm as clever as clever
So I think I'll be six now
Forever and ever.
Activities & Decorations
- Check out The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh DVD from the library and watch the behind-the-scenes portions about drawing and designing the story. Behind the scenes is one of the most fun ways to explore the process of retelling stories!
- Bring a bear or stuffed animal to the table. Make sure your stuffed animal is on his or her best behavior for a tea party with the family.
- Decorate with easy-to-make Winnie-the-Pooh paper chains from Making the World Cuter.
- Make balloon characters: use yellow, pink, blue, and orange balloons and draw “faces” on them with sharpies. Add tissue paper “ears.”If you’re especially clever with the pen, you can make the faces look like Pooh and his friends! Find the inspiration here from Disney Baby.
- Make tea with honey as a sweetener
- Keep a pot of honey on the table and use it for dip on sandwiches, fresh fruit, and other treats
- Honey Cupcakes: use a cake mix, buttercream icing, and small jars. Cut up and stuff pieces of cake in the jars. This can be messy! Then, dump buttercream icing on top of the jars for the “honey” overflowing from the jar. Again, messiness is encouraged! See the full instructions on Paige’s Pargy Ideas.
- Make one-ingredient “hunny pops” using the recipe from Carolyn’s Homework (candy thermometer helpful but not essential).
- Serve some easy “hunny glazed popcorn” with a recipe from Paging Supermom.
Also, be sure to check out this lovely A.A. Milne inspired poetry tea sent to us by one of our moms!