{Pretend Play} Bubble Tea Shop

Pretend Play Bubble Tea Shop | Mama Papa BubbaEver since the very first time we played with water beads, I’ve had a pretend play bubble tea station on my mind.  I just can’t help it…  It may be that we live in a city that has a bubble tea shop every couple of blocks, but the squishy, shiny beads make me think of tapioca pearls every time I see them.  

Finally, almost a year after dreaming up the idea, my wee one and I put together our first pretend bubble tea shop. And it couldn’t have been better timing as Miss G is really into pretend play (in particular, store games where an exchange of some sort takes place) right now. 

Bubble Tea Station Set up | Mama Papa BubbaWhile I often set up invitations to play or create while she’s sleeping, this time around Gracen helped me.  Together, we gathered up a few things we had around the house and a couple of inexpensive things we purchased especially for this activity.  Included in the set-up were some tall plastic cups, a few containers of water beads with small scoops (our tapioca pearls), a couple of small pitchers of coloured water (our tea / fruit juice), a small spouted container of water coloured white with cornstarch (our condensed milk), and a jar full of colourful bubble tea straws (purchased at our local Japanese dollar store).  Though I really don’t mind a mess in the name of great play, I also included tray on the pouring area of the table to catch little spills and prevent a slippery wooden floor.  

Bubble Tea Sign | Mama Papa BubbaTo complete the set-up, we popped over to the computer to create a quick shop sign.  I told her how to spell ‘bubble tea’ and Miss G carefully located and pressed each key, which was a fun activity in itself.  Afterwards, I selected a good, bold outline font and she chose the image and the drink price.  We printed it off, coloured it together, and used some washi tape to hang it on the wall.  

Bubble Tea Station | Mama Papa BubbaWith our shop complete, it was time to get down to business and Gracen couldn’t have been more excited.  While she’s never tried bubble tea herself, she’s seen people walking down the street with it plenty, so she had a very good idea of what she wanted to do.

At this point I should say that Miss G is well out of the putting things in her mouth stage and because she is such a rule follower, I was not worried in the least that she would attempt to drink her creations (she wouldn’t even consider it).  Of course, if you suspect that your little one would be tempted to drink the pretend bubble tea or if you’re unable to supervise the play the entire time, this activity is not for you as water beads are {obviously} not edible.

Making Bubble Tea | Mama Papa BubbaI invited her to get started without giving her any instructions (as I usually do), and this is how she put together her creation… Pearls first, then juice, then a straw and some milk – a pretty solid method I’d say!

Making Pretend Bubble Tea | Mama Papa BubbaShe made drink after drink, each time talking about the person she was making for.  This particular one was for Grandma Sue because Grandma Sue loves pink and therefore she’d pick pink pearls and pink juice.  The process went on and on until she could no longer think of another person she knew.  Then it was on to making them for people’s pets!

IMG 8774Here are a few of her bubble tea creations.  Pretty, aren’t they?

IMG 8744Because the station was such a hit, I set up a bowl with a strainer in it so she could pour out her drinks and refill her containers when she’d run out of supplies (well, she was in charge of refilling her water bead containers and I poured the water from the bowl back into the pitchers).  This allowed the fun to continue on and on without having to waste water or make trips back and forth to the kitchen.

Bubble Tea Pretend Play | Mama Papa BubbaGracen enjoyed this activity so much that it stayed out for nearly a week, getting lots of action each day.  We’ll definitely be doing it again in the near future, and while it was great inside, I can’t wait to set it up outside in the backyard on a warm day too!

Again, water beads are not edible and should never be consumed.  This activity should always be supervised and is not intended for munchkins prone to tasting play materials or putting things in their mouths.


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2 thoughts on “{Pretend Play} Bubble Tea Shop

  1. I remember doing some pretend play in my parents shed with some neighbor girls when I was little , our parents would come to eat at our restaurant, we used sand & it was so much fun !

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