Thursday, July 28, 2016

Coffee Shop Day

If you follow my Instagram or The Kidsperts Facebook page at all, you've likely gathered the fact that I enjoy coffee. A lot. I'm obsessed with coffee mugs also (I'm a sucker for anything with a good saying). The kids seem to enjoy anything with the word Shop in it and like the smell of coffee brewing, so I decided on a Coffee Shop Day. Initially I had wanted to do this in the backyard and make a drive thru coffee shop with the Cozy Coupes but I decided to do the theme day indoors. 

First, we set up the toy area as a coffee shop/kitchen. 

The coffee that they used to pour into the cups was coffee beans. The kids filled cups and mugs, scooped, poured, and even tried to eat a bean or two "just to see how it tastes."

The big deal of the day: I let them use REAL coffee mugs, "the breakable kind. The kind that can hurt you." 

Super excited to get the coffee shop up and running!

In the kitchen was another sensory activity to scoop and pour: coffee grounds. The kids said it felt like sand but smelled better than sand.

Elsa, Ana, and baby Belle were the Shop's first costumers. They got coffee beans spilled all over them but they still had to pay full price.

The kids had muffins for breakfast and biscottis for a morning snack. They also got to take a sip of decaf coffee. This was a highlight of the morning! After trying it, they spoke among themselves about the flavor, texture, if they liked it or not, and what their parents order at Starbucks. I now know every parent's Bucks order!

They got creative and played Coffee Shop drive thru. They lined up little stools and chairs, took turns being the "driver" of their car, and pretended to be ordering from a drive thru. I love watching their creativity and imaginations take off. This is exactly why I love to do theme days. 

The kids colored coffee mugs (that I drew and they cut out). This was not the project I wanted them to do for the Art and Craft for the day, but it's what we had to go with. Originally I had wanted the kids to color white mugs with Sharpie markers. Then you bake them in the oven and the Sharpie's won't come off. That would have been a great souvenir to take home from Coffee Shop Day, BUT I could not find white or cream colored coffee mugs anywhere. I needed a dozen of them and couldn't find enough. I was really bummed I couldn't find enough but the kids didn't seem to mind coloring paper cut outs instead of actual mugs.

We haven't done a lot of theme days this summer because the kids haven't been that excited about them. They've really struggled with playing all together but it seemed to work out well on this theme day! Theme Days usually help the kids with socializing and learning how to behave in certain situations. 
Coffee beans are a great idea for a sensory activity and perfecting fine motor skills. The kids worked on pouring, pouring the beans just to the line (I had a line drawn into the cups so the kids knew how far they could fill them up), they counted beans, put them into groups, and more. If only every theme day could go as smoothly....

There was definitely a lot of clean up after, even during this theme day. Coffee beans got EVERYWHERE and had to be picked up multiple times throughout the day (we called it a bean dump, because the kids would pick them up and put them into coffee cups then pour the filled cups back into the bin) and coffee grounds ended up all over the floor, then on the bottom of feet, then onto the carpet. Luckily the grounds vacuumed up very easily!

Want to create your own coffee shop for your kids to play with? Here are some essentials: