A child tea set is a common choice for the kiddies in your life who have started to play pretend.
It feels like these miniature versions of adult sets have been around forever.
But have they?
Let's take a look at the history of these cute sets. They've been around for over a century and are still inspiring children to play.
Remember your first tea set?
Early child sets were precious, fragile gifts, and were often used only for special occasions. Many of them are now collectors' items.
Unfortunately they lack of the usual identification marks on them makes their origins hard to trace. The Universal Exhibition of 1855 included some beautiful model tea sets. This is thought to have been the starting point of their popularity.
After this and other exhibitions, children and parents became significantly more interested in these toys. Little children everywhere enjoyed playing with these sets on special occasions. Many passed them down to their children after they grew up and were married.
Eventually, the fragile child tea sets of the Victorian era were replaced by more durable materials, especially plastic.
Stronger ceramics, which wouldn't break as easily as older sets, were also used. These produced lower quality tea sets. These were intended more for decorative or play use. Not for throwing miniature tea parties.
Most children's tea sets since World War II have not been usable for serving tea, and are used empty. There are still a few reproduction sets made in the old style. They're more often collected by adults than used by children.
Today you can buy child tea sets of all kinds in all kinds of materials. Some are delicate ornamental pieces intended for collectors. Others are sturdy tea sets intended for play.
A few can even accommodate serving tea.Just make sure that you read all labels to be certain that the set you're buying is food safe before allowing your children to eat and drink off of it.
Check online or in local stores to find the right tea set for your child at a great price.