Things to do with your kids – Week Four

by Jennifer Blaak

April 26, 2020

Welcome back to our nest!

We’ve made it to the end of week four – a whole month of coming up with things to do with your kids!

What new things popped up for you this week?  For us, it was distance schooling!  Miss A’s classroom came online and boy was that a learning curve for me!

This week I’m going to link to a post I made about our academics, a little project Brandon and Mr. D started, how we pulled off Easter dinner with our family, a bit into how Mr. D’s karate class is operating these days, and a fun (and easy!) thing we did with the kids (that they LOVED).

For those of you new to this blog, let me tell you what it’s all about!  Since we are all home with our kids, I wanted to help by starting a weekly blog where I could share a look inside our week and share links to recipes, crafts, academics, and the things to do with the kids.  Obviously, I’ll also be sharing a bunch of photos of these activities!  I’m even going to do my absolute best to jump in front of the camera too.

(Did you miss previous weeks?  Check them out by clicking here (week one),  here (week two), and here (week three)

So here it is – some things we did with the kids during week four!

April 12 – 18, 2020

Easter Morning.  How many of your kids were STOKED for Easter morning?  Did the Easter bunny visit your home or was he deemed non-essential?  The kids woke up super excited (as their expressions clearly display below!)

The Easter bunny made his visit, leaving them a sweet treat downstairs (a hallow chocolate egg by Cantrbury that has other gummy bears or sour gummy worms inside – a yearly favourite!).  While the kids scoped out their gift, Brandon and I hid little chocolate eggs in their bedrooms for them to “hunt” (pro-tip – count the eggs before you hide them!).  We chose to do the egg hunt this way as it ensured that the kids didn’t eat all their chocolate before breakfast lol!

We also spent some time after breakfast hanging up paintings my sister had done for the kids as a Christmas gift.  The one she did for Mr. D is pictured below (beside his amazing painting by the super talented Bella Art Design Studio.  She is out of Hamilton and takes custom orders!)

We also put together Miss A’s “family memories wall” as she likes to call it.  She really loves the family photo wall we have in our living room and wanted something similar in her bedroom.  This was the simplest way to include as many photo memories as she was hoping for.  All in all I think it worked out great!

Easter Morning.jpg

Then came Easter…..which looked VERY different this year!  Easter is usually spent between both our parents homes with our siblings, enjoying laughter, food, and drinks!  This year we had to get more creative.

Brandon cooked up an incredible dinner, doing up the turkey (he even stuffed the turkey using my grandmas stuffing recipe), mashed potatoes, and veggies.

Easter Turkey.jpg

Miss A. wanted to get dressed up for the occasion, so she pulled out her dress from our wedding and ask me to do her hair.  Mr. D – not so much.  Although he loves dressing up when the occasion calls for it, this time he opted for comfort.

P.S – check out his shirt.  It’s a fusion of one of his favourite shows, gravity falls, and one of his favourite games, Zelda.  We purchased it to support Brandon’s cousin whose business (Action Play Centre) is facing some financial hardship due to the pandemic.  Click here to check out their merchandise and find out how you can help support them!  Not only are they offering some pretty cool shirts that the kids will love, but they also offer custom illustrations of your child as their favourite character (aka the perfect birthday gift!).

Screen Break.jpg

While we plan to do a big dinner with my family once the restrictions are lifted, we did manage to coordinate a zoom dinner with Brandon’s family.  Although it wasn’t the same, it was definitely good to have conversation over food with them!

Easter dinner over zoom.jpg

So I’ve had so many friends reach out over the last couple weeks with a lot of homeschooling questions.  We’ve texted, chatted over the phone, and met over video chat!

I know I’ve talked only a tiny bit about how academics are working in our house these days.   We have Mr. D who has been homeschooling for the last 4 years and then we have Miss. A who is now schooling at home via the online learning put out by her public school.

I started writing all about how this is working in our home including the differences between homeschooling pre-pandemic, homeschooling during this pandemic, and schooling at home.

I quickly discovered it’s actually a huge topic – so I’ve put that into another post.

Click here to read that post!

I plan on writing a second post that talks more about some alternative learning methods (if you’re like most parents and ready to give up on schooling at home all together!), tools we use in our home to help the kids self-regulate, and some of the therapeutic items we have in our home.

One things the kids have really been enjoying is gaming with Brandon.  I’m not a huge gamer and try to justify the screen time by reminding myself that while they’re gaming, they’re also practicing hand eye coordination, visual processing skills, and problem solving.  They’re also learning how to win gracefully lol!

Anyone want to guess which classic game they’re playing below?

Old school gaming.jpg

Okay – so the weather wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows this week meaning the kids didn’t want to spend a ton of time outdoors.  I saw a lot of families talking about doing outdoor scavenger hunts with their kids and thought that could be something easy enough to setup in the house.

Brandon and I didn’t want the kids bringing all of the items they find on their list to us (let’s be honest, we were exhausted from the last few days and didn’t want to have to clean up another mess lol!).  We decided to let the the kids take photos of the items they find.  The kids thought this was a GREAT idea.  We let Mr. D use his iPod while Miss. A was thrilled to use her little point and shoot camera.

We made a list of items for each kiddo (different lists) and set them loose!  They had fun running around the house taking pictures and couldn’t wait to show us what they found.  It went surprisingly quick so we had them swap lists and had them do it again.  One item on Miss A’s list was “something hairy” and she chose to take a photo of her dads beard.  We all had a good laugh….especially when she turned to us and said, “What?  It’s just such a good beard!”

Indoor Scavenger Hunt things to do with your kids.jpg

I’ve talked A LOT about zoom and all the different ways zoom has become a part of our life.  Mr. D has joined in on weekly YMCA karate classes via zoom (thank you, Sensei!).  It’s not the same as his Saturday morning classes (he misses those so much), but it’s a great way to keep him on top of what he had been learning so that when classes do start back up at the YMCA,  he’s ready.

Distance karate class things to do with your kids.jpg

Ok.  Back to food.

One of my favourite things about big holidays is that they usually involve turkey….and turkey usually means leftovers.

Thanksgiving in Michigan is one of my all time favourite holidays ever.  It’s very different now that my Grandparents have both passed and our family is more spread out, but it’s still one of my favourites.

When my Grandma was still with us, she did up a big thanksgiving dinner.  I’m talking huge.  Not only did she cook the classic turkey with stuffing and a slew of other vegetables, but she always had different types of potatoes, Hawaiian dinner rolls, and ham.

And then came dessert.  I don’t think my Grandma ever made less than 6 pies every year.  Her peanut butter pie is still one of my favourites!

As you can imagine, we always had lots of leftovers….which meant turkey sandwiches and turkey soup!

Which leads me to this.  Brandon made this amazing turkey soup out of our turkey leftovers.  It was FULL of flavour and so filling.

Homemade turkey soup things to do with your kids.jpg

One really cool thing we got to do this week was get started on a project that Brandon and I had been wanting to do for a while.  For Valentines Day this past year I gave him a gift card to home depot with the directions on how to make a rope shelf for his kitchen plants.  Mr. D wanted to get in on the action so Brandon took it as an opportunity to review how to measure with a tape measure and teach him about using a handsaw.

I’ll be sure to include photos of the finished shelf next week!

Cutting wood things to do with your kids.jpg

That’s it!  Things to do with your kids week four!  I hope you’ll take a minute to check out the link I shared above to my post about our academics (and I promise to do a post soon about all the therapeutic and self regulation tools we us!).

Jennifer is a lifestyle family photographer located in Southern Ontario. Jennifer is a newborn, baby, maternity, family, and creative branding photographer. She serves Ancaster, Brantford, Burlington, Cambridge, Hamilton, Kitchener, Oakville, Niagara, Woodstock, and the GTA.
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