Entertaining the Kiddo at Home

We’re not officially quarantined, but even if we wanted to go any where and risk getting sick, we couldn’t because everything is closed except grocery stores. So we’ve been staying at home.

I work from home and Pepper is homeschooled so we’re used to being at home a lot. Many other parents are not though. Something about it being an unknown length of time is making each day feel completely overwhelming. Sure we can survive today, but can we survive this every day for a month (or longer) with no break? I don’t know.

I made Pepper a list of things that we can choose from to do each day and we’ve been making our way through some as needed. We draw, we read, we watch youtube, but we also have several challenges we are working through. A 30 day lego building challenge, a gratitude challenge, a daily affirmation challenge, a non-screen activity challenge, an exercise challenge, a photo challenge, some reading challenges, and a drawing challenge. She’s doing school, playing with playdoh, and video calling grandma. And we’re playing lots of board games.

The biggest helper to filing our days though has been the countless live streams that are being offered by so many people and organizations. I’ll include a link to the google spreadsheet where everything is broken down by hour. There are story times, and drawing lessons, yoga and ballet classes, zoo tours, and so so much more.

The creator of this list keeps adding more and more things. There are more on here then we can do in a day so I’m sure you and your kiddos can find at least a few that you will love and look forward to each day. And almost all are saved so you can watch replays on the weekend of ones you’ve missed throughout the week.

Our personal favorites so far are circle time with Miss Cady at 10, Pete the Cat Storytime at 12, Lunchtime doodles with Mo Willems at 1, Draw with JJK at 2, Cincinnati Zoo home safari at 3, and the Josh Gad story time at 730. We’re in bed for the last one so have been watching the replay the next morning.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1d9vA4JUnr1xFafSY5n7iF75eCb3fX2Azy_6rZOOzH_8/htmlview?usp=sharing&sle=true&fbclid=IwAR0xd6KK0FXcvzK_Jg9kFXh3uw7JXYxVElZDZvdGDYzbVMlSmC9AXAsG9F4

Our favorite activity we have done this week is an Easter Egg hunt. We had the plastic eggs out to get ready for Easter and I filled the eggs with slips of paper that gave her an action she needed to complete. She had to find one egg, bring it back to me, open the egg, and then do the action (ie. sing a song, do 10 jumping jacks, quack like a duck, etc). Then she could go find another egg. She loved it. It got her moving and laughing.

What are you doing with your kiddos to keep everyone calm and having fun?

Birthday Gifts for a Five Year Old

Today is Miss Pepper’s fifth birthday. My sweet baby girl is getting way too big, way too fast. This year she is having her first real birthday party with extended family and some of her friends from storytime at the library. In years past it’s just been Pepper, Jason, myself, and Pepper’s three grandparents. I think the newness of a big birthday party will help edge out some of the sadness of not having Jason here to celebrate with us any more.

Pepper has asked for a mermaid themed birthday party and the most important part was a pin the tail on the mermaid game. I ordered the decor and plates on Amazon.

She has asked for pink cupcakes, shaped like a mermaid tail, and juiceboxes.

The goodie bags we put together for her friends are filled with bathbombs, nail polish, and lip gloss.

The gifts that I bought for her to open at her birthday party are a set of mermaid themed chapter books, a cooperative mermaid boardgame, a card game called Sleeping Queens, and a few surprise boxes that have llamas in them and one that has a dressup costume.

 

She also has four gifts she will get to open when she wakes up that day. These gifts are Zoob building sets. She seems to end up with a new building set each year on her birthday. Last year it was big girl Legos and this year it is Zoob. The special part about this gift is that Jason and I bought them while I was still pregnant with Pepper. We chose three sets that fit in our budget at the time, but there was another set Jason really wanted her to have too so he used his personal spending money to buy it for her, knowing it would be years before she was actually big enough to play with it. So eight months after her daddy died, Pepper still has a gift to open that he chose and bought especially for her, before she was even born. That’s a pretty special kind of birthday magic.

I can’t find the exact kits she has here because we bought them over five years ago at this point, but here is a picture of an example.

Pepper chose a special bow she wanted on her gift from Jason and she asks every day if she can open her present from daddy first.

There are other gifts too of course. Gifts shipped in from relatives around the country and ones that the party guests will bring, but I think it will be hard for them to top a gift hand chosen for her by her dead father.

I just hope her day is special and happy and filled with love. I’ll do my best to make it so.

Happy Birthday to my amazing little girl!

Homeschool Update

I have quite a few new followers since the last time I talked about our homeschool journey. My daughter is just turning five this month so we don’t legally report to the state until this coming July, but we’ve been homeschooling semi-officially since my daughter asked to do workbooks at two and a half. When my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer a year ago, and then died over the course of four months, homeschool was put on the back burner. That was not a big deal because we weren’t legally required to be homeschooling yet. We still did homeschool things and made our way slowly through her various workbooks as time and interest permitted, but we didn’t keep any records or a schedule.

Currently we’re still just doing school when Pepper asks to. Which is just about every day. To start getting her prepared for the more consistent work we’ll have to do once the new school year begins I have given her one rule. My only rule is that she has to do her math and phonics work first and then she can choose whichever other subjects she wants to work on. Otherwise, even though she is fantastic with her math and her phonics/reading she would only end up choosing to do art and geography 24 hours a day.

I didn’t look to see when I last wrote about homeschool on here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the things we are using are the same books we had a year ago. Some subjects have been very slow going.

The books we are using currently are kept on one section of my desk and she has a spot where she can sit next to me to do her work whenever she would like to. This is what we are using at this moment in time. I’ve included a link to Amazon for each one so you can see more information if you want to, but they are not affiliate links.

We don’t use all of these every day. And we use some other resources too of course. Flashcards, songs, and videos on Youtube for her Spanish, math based games and apps, ABC Mouse at the library, and lots and lots of reading, either her reading to me, her reading to herself, or me reading out loud to her. Right now we’re reading the first Harry Potter book and a book about JoJo Siwa .

This is just a check in to show where we are right now. But, I’ll be posting a few more updates leading up to our first official year of homeschooling as we get closer to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.