Preparing for school break

Schools, including Tiny’s preschool, will start releasing kids for the winter break this week. I kind of dread this time of year. Although it gets busy during the holidays and there is something to be said for not having to schedule around school, it is challenging to have Tiny home 24/7 for several weeks. And I know that I’m not alone in this feeling.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite resources and ideas for filling up the days during a long break. I find that I do better if I have at least a few activities planned out and ready to go. If I have to improvise too much we just end up watching television… or having a mama break down.

There are so many great resources that make planning some themed activities so simple. Although creating an imperfect plan does require a little bit of effort on the front end, these resources are a great way to make the effort simple and tailor it to your kid’s current interests. My four favorite websites are Kidsparkz, 3 Dinosaurs, Preschool Plan-it, and My Kids Adventures (listed immediately below). They all have so many great ideas – Kidsparkz and Preschool Plan-it even have great theme lists that are incredibly easy to search.

Here are some of the themed activities I have planned for Tiny in the past to help you get started (websites are provided but not hyperlinked – sorry).

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And, although we definitely try to limit Tiny’s television, screen time can definitely provide some great opportunities to extend your activity ideas. I’m not at all ashamed to admit that my kid watches television, that I use TV to create some space for me to breathe, or that I don’t have it all together. Heck, I need help coming up with ideas that are simple and one of my go-to shows for activity ideas is Creative Galaxy by Amazon. (Curious about what I mean about intentional screen time? See my former post here.)

This great little Amazon original kid show is similar to to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood  in structure and is all about finding and creating art and encouraging creativity. The show even reinforces foundational skills like counting, colors, and shapes. And the last scene of each episode always features real kids doing a real project related to the art featured in that episode, which Tiny always wants to do. So I have no problem letting her watch a show that fosters her imagination, gives me about 20 minutes in the kitchen (or with some other house project) without a bouncing preschooler underfoot, and provides me with a fun craft to engage in afterwards. All Hubbin and I have to do was watch a few episodes ahead of time and make a list of the craft supplies we need to pick up. There are also some really great blogs that have done some of that work for you, too.

So keep calm, mama, and get a few imperfect plans in place to help you fill your days this holiday season while your kids are at home. You’ve got this!
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