Joanna Anastasia

kids acctivities

How I keep my kids occupied at home & free blooming activity printables

Today I wanted to share with you a couple of ideas for keeping those kids at home occupied! Because at this point of this crazy year, with many of us still not knowing if kids will be back at school this September or not ( and if yes then for how long!?) I bet we are all out of ideas on occupying our children!

So today I wanted to share with you some activities and toys that have kept us sane lately and some free printable activities that I designed and that you can download and print at home for your kids! I have designed these printable activities that you can find at the end of the post ( I spy game, memory game & colouring pages) around the blooming theme that was the subject of our recent home activities!

So here are some activities and toys that have kept us sane lately:

1.Playing pastry chefs.

So first, let me show you my girl’s new favorite activity- sweet treat creations with Chocolate Pen! We received the Chocolate Pen as a blogger gift but it has quickly became a favorite in here since it mixes together two of my girls favourites- art and baking!

Basically it’s a pen that automatically loads chocolate and a melting tray kit that keeps colors melted and ready to go- and with the candy bars included it makes for a perfectly sweet activity! It’s kid friendly and easy to use, and with a bit of experience I believe we’ll be decorating cakes like real pastry chefs soon! We even made some homemade chocolates with it and let me tell you, they where so yummy!

How you too can play pastry chefs at home:

  1. Get kids dressed in matching chef hats ( you can make them from paper)and some aprons.
  2. Bake simple cookies and decorate them with Chocolate Pen or melted chocolate and some colorful sprinkles.
  3. Set up playdough pastry chef station for younger kids.
  4. Make homemade chocolates in silicone ice cube molds with melted white chocolate and food colouring.
  5. Ask your kids to draw their imaginary pastry creations .

2.Playing imaginary games

I really believe in imaginary play and toys that encourage imagination and all sorts of make believe. And the toys that have saved my sanity lately and kept my girls occupied for days are both cute, encourage imaginary play and creativity! They are called Blume dolls and they are my kids new absolute favourite! They have also inspired me to design the printable activities for you!

Now, since an image is worth a thousand words I have this little video of the Blume Rainbow Sparkle Surprise  experience- because I can tell you that the dolls really bloom when you first water them up , but would you believe me if you wouldn’t see it?

These dolls are both cute, have removable colorful and squishy hair and lot’s of accessories; and their packaging can be reused for flower planting and crafting!

I also love the different skin tones of both Blume dolls and Blume babies!

We even got one that was all white and Rose could make her hair exactly as she wanted! Next on our activity list is planting flowers in their pots, but that will have to wait for our new house!

3. Crafting and drawing

So these new Blume dolls that girls have received have inspired me to design a set of printable activities for them and for you: the I spy game a memory game , and some colouring /drawing pages all inspired by blooming, flowers and summer fun!

When I printed these out for my girls they where occupied all morning long and so excited!

For the memory game simply glue the printed sheet on a darker piece of paper ( so kids can’t see the images through) and then cut it out and play!

You can download your printable activities here!

I hope these activities and ideas can help you have more fun at home these days – and while this year haven’t been the easiest, we are all in this together, it will pass, and our kids will hopefully remember this time as the months of family time at home most of all!

Disclosure- While the Blume dolls and Chocolate Pen where gifted to me and my girls all opinions and enthusiasm remains completely our own!

Schedule for staying home with kids during the quarantaine

Depending where you live you might be either in full on quarantaine mood or like us, at the social distancing point. Either way, our schools and daycares are cancelled, and many of us are either not working at this point at all, or working from home with kids around.

Here where we are, in Montreal, we are still able to go for a walk around the neighborhood with kids, or play in the backyard, and while we make sure to keep our distance ( witch is easy in our residential area) , we definitely do take kids out to play a bit in fresh air.

However, your reality might be a bit different- and so of course we should all follow what our local health care providers direct us to do.

So this schedule for staying home with kids during the quarantaine is an reflection of how I spend days with my three kids- who are now eight, six and twenty months.

And why actually I want us to stick to a schedule? Well, let me explain:

  • My kids are used to a school schedule– and so without it, after two-three days they become whiny and really unorganized !
  • Without clear “screen time schedule” it becomes impossible to get them off the screens-they become the “Screen Gollums” and throw tantrums once I say it’s enough and we need to eat/go to sleep etc.
  • They don’t want to tidy/dress and follow any routine when there’s no real day plan.
  • It helps me to be the focused mom I need to be now– while keeping my time slots for my own breaks.

Now, it may be only my kids who thrive on planned days and who lose it with too many “do-whatever-you-want” days. But with all that is happening now, the last thing I need are whiny, grumpy and fighting kids. So my way to keep a relatively normal beat is by following our schedule.

Last thing to keep in mind- my plan is based on the time I have spend in the past with my kids ant home- as I used to send them to day care three times a week, and I used to keep them home twice a week so they would be bilingual and speak both the official language of our province- French- but also my mother tongue- Polish.

Also, I always kept them home during all the pedagogical days. So I know that this schedule works for us based on hundreds of days spent following this plan.

But maybe your kids need more active time, or maybe they nap more or wake up much earlier- you might need to adjust it for your own family needs. This is only how I do it.

And if you’d like to download it and print at home here is the pdf!

Also, when I say it’s clean up time- it means that it’s both adults as kids who tidy up- so this is the time when I ask kids to clean their toys, help to clean the table, help with laundry folding etc.

And, my backyard is completely closed, so I can send my older kids to play outside alone if I need to work. So for me this schedule works pretty well even on the days when I actually do need to work from home.

Now, as to all that craft time- we like crafting, I wrote a book on crafting with kids, and often through crafting time I will actually sneak in some homeschooling and reading and writing activities. Plus it’s a relatively quiet time so it’s a win-win in my books!

And a last thing to keep in mind- if you don’t follow a schedule it’s also ok. Whatever you do to pass through this difficult time is fine, and there’s no one way fits all. What’s important is that we go through this safe, healthy and sane- and without passing that virus to anyone on our way!