Hi guys! Everyone holding up out there? I’ve written a few blog posts already about how I’m doing crafts at home with the kids to keep them occupied. But let’s face it, crafts can only go so far. Ha! So I definitely ended up purchasing a few things to surprise them with throughout this quarantine. I might have told you guys about some of these items or activities, but I wanted to share a few others, as well as suggest items for older kids. Just like I’m keeping my little ones busy while trying to teach them a thing or two as well, I know you probably are too with your grade school kiddos!
Okay let’s start with toddlers because, well, that’s my specialty right now. Ha! I’m really trying to limit buying Molly and Riley toys just for the sake of keeping them busy. Sure I’ll get them their favorite characters from a few shows they like just to see the smile on their faces. But in general, if I get them something to play with I want it to be educational or to teach some sort of lesson as well.
Teaching Cleanliness (And hand washing!)
I absolutely had to start with this toy because it could not be more perfect considering what’s going on in our world right now. I don’t have photos of it because I just ordered it, but I wanted to share it with you guys because I feel like it could sell out pretty quickly. What I love so much about this bath toy is that it’s the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about hand-washing while having fun in the tub. We do our best to teach Molly and Riley about proper hand-washing at the sink and they do a relatively good job. But with Riley it’s a little bit harder because of how young he is. So I feel like when we put this in the tub and water comes out of the spout we can show him in the tub while having fun the proper way to wash his hands. As soon as I saw it, I just got so excited about it because I feel like it’s a really good teaching opportunity. So I wanted to share it with you guys before we even got it in the mail so you could snag one too.
And I’m not gonna lie, this next idea was Kevin‘s. You’ll quickly see why 😉
You guys probably know this from watching my Instagram stories, but the kids love to clean! Will give them a little wet wipe and they will go nuts wiping down the entire house. So Kevin thought it be really fun to give them a little cleaning set of their own. I actually remember seeing this cleaning set at a friends house years ago before I had kids and thinking it was just so darling. I even remember asking her where she got it. It’s by Melissa and Doug. In general you should check out all of Melissa and Doug toys if you don’t know about them. They are so well-made, made to last, and really adorable. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m almost positive they make everything out of wood and nothing out of plastic which I really love.
Molly legit has not put down this mop more than 20 minutes at a time in the last 24 hours since she got it. I’m hoping this love of cleaning stays with her when she’s a little bit older and can really help us clean. Ha!
And again, kind of like the bath toy above. I really like this because it gives us an opportunity to talk to her about the importance of keeping her home cleaning and wiping things down to keep away germs right now. She’s had a lot of questions on why I have been wiping down all the packages we get in the mail before they come in the house. And I’ve been talking to her about cleanliness and cleaning away the germs – not only on our hands but also in our homes. I just felt like this cleaning set was another good teaching opportunity for her to get involved with helping clean without actually touching a cleaning supply, which ultimately would somehow end up in Riley’s mouth I’m sure. Ha!
Oh and I wanted to mention my pajamas! You have definitely seen them on my blog before because I originally bought them to wear to the hospital when I gave birth to Riley! I’ve worn them about once a week since then and they still look amazing and have held up. So the quality is really good! And they are the softest and comfy as PJs ever! They are still available which is incredible!
Explaining That People Are Sick and Doctors Will Help Them
Speak getting of Molly having questions and me wanting to have teachable moments. I saw this doctor set and I thought it could be something really nice for parents to use to talk to kiddos about how doctors are going to help people feel better who are sick. I don’t know about you guys, but Kevin, myself, and my mom have all tried really hard to not talk about what’s going on in front of the kids when we have adult conversations. But I’m realizing the very few things we do say in front of her she picks up on. I know she’s gonna have a lot of questions about people going to see the doctor right now. And I wanna have answers in a way that’s kid appropriate. We already have a doctors play set at home, but I found this one on Nordstrom site so I thought I’d like it for you guys because once again it’s by Melissa and Doug because I love this brand.
While I don’t have kiddos in grade school, I know that they are probably just as bored, if not more bored than toddlers! And that’s because they are used to having their minds engaged all day when they are at school. After chatting with a few friends, I compiled this list of games and activities to keep their minds going! If you have more ideas please share them in the comments below.
Keep Them Busy
The biggest suggestion was to keep the grade school kids busy with projects and games. I found a few that I thought were great! I know that grade school has a wide variety of ages, from about 5 to 12, so some of these might seem a little young or old for your kids, but choose the one(s) that you think would keep your specific child engaged! Examples of these would be blocks, games, making jewelry or art projects. By the way, I took some of these pictures from the internet so you could see!
I found this Magnetivity Pet Center that I think is so adorable and will really keep kids occupied for awhile, especially if they like playing house or with dolls. It comes with multiple magnetic sides for the building so that they can create a vet office, a groomer or pet rescue center. All the pieces are magnetic, including the animals and people, so they can stick them right onto the magnetic building pictures. I love that it also comes with a little grooming van, that can be turned into an animal ambulance.
Another fun activity would be making jewelry. Many of you probably have beads that you could let your kiddos use, but I thought this set would be really fun. It comes with 400 different “puzzle” shaped pieces that your child can use to make all different kinds of jewelry from bracelets to necklaces, and in many different shapes. They can even construct little jewelry stands to hang their work of art on. I love this one because they could make so many projects besides jewelry with the pieces.
Board games are also an amazing way to interact with your kiddo, and I thought this garden game was so stinkin’ cute. You go around the game board visiting different gardens to collect items like vegetables and flowers to fill your own garden. The illustrations are so adorable, I am really considering getting this for Molly even though it says 5+ years. I think she would absolutely love it!
Fun Homeschooling Activity
This one is for a bit older kiddos, but I think it is such a great activity for them, especially when all of us parents are trying to homeschool our kids! This chemistry set comes with goggles, beakers, stir sticks and really everything that your kids would need to do a chemistry experiment. It includes a detailed lab notebook that has all different experiments listed for your kiddos to explore “chemical reactions, temperature and molecular motion”. It says this is for 8-12, and I would recommend working on this with your kiddos, even if just as first, so you can make sure they understand the instructions and are being safe. I feel like activities are truly so great for learning about science when your kiddos are at home.
Keep Them Active
To keep your kiddos healthy, and to help both with their pent up energy and your sanity haha!, keeping them active is so important. I love this scooter with light up wheels!!! And it actually says that it is for ages 3+ and up to 110 pounds, so many different ages are able to use this scooter. This one also looks great and is for kids 6+. It is slightly more expensive, but it does look like it would be able to grow longer with your child, so I would say it really depends how old your kiddo is now!
Fun for the Family
I absolutely love this egg painting party kit! I ordered one for the kids because not only does it have everything you need in it too paint eggs, but it also comes in a basket that can double as a Easter Basket if you don’t have one! Another thing I really like about it is that the dye is better than the normal dye that I usually buy each year to color eggs. It’s thicker and will go on less translucent which will be good because honestly I have not been able to come by white eggs. The only eggs we’ve been able to get are brown ones. I also know a lot of other people are having trouble finding any eggs at all. So I just think this is a good kit to have on hand so that you’ll be able to use it for either brown or white eggs depending on what you can get your hands on come Easter time. I hate to say it, but I think we’re gonna be staying home a lot longer than any of us even anticipate.
Anyway, while on the subject of Easter, I really want to try to make it as normal as possible for my family. I ordered these dresses for me and Molly to wear. So we threw them on to take some photos so I could show you guys. I love her dress because it has little Easter bunnies, chicks, and Easter eggs on that on it. I probably wouldn’t have paired the headband with the dress, but Molly insisted on wearing them together. And how stinking gorgeous is this headband! Check out my Insta stories to see her looking at her self in the mirror wearing it. She legit think she’s a Disney princess. It’s the most adorable thing ever!
I also ordered Riley a little white polo shirt and dress pants, which you’ll see in my stories on Easter. Riley has been drooling a lot so I didn’t want to put it on him before the big day so he wouldn’t mess them up. Ha! By the way, this is a Nordstrom sponsored post. So everything is from Nordstrom! Plus it just makes it easier for you to shop all in one place if you wanna get any of these things. And you got a love Nordstrom‘s free shipping. So since everything’s from there I thought I’d also let you guys know that they have Easter baskets. This one is really really darling. I’ll link all the cute baskets I found below. I LOVE that they AREN’T plastic and can be used for years to come!
And yes, as you can see from all these photos Molly would not put down that mop! I’m telling you it is the most perfect toy for her ever!
Hang In There
Okay guys well that’s it from me. I know this blog post is kind of long, but I wanted to share why I think all of these things are great and if you end up purchasing anything I hope it provides a teachable moment for you and your children and keep them occupied for as long as possible. Hang in there everybody! We’re all in this together.
And of course I will keep all of the craft ideas coming. I know during these hard times it’s not always possible to buy your child something. So definitely get ready for some fun toilet paper roll DIY‘s for kids coming from me soon! Keep your empty rolls!