Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Winging Spring Break

Spring Break 2019 was extra long this year: my minis had a week and a half off! Despite not doing a big vacation this year, we made the most of the school break by doing a long weekend in the Windy City for St. Patrick's Day and days with friends. We were blessed with wonderful, mostly sunny days, so the kids got PLENTY of time playing in the backyard. For the most part, the kids created their own fun, but I did have a few planned activities.

We kicked off SB2019 Thursday afternoon with a dino egg dig (for the school aged kids only) and an awesome game of hide n' seek. The kids found some great hiding places....

As the weather warmed up (and the sun finally appeared), we went on a walk around the neighborhood. The backyard was still melting and quite muddy, so I gave it a few days to dry out before the kids ran all over.

We fit a lot in on our long weekend! Read about it here.

I took a recoup day on Monday. Although I spent much of the day doing laundry and cleaning. The middle mini begged to do a belated St. Patrick's celebration at daycare. I didn't want to go all out because I had kind of had enough of our friendly leprechauns (read about their Chicago adventure here), but I did make rainbow play dough and a rainbow fruit tray. Both were big hits.

My minis were thrilled to spend time with their daycare friends they've been raised with. It makes my heart happy to see them always pick back up right where they left off. For these two it's dressing up in interesting outfits (at least Elizabeth), packing up their dolls and gear, and then just kind of sitting around and talking. I love to be a witness to it all, but I have to act like I'm not paying attention to them or they'll get angry!

I love seeing social skills develop. I love seeing how the various age groups learn to interact with each other more. Daycare's newest baby (that would be Andrew, but he's referred to as "our daycare baby" a lot) is incredibly sociable and LOVES getting attention from the other kids. Like when they're eating lunch. He can't seem to figure out why their mouths are moving but not talking to him. On this particular day, he made his way around the table to get everyone's attention. One little boy sweetly reached his hand down to Andrew (while he ate with his other one) and lightly gave Andrew high fives. Andrew was thrilled with the attention and the other little boy was so proud of himself for teaching the baby about high fives. I love witnessing little moments like this.

The kids spent 9+ hours a day in the backyard playing tag, hide n' seek, worm hunting, and getting muddy in the mud kitchen. No wonder everyone was in such great moods!

Someone doesn't want to admit she's too big for the Cozy Coupe...

After a week of nonstop play, the backyard is in rough shape. Fake grass here we come!

Inside we had sensory activities, the doll houses, figurines, and a baby taking in every movement the big kids made.

I came across Floof while in Chicago at Shedd Aquarium. I saw it and thought, let's give it a try. The kids loved it so much that I wound up buying another container off Amazon. 

The middle mini had a lot of requests for spring break, including a muffin tea party (done), a chocolate fountain (done), and a photo booth (done).

The only time I use this chocolate fountain is for the kids!

Our indoor playhouse made for the perfect photo booth one afternoon.

Friday of spring break I only had a few kids, so I was pretty lax on things. I managed to get a few things done (hello new projects for 2019!) while the kids kept busy with the art supplies. After they were done, I requested they put their pictures on the counter to dry, clean up the mess, then they could go outside. Later in the day, I glanced down at the counter and saw this gem (pictured below) from one of my kiddos who used to be a daycare little and is now a big. Sometimes it's great to hear how the kids really feel about daycare.

Elizabeth ended the week by coming up to me, setting up an obstacle course made of paper and told me I might hear jumping coming from her room Saturday morning when I'm trying to sleep. My response after the busy week: don't break anything and jump quietly.

My new mat is quite fitting for our house.

Monday was Peeps day: Peeps play dough and Peeps s'mores for afternoon snack. My house smelled like marshmallows and sugar the entire day!

The doll houses and figurines have been a highlight for the big kids who don't get to play with them a lot.

I got a surprise when I walked into the bathroom. Elizabeth had herself and a couple of her daycare friends in the bathroom "changing my Bitty Baby's diaper" while she talked on the phone (fake phone). I didn't think twice about using the other bathroom, then realized this was probably not a normal scene is other people's houses!

This year's Easter sensory bin: paper Easter basket grass, plastic butterflies and turtles, and colorful wooden eggs. The kids are incredibly confused by these eggs because "they don't open. Why don't they open? What happened to them?" Who knew I could turn their worlds upside down with eggs that aren't plastic and don't open?!!? Actually, I did as I grabbed them at Walmart. I guess I know kids pretty well at this point!

Unfortunately, the rain we got over the weekend left the backyard extra muddy and unplayable. Thankfully, we had the option to break out the driveway safety net and do sidewalk chalk in the driveway.

There was a lot of Lego playing and drawings over the past twelve days.

The kids asked to blow up balloons and have a balloon dance party. So we did.

The bigs spent some time outside using rocks on the side of the sidewalk chalk to make colorful chalk dust. The dust was used for unicorn food. It kept them busy all afternoon.
I didn't realize how often I ask, "what is on the floor? Is that poop or a (insert random object/leaf/toy here)?" until one of the bigs told me, "that's like the hundredth time you asked that today." Now, usually these things aren't poop, but obviously it's been poop enough times that it's important that I ask.

The minis ended spring break with Indian food in a living room picnic and I ended spring break with this much deserved beverage: