Quarantine Weekend Theme- Birthday

My daughter asked for this theme– 100% so she could have cake. I thought it was a great idea! Since I mentioned this idea I’ve heard so many families hosting half and quarter birthdays, which is also awesome.

I decided to revisit the kids’ birthday parties, East’s 5 and Rush’s 3, along with decorating the condo, making and decorating a cake. I went through our party closet and planned the weekend.

We started with Saturday snack, empanadas with dinosaur napkins and party hats from East’s Dinosaurs in the Supermarket party. We chose empanadas because they look like the backs of dinos!

Then it was time to make the cake! I recently stopped eating gluten, so my husband made me a gluten-free yellow cake, chocolate icing, with the help of the kids, of course!

Then I let the kids help me decorate our place. I picked out a few past party decorations, which added to the rainbow balloon structure that was still inflated from East’s party in March (!) and we blew up a few extra balloons for the floor.

Te Fiti from the Moana party, alone with the balloons from her most recent party.
From our Taco ‘Bout It Party

From our Woodland Animals party
Tossing balloons in the air

We took a little break with a Sesame Street episode on birthdays, had lunch, then made pinatas! We had some really cute ones at East’s Taco ‘Bout It party that my Mother-in-law made, and I happened to have some small pinata frames on hand. The kids decorated them with a mix of paper and markers and had a good time.

After nap we had a snack with kitty sandwiches with kitty napkins, from East’s Black and White Kitty party when she was 2. We thankfully still had the cat shaped cutter!

Then we made the craft from that party, which was a kitty mask. I still had a lot of black cardstock on hand (I assume from this party?!) so we cut out the faces with the silhouette and I free handed the rest. We taped the spoons to the back.

After this they got to decorate the cake! This may have been the best part of the day for them. After icing and sprinkles, I pulled out some candles I had on hand, as well at some decorations I collected in Japan years ago and never used.

Then we moved on to the next craft, which were ribbon wands from East’s most recent party, the Unicorn Rainbow party. I let the kids pick extra ribbon and we tried hot glue to adhere it this time. It worked better– and I have the burned fingers to show for it! The best part of this craft was because it was so recent, all of the supplies were together. It took literally no work to pull it together.

To burn off some of the sugar, we moved on to a dance party! For Rush’s Woodland Animal party we had a dance teacher lead a dance class, but this time we just had youtube. Still, we donned the animal ears and jumped around.

While dinner came together, we read Dragons Love Tacos 1 and 2- relics from the taco party— then had tacos for dinner! They were delicious! Then we lit the candles, sang happy birthday and cut the cake.

The next morning we started early with the fun! We did a couple of hula dances (youtube again!), while wearing our leis, like at East’s Moana party when she was 3.

Then it was snack time! The kids had fruit salad in dinosaur cups, reminiscent of the Dinosaurs in the Supermarket party.

Afterwards was water play- another highlight of the weekend! At Rush’s first birthday party (Hot Air Balloons) we had a ball pit for the little ones. We re-created it with water balloons in a kids pool on the balcony. We probably could have used more water balloons to complete the effect, but the kids had fun.

After the kids were dried and dressed, we cuddled on the couch to watch another birthday related Sesame Street, ate lunch (with a bit more cake to follow) and took a nap.

When they woke up, the kids got a snack of “safety cones” and “boulders” from Rush’s ‘Can You Dig it Party?’ complete with the plates, napkins and cups.

Once they had their fill, we moved on to two crafts- both from their first birthdays. These turned out to be the biggest hits, as they didn’t really remember them! We started with maracas from East’s Taco ‘Bout It Party – fairly simple with plastic eggs, beans, disposable spoons and duct tape.

And then we did thumbprint art with ink pads and a thin point sharpie, from Rush’s Hot Air Balloon Party. Since then someone gave me a book with a ton of thumbprint doodles so we had fun trying them out.

After all of this we were supposed to have sensory digger play (from the Can You Dig It? Party) but I didn’t have it in me to make a mess. So we pulled out some glow sticks and had another dance party. The kids had never played with glow sticks before (they are supposed to be in bed before it gets dark) so it was a really fun to break them, and dance in a dark room!

Following dancing our hearts out, we watched Alice in Wonderland and ate pizza, our usual movie + dinner Sundays. The weekend was a lot of fun and did get us talking about which parties were our favorites. The kids loved all of them (awwww) but the adults were pretty clear that Moana and the Woodland Animals were a cut above the rest- even if they all had something special and fun. Let’s just hope the kids remember it this way!

Quarantine Weekend Theme- Frozen

And the fun continues! We had a long weekend with Labour Day on May 1st, so the “cold” was extended. Since we are locked inside, we had to make the most of it- for mama and the kids.

We actually started the theme on Thursday afternoon during baking time by making marshmallows. They needed an activity and we needed marshmallows! We more or less used this recipe.

On Friday we started the day with some outdoor time (dodging those who want to report kids for playing), so for snack time we had some frozen fruit- grapes, bananas and watermelon. The grapes worked the best, but the kids loved bananas.

Then the kids helped to make chocolate chip cookies. Ok, so this one was a bit of a stretch. In the first Frozen they talk about smelling chocolate, so there is that. But also, I read about this gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe and I was craving it all week. So it seemed like the perfect time to try it! Also, please note our themed clothing. It’s as good as we can get in hot Singapore.

While the cookies were baking, we had a Frozen dance party, some Frozen coloring, then watched one of the Frozen spin-offs.

After nap, we had Frozen dress up and Frozen yoga. Cosmic yoga is the best.

In the afternoon, I pre-cut the marshmallows for the kids to make Olaf. We used 2 circles for the body, and I tried to free-hand the head (it didn’t work out great). My husband used the left over graham cracker from the camping weekend to make Olaf’s hands and hair. We used chocolate chips for the buttons and candy corn for the nose, and used a paper straw to hold Olaf together.

We then cozied up to watch the Frozen movie before dinner and went to bed.

Saturday started with some outdoor time, a snack of fruit juice (it was supposed to be frozen fruit juice, but that didn’t happen) before we started on our toilet paper roll Olafs. My kids did kinda complain about all the Olafs, but come on- he’s the cutest! I printed out the Olaf pieces and cut them out ahead of time. I cut a piece of white paper in half and used a glue stick to add the paper to the roll. We tried to add puffs to the buttons but they didn’t really stick.

We then watched a short video on Norwegian winter sports, which was kinda fun. We did note the fun cup/bowls they used for their drinks, and saw them again when watching Frozen 2 the next day! After lunch and nap, we were at it again, making ice cream! We have an ice cream maker that has barely been used, so we made a strawberry and cream vegan ice cream.

Next was charades, like they play in Frozen 2. Since my kids are young and can’t read, I found some charades cards and printed them. My 3 year old didn’t really get it, but my daughter loved it. We kept the cards and will play again!

Our next activity was to build a castle out of sugar cubes. I made some flags with toothpicks, thinking we could wet the toothpicks and insert them, but that didn’t really work. The kids were both amused and annoyed with the sugar cubes falling over.

Before dinner we watched the short 8 minute Frozen Fever, and about the same length video on ice skating. Then dinner and bed (and the adults had a trivia night, totally unrelated to Frozen!). My husband, always the sport, also made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Grated, they were American style and not Swedish, but they were tasty.

After a bit we got started on the morning activity of frozen painting! The night before I mixed some finger paint with water and froze them in cubes. I taped some paper on the table and put the cubes out for the kids to paint. It was a bit cold so they used their fingers mostly. (Daddy got involved, can you tell?)

Then it was water time– we set up the pool on the balcony and added “snow” bubbles. The kids happily played for more than an hour.

We watched Olaf’s adventure again while we waited for our sushi delivery (hey, it’s salmon!), and after lunch and nap, we finished up our Frozen day. Rush had hot chocolate (on ice) with our homemade marshmallows.

Afterwards we made snowflakes out of popsicle sticks. Mama hot glued colored sticks together, and added a pipe cleaner for hanging. Then the kids had fun decorating with colored glue.

Lastly, we had a Frozen sing-a-long, before watching Frozen 2 and our usual Sunday night pizza dinner.

Overall, the Frozen weekend was a lot of fun. It was long, and I was tired Sunday night (maybe still?) but it was worth it for the memories. I hope the kids agree.

Quarantine Weekend Themes – Easter and Indoor Camping

Some people think half of the fun of traveling is in this planning- and I’ve tested this theory the last couple of weekends in quarantine.

The first weekend was a bit of a fluke as it was Easter. We dressed up for high tea, did a couple of bunny crafts, dyed eggs, hunted for eggs, had a nice Easter lunch then beautiful dessert and charcuterie boards for dinner. It was a lot of fun and we barely felt limited by staying indoors.

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We thought we’d try it again the following weekend with an indoor camping theme. I put together a schedule, we planned the menu, researched crafts and decided on a movie.

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Saturday morning, after the kids (ages 3 and 5) came back in from outdoor time, we started with snack time. We pulled out the nuts, dried fruits, coconut chips and chocolate and we made trail mix- and ate it. Then it was time for placemats- which took me right back to my Girl Scout days. I cut up the paper ahead of time and kept it fairly simple for the little ones, while challenging myself with a more complex design. (I generally followed this tutorial)

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We took a break to watch a camping themed episode of Sesame Street, a lunch of sandwiches and chips and naptime, then we were back at it with filling and baking apples and making rain sticks by pouring rice into a toilet paper tube (find out the secret here) before the spider hunt.

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I printed out a bunch of spider clip art on pinterest and added a bit of gold glue to help them shimmer in the flashlight. I hid them around the house, gave the kids flashlights, and they went on a spider hunt. I taught them to hold the flashlight by their eyes and look for the sparkle, and they ran around the house, collecting spiders. It was the most fun.

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Then it was time to “make the campfire” with Daddy. They made rocks out of paper and painted a fire-like structure (a wire pyramid with paper over it). While the paint dried, we sang campfire songs (with Barney, I’m embarrassed to say!). The kids were so excited to for the sun to set.

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We took a “hike” around our condo grounds, collecting nature items (sticks, leaves, flowers) that we later used for our centerpiece. After a proper camping dinner of hot dogs and corn on the cob, we had s’mores. We warmed a bowl of chocolate squares with marshmallows and served it alongside homemade graham crackers (recipe here), because hoarding has officially moved to cookies. S’mores are a family favorite and the kids were in heaven.

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After bath, we collected around the “campfire,” sitting on our mats to tell stories. The plan was for them to sleep in the tent together, but that didn’t quite happen for a variety reasons. They did “sleep” in it for naptime the next day (just so I’m clear, no napping happened).

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I’m not gonna lie, we were tired that night! The next day we had a special breakfast of French toast, then the kids took a visit to the “swimming hole” – a unicorn kid pool on our tiny balcony. The kids spent more than an hour in that tiny bath!

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After swimming, we made bird houses—coloring the roof, and hot gluing the popsicles sticks on the ends.

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After a lunch of BBQ chicken (the kids ate the drumsticks) it was naptime (for mommy!) and in the afternoon, we watched Charlotte’s Web before eating pizza.

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We had fun, and the kids haven’t stopped talking about this week. When asked what they are grateful for, they mentioned the s’mores and the spiders, and they haven’t stopped singing the songs from Charlotte’s Web. This weekend we are going to try a Singapore theme.

So why not try it? Maybe it’s not a whole weekend but maybe it’s a French dinner and watching The Artist, or negronis and an Italian countryside puzzle— it just has to be planned a bit in advance, so there’s something to exciting on the horizon. How else will we get through this pandemic?