How To Plan Your Own Themed Weekends

We have come to the end of our themed weekends (I hope- who knows when Singapore will hit our second wave…) although to be honest, it’s a bit bittersweet. I’ve been working on my photo book this week and reliving all of the fun we had, picking out all of the best pictures so the kids remember the good parts of this weird time.

Along with the good memories, it was really fantastic creating opportunities for quality family time. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, but mostly the kids were really excited and were willing to behave to find out what was next. I admit we got a little ambitious with the decor at some point, but the weekends without it were just as fun.

Honestly, we kept it pretty easy, picking crafts we had ready supplies, and mixed in a little activity, whether dance or yoga. I kept things in 30 minute segments (my kids can’t handle much longer, especially my 3 year old) and popped in videos when neeeded (always before lunch and often before dinner). And when we could, I mixed in water play, which was easy and fun.

Lastly, I tried to be flexible and not a slave to the schedule. If they were enjoying an activity we stuck with it longer. If the kids were tired and grouchy, sometimes we started the movie a bit earlier. One Sunday I wasn’t feeling great, so the kids went outside for a bit and we ended up picking up the craft in the afternoon instead.

Truely, though, I enjoyed researching fun activities on Pinterest, while my husband worked on the menu. He was always more ambitious than me, pushing us to be better. But the planning ahead and prepping the crafts made it more managable over the weekend, and let us live the moment with the kids, not stressing over cutting or finding the glue. Did this always happen? No, of course not. Sometimes the kids were coloring while I was busy with the next step of the craft. But the planning and the prepping in the evening was like a little secret my husband and I had– almost like a pre-Christmas rush.

So I want to share our schedules with you, for you to use in full or pick and choose activities. They aren’t perfect, nor where they perfectly fulfulled. But hopefully they inspire some weekend fun for other families. I printed them out and posted them on the wall for easy reference, but whatever works for you.

(The Superhero weekend is an image, as the hubby was in charge that week!)

If you try them out, let me know!

Party Supply Closet

This weekend is Father’s Day, and while that’s a mini-theme, my husband asked it mostly revolve around food and less around an intensive schedule. It was the kids last week at school, so I was happy to oblidge. I’m tired, you guys! (If you want to see our Father’s Day weekend it’s on my instagram stories and the highlights on my profile).

The #1 question I got throughout our quarantine weekends was how do we have so many supplies on hand. For the most part, we were able to get through the 10 weeks using things we had at home. At some point I ran out of paper, so I had to order more, but I’m still using it. We printed out a lot of templates so we did go through ink (although I also printed a lot for home based learning, so I’m not going to blame the weekends). We did get a few odds and ends (I needed more streamers for the Under the Sea and my husband ordered some beads for Superheros), but over 10 weeks thats not so bad.

I will say, before kids when I had plenty of time to look in cute shops when we traveled, I used to collect party supplies. And before we left Hong Kong I went to the stationary store and stocked up on some various items like pipe cleaners and puffs. But not an extrodinary amount, just normal toddler mom amounts. And we live in a condo, so it’s not like I have a ton of storage; no garage or attic or even a craft room. So I have to make due with what I have. It’s not pretty, but it’s effective.

But, given all that, I thought I’d give you peak into my storage solutions, and how we managed these weekends.

This area was probably the most used, as it’s where I keep all of the cardstock and papers and the printer. I also keep the glue dots and tape in one of the boxes, and my washi collection is always useful. The other boxes hold cards, ribbons, tags, paints, and other various odds and ends.

As we started decorating more, these 2 storage bins became more used, as they hold our various holiday decorations (not Christmas, those are under the bed), balloons, streamers, banners, some lanterns, etc. This is also our utility closet, with our vacuum and tools, so it’s not the most organized. But it’s pretty accessible. (You can see some things need to be put away still!)

This one is harder to show– it’s usually a lot more organized but with the in-and-out these days it has gotten out of control. It’s not a lot of space, just one side our TV cabinet. The drawer holds our paper napkins and down below is our table runners, cloth napkins, birthday candles, candles, some vases, paper cups, paper plates– this is a lot of cute party supplies from those pre-kid days, or left over supplies from the kids’ birthdays. They do come in handy when we need to decorate a cake, or have some paper cups on hand to make a dragon.

Lastly, this is the kids’ art supply closet. Along with some paints, it has stamps, pipe cleaners, pom poms, cardboard and other random things that can be used for kids art projects. Recently we moved to an art cart so the markers crayons and paper type supplies can be more accessible to the kids, but I feel like I’m always sorting and resorting. I’m not quite ready to take a picture of that.

So really, that’s what has been getting us through these past 10 weeks! Creative use of what we have, Pinterest and templates. As of this past Friday Sinapore has entered Phase 2 so things are slowly opening up, including our condo pool. I’m not sure of the future of our weekends, but I’ll keep you updated!

Quarantine Weekend Theme-Space

After watching the launch last weekend, I was inspired to put together a space themed weekend for the kids. It was a bit harder than I expected, mostly because many of the activities seemed to be targeted at boys. I did my best to approach it as gender equally as possible, and my daughter had a blast.

I was hoping for an easier plan, decor wise, but my husband was committed. So he cut and paint the planets to scale on Friday night. I added tiny gold stars the next day.

After the kids came back from outside, they had a snack of a rocket made out of fruit!

Then we jumped right into a moon toss! We just bought our first new TV so we had a large box that was perfect for this. For the astroids we wrapped paper in foil. Our kitty also really like the box and the foil balls!

Next we tried out a space shuttle repair activity. The idea was that astronauts worked in space with gloves on, so we simulated that hard work with nuts and bolts (plastic and wooden ones from one of their toys) in a tub of water with yellow gloves on. My little one thought he couldn’t do it, but he managed.

Usually tempers are likely to flare just before lunch so we watch about 30 minutes of videos. We watched this one and this one. Maybe the first time I didn’t find pink fong annoying!

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Quarantine Weekend Theme- Superheros

When the kids were picking themes my son came up with superheros, and my daughter readily agreed. But when it came to planning it I realised I knew very little about them. So my husband took over– and I was happy to have a weekend off. I’m not sure he enjoyed it as much as I do, but it was really fun and super creative.

After some outdoor time on Saturday, the kids, Rush, 3, and East, 5, were ready for snacktime. We started with watermelon cut like Wonder Woman’s logo. We did check my daughter’s shirt for the placement of the star!

We then did a superhero matching game that I think my husband made from scratch with images from google. (Here’s a printable one but not the one we used). Once each match was made, we learned about their backstory and each superhero’s ‘favorite food.’ Magically, those foods all showed up in our Superfood salad for lunch! (good touch, Papa, good touch.)

He kept it action packed, with a superhero puzzle perfect for toddlers. Rush loved it.

Then the kids dressed up as their favorite superheros (thankfully our costumes from Halloween last year), and we did a mini-photo shoot in front of a “green screen.” Sadly, I threw away Ti Fiti last weekend- as it was amazing we got to use it even twice- but would have been perfect for this use. So we used a blue-green duvet. My husband took a few minutes to edit a little video that the kids loved!

Here’s the video, if you want to take a look!

Then it was time for the Superfood Salad. Yummy and healthy- and the kids mostly ate it. The kids were better at remembering the Superhero’s favorites than Papa!

After a short nap (mostly for Mama), the kids had a quick Spiderman snack of strawberries.

it was time for spiderweb toss. Papa put masking tape in the doorway in a spider pattern, and the kids used tape balls wrapped in saranwrap. We tried the kids standing on the floor, on stools, and later throwing balloons.

Next was the laser maze. I saw this here and thought it was amazing. We got some 3M hooks and used red string in our entryway (hence the mess!). The kids went through it a couple of times (although I may have liked it more than they did!) .

After all of that activity, we did a couple of superhero dances we found on YouTube before watching The Incredibles (while the adults had a cocktail class).

The next morning we started early with green foam painting on the balcony, then spraying off and played in water. Always good for more than an hour of play!

Once they dried off, the kids made cookies to decorate later (gluten free for Mama). Then they created their own superheros out of pipe cleaners, paper straws and beads. I will say my husband ordered the beads for the joints and the head, so it wasn’t entirely made with things found around the house, but close.

Another naptime (mostly for Mama and Papa) and another cute snack when the kids were up. Guacamole and chips in a Hulk face and we were good to go. Usually Rush doesn’t like guac, but even he tried some.

Then it was time for Superhero bingo! Papa let me help him so I found an online printable bingo that looked cute. We already had some chips made from an alphabet bingo we did in English class (home based learning for the win!), so we were ready to go.

We were ready to decorate the cookies after that! I found some circle superhero logos for us to use as inspiration. While the adults got a bit serious about it, East made a couple of logos for her ‘Super Intelligent Girl’ that she invented that morning.

Afterwards we were going to do a dance video, but we were tired, so we moved up the schedule to watch The Incredibles 2 before eating pizza, like any normal Sunday. And we got the cookies for dessert!

It was fun and Mama’s not entirely exhausted (although Papa might be!). We also had a vote on our last two (we hope!) weekend themes… so a few more of these to go! I hope you will stick with me!

Quarantine Weekend Theme- Singapore

Our themed weekends are keeping us busy, both planning wise and enacting, so we are keeping them up. I hope you find them entertaining! We decided on a Singapore theme to enjoy in some local delights, just as Singapore announced stricter lock down measures. It made procuring treats more difficult, but we still had fun with it.

We started with fruit drinks on Saturday, which was one of the first things we did when we arrived in Singapore. I remember heading to the hawker center and ordering big cups of juice for each of us. We made them at home this time, with watermelon and strawberry.

Shortly after we started making the dumplings. My kids love dumplings, so making them is a fun treat. They started with the dough, then helped to roll it out and put the filling in the little pockets.

Singapore is more than 75% Chinese, and we ended up with quite a feast, with all kinds of dumplings, a scallion pancake, veggies, and salad for mommy. The kids ate a ton and were hardly hungry for the rest of the day.

After a good nap, and a failed delivery of Singaporean snacks, we started on our first craft of making Peranakan tiles. Peranakan is the mixing of the Chinese settlers with the local Malays in what is now Singapore, and they created beautiful tiles that can be seen throughout old shop houses. I wanted to create the tile designs out of paper, but really struggled to find anyone who had done this. We ended up cutting out shapes with the silhouette and letting the kids glue them to a piece of cardstock.

This one is mine.

After this my husband make some local mochi, called muah chee which is a little softer than Japanese mochi. Meanwhile the kids and I worked on a centrepiece for the table with red tissue paper flowers.

For dinner we did a mix of order in and making at home for the local favorite, Nasi Goreng. It’s a Malay, Indonesian, and Singapore dish that is simply delicious. And we had the muah chee, sesame and peanut for dessert.

For breakfast we had a typical Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast and egg. Usually the egg is soft boiled, but we opted for hard boiled.

Then we opened up our tiny balcony for some water play. One of our favorite things about Singapore is the plethora of fun water areas for kids around the city. Most of them are free and they offer a great way for the kids to cool off in this hot city. So the kids played in our water table, while enjoying Singapore views.

After drying off, we shared some boba tea and peanut butter pancakes (min jiang kueh). One of the things that closed just that Friday was boba tea shops, so we did make our own boba. But in the end we were able to find a shop that was able to deliver, so we had some commercial and some homemade boba.

homemade boba

After water play, we did another craft. We made chili crabs and merlions, both national symbols of Singapore! Both print outs are from here. I added a few more flourishes to make it fun.

Just before lunch we watched a short video on Singapore wildlife, which may have been one of the best parts of the weekend. I liked learning about the otters and birds and lizards. For lunch we had delicious Indian food. Singapore is about 7% Indian and the food here is delicious. We are so spoiled.

And per our usual Sunday afternoon activity, we watch a movie. This week it was Jungle Book. It was a good weekend, filled with yummy food. I think we would have made any Singaporean proud!