Our eldest daughter has cautiously queried if they’ll be any Easter eggs for our family this year, four times this week. Fortunately, we had this covered ahead of time. I don’t know if that’s the case for everyone out there right now. Life is just not straight forward enough to rely on yearly traditions at the moment.
When you spend the better part of four years pregnant, you come away with a few tricks to make your children’s everyday stand out for them. With a few little changes to the things you already do or have, you can create memories for your children in an otherwise “normal” lockdown day.
Colouring, writing and drawing feature heavily in our day to day life. Recently, our daughters’ pen and pencil supplies have been bundled together into one box, in part because our youngest child enjoys pulling them all out and rolling around in them. Six times a day.
I have noticed that the girls are less able to find what they want because of this and are more frustrated by the available art supplies. So, I took a little time to sort them into a rainbow on a kitchen tray we already owned.
If you look closely at this picture; you’ll see broken crayons, half pencils and a sole gel pen in the mix. My daughters just saw a rainbow. For them, it was an invitation to colour that they couldn’t resist, and it bought a smile to their faces.
I do admit that I enjoy playing with food. I have been known to change our food shop to accommodate elaborate child lunches. Enter the frog;
It doesn’t have to be complicated though. A few raisins or chocolate chips make a face out of anything. If you happen to have food colouring in the back of the cupboard, a few drops in your pasta water will change the colour without affecting the flavour.
If everything for lunch seems to be one colour - I find this happens a lot with yellow in our house - own it. Call the crackers, cheese and banana on the plate part of yellow day and dig out any yellow clothes in your wardrobe to make a thing of it.
As a family of five who learn and work in the same space, we already had to make a conscious effort to create pockets of one-on-one time with our children. It’s often built-in to our weekly routines. If my husband took our daughter to her swim lesson, they might come home via the park. If I went to the local shop, I’d take my younger daughter and we’d stop for a babyccino in the cafe next door first.
We’re having to double down our efforts within the house now, to ensure that we keep building those important one-on-one relationships. It helps us to focus on an interest or a treat and to spend at least twenty minutes together. Here are some of our favourites;
- Mini pedicures
- Hot chocolates
- A cuddle, a story and a chat
- A drawing project
- A game of snap
- Baking session
If work, home and school life is all a blur under one roof right now, the bank holiday is a good time to carve out some one-on-one time. Even if it is just twenty minutes in the house with a hot chocolate. If it gets those small faces smiling, I’m in!