Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Break at Home

My daughter asked me what season came next and I  told her summer. It's already so hot here in Florida that I completely forgot about spring. It's still happening on the calendar and spring break is coming up. As usual, we're staying home for spring break. But I want to try to make it fun for the kids and to keep my sanity (and the TV off). So I have a flexible plan for outings and fun things we'll do over the break. The students get this Friday off plus all of next week, so I have six days to fill with something besides our normal daily schedule (which the Kindergartener declares is "boring!" every time she hears what we did while she was at school).

Day One: Summer clothes shopping!
Okay, the exclamation point might be a bit much. The kids will kind of like doing it because they get to look at all the toys at the consignment shop while I find clothes for them. And I'll have fun up until the point that the baby is no longer happy in the stroller. So after a morning spent shopping, we'll all be good for some downtime in the afternoon.

Day Two: Library, Read-a-Thon, and Movie Night
In the morning we'll go to the library and fill up on new books and movies. In the afternoon we'll throw out all the pillows and blankets on the family room floor and read our new books. Do they have read-a-thons in school anymore? I think some Twizzlers will be necessary. Since we'll all be lounging around anyway, that will be a good night for a movie.

Day Three: Splash Pad Day
We'll tell friends that we're going to be there, but with or without them, we'll be there. When we come home, Mom will be exhausted even if no one else is, so we'll relax in the afternoon.

Day Four: Orlando Science Museum
We have a year pass so it's free--minus the stress of the drive of downtown and parking our van in the parking garage. The girl's could spend all day there, so we'll stay as long as the baby will let us.

Day Five: Cooking Day
The girls want to make homemade peanut butter. I want to try lemonade slushies. It will be good to have a day at home after a day at the museum.

Day Six: Picnic at the Park
We have a park close by. I hardly ever take the kids alone (it's too hot and crowded by the time school gets out). A simple picnic will make this outing seem extra fun--especially if juice boxes are involved.

Ideas for the rest of the time:
Play games
Play with toys (what a crazy idea)
Color or paint
Water table outside (and invite new neighbor girl)
Sidewalk chalk
Make new playdough
Mosaic art

Am I the only one who has to plan out school breaks or risk turning my kids into TV zombies?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Outfits and Independence

I was recently part of a conversation with other mothers about whether or not to let your children choose their own outfits. Most people agreed that if they saw a child wearing a strange outfit they just assumed they chose it themselves and thought it was cute. But when it came to letting their own kids go around like that, they worried about people judging them as a mother. One brought up a good point that her son has no sense of what goes together and frankly doesn't care, but she guides what he wears to avoid one more reason for kids in his class to make fun of him.

My three-year-old loves picking her own outfits. Her whole life is a game of dress up. I think her philosophy is that if she likes it, it goes with anything else she likes. And an outfit like the one below draws smiles now, but I probably would discourage something like this in a few years when she's going to school.

The conversation made me think about how little my daughters know about fashion because of how little I know. I thought they weren't influenced by me because I had no fashion to influence on them. And then my Kindergartener chose her tie dye school shirt and wanted to tie it up with a hair elastic. All she's missing is stirrup pants. (And to be super cool, she should be wearing two different socks on each foot.) I've heard the 80s are happening again (or happened, am I too late?).