Dear Q for Quinn friends,
During these difficult times, I have made a commitment to you. To share with you weekly what we as a family of four (including a 3 year old and 1 year old) are doing to stay happy and healthy.
This is not meant to be a strict schedule or a list of must-dos. These are shared in the hope of providing a source of inspiration for you to stay positive and filter through some of the numerous options (and noise) available online right now.
We will follow a theme every week for most of the activities. These activities are structured into 5 areas (Eat, Exercise, Play & Learn, Self-Care & Work from Home) to make it easy to navigate for you and to cover all aspects of our current reality!
As always we welcome any feedback. So please feel free to reach out at any time!
Stay strong and well,
Happy and Healthy Schedule - Week 1 - Spring Edition
With signs of Spring everywhere it's the perfect opportunity to learn more about my personal favourite season.
With us having to decide on groceries for weeks in advance, we try to stick to recipes we are already familiar with. However, we try to select at least 3 new healthy recipes every week to add some variety to our meal plan.
Here's what we are trying this week (these are simple recipes which we hope you might also have ingredients for!):
Garlic Asparagus with Lime - the perfect side dish to any of our mains. We might just substitute lime with lemon. Garlic and lemon has some amazing immunity properties during this time.
Whole Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins - we have been baking a lot more, and my son gets quite involved. These look delicious and nutritious and would be the perfect breakfast / snack.
We are grateful to still be allowed outside to enjoy fresh air.
The kids and I often venture out for a walk in the morning when there's not many people out. My 3 year old loves pointing out to signs of Spring - flowers appearing in the ground and trees just starting to bloom.
Jacob might be almost ready for a bike with pedals thanks to daily practice on his balance bike. We will be looking to get our hands on one soon! If you have a toddler, now might be a good time to learn to bike. (Please make sure your little one wears a helmet at all times when on the bike).
We have put together a schedule of activities for this week! Click on the image below to download the PDF with clickable links. The activities are also explained below:
Arts & Crafts:
We are going to colour in the four seasons so we can better identify with each of them, including our current season Spring.. Download our colouring sheets here
If you have left over toilet paper rolls here is a fun spring art project
If you have access to a garden / backyard, how about planting some flowers? Kids LOVE being outdoors and even more so getting dirty outdoors. We will be doing our clean up in our backyard next week and given we will likely be spending the summer #socialdistancing we are going to take up gardening with the kids!
This is a link to a resource I am closely following: here
Reading & Math
My 3 year old used to go to a Montessori school in the mornings and he is just about learning to read. With the school being shut, I've had to find some other resources to encourage reading and learning to count:
We also love reading our Dr. Seuss books and identifying the three letter words that we can learn!
With older kids, it might be a good time to practice writing skills as well. For my 3 year old who loves hearing and telling stories we will be coming up with new stories and on some days listening to stories on Audible or podcasts.
One of the biggest elements of Montessori teaching is life skills and independence. At his school my 3 year old has been empowered to dress himself, wash and clean up after himself. With him not being able to go to school, I'm hoping to emulate the same structure and guidelines at home and guess what, my 1 year old is also catching on ;)
Here is also a link to the video to inspire you on what activities you can do from home: Montesorri at Home
Audible.com has several audio books you can download for free. While we still have a limited amount of screen time every week, we also have listened to stories when mom or dad has to get some work done!
For older kids, we also LOVE the idea of learning how to code at this time. MIT has a program: https://scratch.mit.edu/
This week, I'm challenging myself to take at least 1 hour every day to do something for myself (not work or kid related!)
It does not have to be all at once. For example: I try to get a quick workout with the kids (they do it with me, or count with me!), every day from 3 - 3.2-pm -usually a program from Mama Reset combined with some stretching / yoga
Brisk walking and jogging with the kids in the stroller is also a great idea (depending on your stroller).
I also try to meditate before my bedtime but this may not always happen depending on how much I have to catch up on with Q for Quinn, and that's ok.
Every Friday, I have a "stay at home" date with my husband where we watch a TV show or movie on Netflix, so you will always see this as part of the routine every week.
Every Saturday or Sunday I enjoy a virtual hangout with a friend or group of friends. Usually over wine and cheese.
The important thing about self care is to do something that makes you happy and/or helps you burn some stress for at least 1 hour daily.
An ongoing challenge that will vary depending on every individual's demands but here's what we have found worked well this week that we could try again for next:
Wake up early to plan / Plan the night before:
Waking up earlier every morning to catch up with emails and "set up" the day so I can deal with the most urgent matters first. You could also do this at night before you go to sleep if it works for you. Mornings work better for me as my suppliers are hours ahead of me.
Share the responsibilities with your partner if you can:
We have been dividing our day between my husband and I so we can each get a good amount of productive hours and are not on the phone at the same time!
Prioritize and set realistic goals:
As someone who has had to balance child care for the majority of my time with running a business, I have already had to prioritize my time and work. You'll be surprised once you actually sit down and do the exercise of setting goals and priorities on a daily basis how much more productive you can be with your time.
Writing daily and weekly goals down has helped me really prioritize tasks and reach my goals in the little time I have to actually get work done.
Get in to the right mindset:
These are unprecedented times and extremely challenging. It's not time to be a perfectionist. It is time to be pragmatic. Be satisfied getting 80% of the way there. The 20% may hardly matter in most cases. (P.S. this may not be the case for all professions).
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