Note: I know that these Holidays with Heart posts are a little late. My dear Mom passed away just a few days into the holidays. She loved all things arts and crafts and I felt it more fitting to birth these posts late rather than not at all. Love to you all <3
It’s the Easter school holidays and for the first time ever I’ve not been tearing my hair out after the first 24 hrs. Life with two strong-willed kids is certainly challenging at times but, to be fair, I’ve not been doing myself any favours.
This is the first time I’ve planned the holidays and (please don’t tell the kids) I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far! Beforehand, when my body and mind were wrecked from being on the wrong meds for 6 years, I would float into the holidays full of hope… and out of them needing even more rest to recover.
A Different Way
So this time around I’m trialling a new way of tackling holidays. I’ll share what we get up to along the way and, if it works as well as I hope, at the end I’ll show you how I went about planning our time together!
Day 1 – Rest & Prep
I was a bit late recovering all my energy levels after a horrid bout of sinusitis so I will admit, day one was spent finalising some of the prep. Initially, I felt bad. I mean, wasn’t this what planning was supposed to avoid? Last minute scrambles? But actually, it did us some good. The kids needed a day where they could just settle into a more relaxed pace.
Noah got a little “playing up” out of his system. We now have a better understanding of him so we knew it was because he had some worries. This time it was the change in routine and missing his school and friends. We addressed this with a heart to heart and the behaviours subsided.
He then accompanied me on a shopping trip to get the remaining supplies we needed for the activities we have planned.
If you’re following along with this series and fancy having a go at the nebula eggs or the whole set of activities then, after the kids are in bed, there are a few tasks that will make the next day a little easier.
You’re going to need eggs tomorrow. Hard boil enough eggs for one or two for each child (and you, cause it’s fun!).
We have chosen to record their experiments, art and other stuff in scrapbooks and so I dug two out from our endless stash of art supplies! It’s also useful to gather up a set of supplies for scrapbooking such as crayons, pens, pencils, glue etc. We have something similar to this one below but you can use whatever works for you…
All The Questions…
This one will depend on the age of your kids and how you roll. The day before our activities I like to write out some questions in their scrapbook. These questions are designed to get them thinking and using their own brain instead of me being a (somewhat frazzled looking) teacher. Always remember to leave enough room for their answers, room for a title (I print mine out later) and room for a photo or artwork.
Day 2 – Space, Nebula and Space Stations
Noah (6) is just coming out of a topic about space. This term has been his favourite by far and I’ve loved seeing his little face light up as we had something to talk about in depth (I studied all three sciences and worked in a lab for a while…). For that reason I decided it would be cool if we could carry the theme into the holidays. We try to allow for things to flow into one another rather than have sudden, harsh changes as change is something that Noah doesn’t cope with very well.
Spooky Space Sounds
First up, we watched this video on the
Nebulae, You See?
Then we watched this handy video aimed at primary school kids which describes what nebulae are. Spoiler: They’re clouds of gas that are nurseries for baby stars and are often formed from the explosion of a dying star!
We settled down to think about nebulae and think about the task ahead: Creating a nebula egg. Below are the questions we used:
- What is a nebula?
- What colours did you see in the nebula photos?
- What colours do you want to use for your nebula eggs
I also had them draw a picture of a nebula (for no other reason than I needed to set up without them getting up to no good 😀 ).
Let’s Get Messy!
We had SO MUCH FUN making these nebula space eggs!
To make these eggs, you will need:
- Eggs (we used hard boiled but you could use styrofoam or even flat cardboard)
- Black or Dark Blue Paint
- Purple Paint
- White Paint
- Any other colour paint your kids want to use
- Old toothbrushes (you can use a dry paintbrush but I found this makes good splatter!)
- A Messy Mat (a must!)
I’m not going to go through the whole process of teaching you how to do them because the original idea is from Allison over at Dream a little bigger and she does a wonderful walkthrough. Thanks Allison!
By this time, our bellies were grumbling and so we tucked into our picnic style lunch and watched this short video on astronauts:
And then this one on how astronauts eat!
The Final Frontier…
After a thinking session about what jobs astronauts need to do in space and what resources they need up there, we set to our final task. Building our very own space station… In Minecraft!
It went really well to start with but then Rowan (5) got disrtacted making a piston tower and Noah decided to make an alien!
Towards the end I discovered placing pumpkins in a space station made of iron isn’t will have unexpected results. On the plus side, four iron golems spawning in the station meant we saved money on recruiting astronaut staff. It was worth replenishing the iron their creation used 😉
The Wind Down
It really was a fun day all round. There was still a little bit of resistance from Noah around bedtime but that was the unsure feelings of change coming forward. He soon forgot all about it and I loved hearing him planning out the ideal space station layout while he showered.
I’ve already laid out all the stuff we need for Day Three, we’ll be making salt dough bunnies… Will you join us?
*No, you can’t hear sound in space due to it being a vacuum but these sounds were generated from the radio waves which do transmit through space 😉