Beating the Quarantine Monotony:: Themed Weeks

I can’t say I’m entirely surprised to find us back in quarantine {not that my family ever really left}; after all, hearing the news that the state would reopen back in May felt something akin to standing on the deck of the Titanic waving at the nice frosty icebergs in front of us. And though we certainly all hoped for a better outcome, here we are again with restrictions on restaurants, bars and gyms, and the very limits of my sanity being tested. Staying cooped up in a limited environment with very active two- and four-year-olds to entertain is enough to make me long for a bucket-sized cocktail, something which my OB strongly discourages given my seven months pregnant state. Talk about your rotten timing. 

I would argue that I handled social distancing fairly well the first few months. {Okay, so maybe not well, but with some small degree of sanity intact and with minimal hiding from my children in the closet eating copious amounts of chocolate.} But as the memory of preschool breaks, Target runs and beloved playdates began to fade, the monotony of our quarantine life began to take a mental toll. And with little hope for a return to normalcy anytime soon, I fell back on the strategies employed by preschools and sororities alike and deemed it time for themed weeks. 

Beating the Quarantine Monotony:: Themed Weeks

Sure it’s a little corny, and I’d guess my Pinterest account is starting to feel like the smart kid pulling all the weight on a group project, but hey, at least my days aren’t blending together so much that I can no longer tell if it’s May or January.

A few of the themes we’ve enjoyed so far include Pirate Adventure, Under the Sea, Dinosaur Mania and Zoo Life. Sadly my boys aren’t into mermaids and Disney princesses, but for any of you mamas out there with kids who might enjoy it, don a tiara for me!

For each week I try to come up a game plan ahead of time that usually includes a few ideas and activities encompassing the theme. Trolling Pinterest has proved invaluable, but in general I try plan at least one themed snack, one dessert or treat, a sensory table setup, and two to three simple activities. My kids aren’t super into movies yet {cue my cinema-loving heart breaking}, but if I can find a YouTube video or TV show that correlates, I’ll try to play those as well {because let’s be honest, screen time limits went out the window sometime around Easter}. 

Take Pirates week for example. Here are some of the ideas I came up with:: 

Snack:: Pirate’s Delight — Blue jello, whipped cream and goldfish

Beating the Quarantine Monotony:: Themed Weeks

Dessert/Treat:: Pirate Cupcakes — Cupcakes with crushed Graham Crackers for sand, chocolate gold coins and Jolly Roger flag toothpicks

Pirate cupcakes

Sensory Table:: Pirates Treasure — dried beans seeded with plastic gemstones, gold coins and necklaces, and mini treasure boxes I DIYed for them to stash their goodies. 

little boy playing in a sensory bin

Activities:: Pirate ships made from corks and rubber bands, a treasure hunt around the neighborhood with a hand drawn treasure map, and Pirate treasure buried in our sandbox. 

Beating the Quarantine Monotony:: Themed Weeks

Beating the Quarantine Monotony:: Themed Weeks

None of these themed weeks ideas were terribly complicated to put together and most of them included items we already had around the house {with a little help from the real MVP of quarantine — Amazon Prime}. And while we certainly didn’t spend every minute of the day pretending to be swashbuckling pirates, the themes helped spawn ideas for fresh activities we hadn’t already exhausted in the previous social distancing months. A few activities even sucked my kids in long enough for me to get fifteen whole minutes to myself. And that my friends, is worth it’s weight in pirate treasure. So if you’re looking for a way to beat the quarantine monotony, give some of these themed weeks a try. 

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Lauren M. is a native Houstonian who now lives one street over from the house where she grew up in Sugar Land. After a brief fling with Austin where she received her Bachelors Degree in English Lit from Southwestern University, she returned home to attempt to write the great American novel {or, you know, the next Harry Potter series}. A short while later a friend recruited her for a kickball league where she met a tall, handsome engineer who quite literally swept her off her feet. After tying the knot in 2014, they soon welcomed their first son Raleigh {October 2015}, and little brothers Renner {January 2018} and Rafe {September 2021}. When not chasing around her three crazy Texas tornados and reveling in the boy mom life, Lauren has discovered a newfound passion for photography and Photoshop, creating whimsical family portraits at @andwhetherpigshavewings on Instagram. You can also find her at @polyjuiceandpixiedust .



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