It’s been both fun and chaotic having the boys home from school for break. Here are some of our winter break activities and the fun, games, and food we’ve had so far!
^^^We made 3 batches of Christmas cookies the week before the holiday!
Hot Chocolate on the Downtown Mall
Sadly I can’t remember the last time we were downtown! I think probably early November when T and I had dinner outside at Passiflora. It’s been cold and we’ve been busy. But with all this holiday time on our hands, we walked downtown one morning and had hot chocolate on Java Java’s patio!
Birch had his own little toddler cup that I refilled with 2 sips over and over. I had a Peppermint Mocha that was delicious! I rarely have coffee drinks out, so this was a special treat.
Of course we had to see the giant cranes at the end of the mall – it’s amazing how much they’ve built on this project since the last time I was nearby!
Mazen the Aspiring YouTube Star
Mazen has been begging me to let him create his own YouTube channel. As far as I know you have to be 13 or older to have one, so I told him he could star in a few videos on my channel for now. He’s actually quite good on camera!
Check out the two videos we made while Birch napped one day: Kids Room Tour and How To Cook A Quesadilla For Kids.
Winter Break Activities For Toddlers
This should probably be its own post! We have this matching game and Birch LOVES all of the animals!
While the game is designed to be a memory game with the tiles facing down, we just play with the tiles facing up! At age 2 it’s hard enough to find one Bison and then the other Bison (and name them!) so I usually find one and hold it up and then Birch goes on a hunt for the other.
When he finds it with click tiles and say “MATCH!” and put them in the box. Hopefully by the end of the game, the pieces are all put away in the box.
Also: Connect 4 has been a hit too! He doesn’t really know how to play, but putting all of the circles in the holder sure is fun!!
Montessori Matching Game
My friend Erica made this Montessori-inspired Desert matching set for us, and it’s so cute! She laminated the cards and bought the animals separately. (You can buy very similar ones in this Etsy shop.)
We try to get outside every day, even when it’s cold.
This is my least favorite season to go outside if I’m not walking to stay warm, but everyone’s mood is better if we get some fresh air. 2x a day (before and after nap) for an hour each is our goal!
Mazen is wearing fleece pajamas and flip flops and Birch is head-to-toe winter. Crazy brothers.
And when it’s raining….there is always PlayDoh! Here are more of our Toddler Art Favorites if you’re looking for more winter break activities.
Or turning household items into play things – like a spinning chair!
We’ve been loving the Blue Apron meals that came the week of Christmas. We do the 4 person plan x 3 recipes. We cook two meals on two consecutive nights and then have the leftovers on the third night. Then we cook our third meal with leftovers the next day and that gets us 5 nights out of one single box.
The other two nights we’ve been doing one easy kid-pleasing recipe (tacos, homemade pizza, spaghetti) and one takeout from a favorite restaurant (which would be a date night in “normal” times.) We also try to choose meals that can be morphed a bit for Mazen, or sometimes do a frozen pizza or quesadillas for the kids if it’s more of an adult meal.
Our grocery store trips have been so simple, and our fridge is always cleaned out by the end of the week. Loving it! Be sure to take advantage of my promo if you’d like to give it a try.
Steaks with mashed potatoes and roasted broc
Tilapia with garlicky rice and flash-pickled cucumber plus a delicious sauce on top!
Chicken pitas with roasted carrots and tzatziki sauce
Beef, mushrooms, rice, avocado and a cilantro sauce.
LOVED this one!!
Tilapia with sesame orange radish and carrot salad
And our easy recipe from the week: chicken tortilla soup!
We our new plan for cook once, eat twice leftovers, my lunches have been lacking a little! I’ve had to get more creative with what we have in the fridge.
Like this totally random salad with roasted fingerling potatoes, greens, POM arils, parmesan crisps and tzatziki dressing.
And this egg scramble with more fingerlings, roasted brussels sprouts, mushrooms and cheese! This was actually SO good with the egg + potato combo – one I don’t ever think to do.
Leftover chicken with pita over salad. I did steal the leftovers on this one!
Quesadilla with cabbage salad on the side
Amanda Filler says
Kath, love seeing all these photos for kiddos and ideas! And the tilapia BA apron meals look and sound delicious! Thank you for your earlier response about them being less longer to cook.
I should look into it for sure! Our family eats “Pegan” so basically meat/Seafood and Whole Foods but no dairy, gluten,or soy due to allergies, autoimmune illnesses, and special needs. We have gotten accustomed to this way of eating the last 2 years though it certainly isn’t “easy” we do feel our best when we fuel our bodies this way.
Cheers to 2021 soon!
I’m upset about that construction at the end of the mall. It’s going to be a “tech center,” which is stupid. If they were building something that would help the community, like affordable housing, I’d be on board. Otherwise, I want our ice rink back. We used to love skating, especially over the holidays.
Kath Younger says
I miss that rink too! It closed before I got to take Mazen there. I also am not too excited about a tech building…it’s huge!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
So cute! Hope you’re enjoying the holidays! 🙂
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Can you share a few simple recipes for tilapia? My 5 year old has been asking me to cook some fish and I’m clueless! Your meal plan inspires me!
Kath Younger says
Check Blue Apron’s website! You can make any of their dishes with the recipes. They have had some of the best recipes! https://www.blueapron.com/cookbook?query=tilapia