I'm a big fan of themes. Working in a public library taught me that a theme can give just enough boundaries that creativity has a riverbed to flow along. You can believe this has seeped into my parenting. As long as you don't take a theme too far (and are prepared to abandon it if it stops working), you have a great tool.
We decided to stay home and chill out on Labor Day. It was hot. We all wanted some down time. I knew, though, that by mid-day my kiddo would be bored. I presented Eli with the challenge to come up with a theme and suddenly we had Harry Potter Labor Day.
Long ago I picked up a Lego Hogwarts Express at a thrift store, and it was time to put it together.
We watched the first two Harry Potter movies. For a movie-time snack, we made Pumpkin Bread from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.
And the day before (so they would be ready on Labor Day) we made Jello Jiggler Beans in honor of the Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans from the Harry Potter stories. (Jello put out bean molds around Easter several years ago. You can still find them on eBay. Mine are a little warped, so we used upside down pots to hold them flat.)
Lime, peach, pineapple, and orange beans!
And speaking of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.... If you haven't read Harry Potter, the fictitious candy truly is every flavor and thus there are lovely flavors but also disgusting ones. When Harry Potter became popular, Jelly Belly candy company put out their own version of Bertie Bott's. You may get bubble gum flavor -- or you might get the lookalike vomit flavor! That jelly bean might be marshmallow or it could taste like a baby wipe! I got Eli a box of Bertie Bott's for Labor Day and our family made a game of it around the kitchen table. By turns we each took a bean from the box without looking and then had to put it fully in our mouth and crunch down on it. (After that you could spit it out.) Such a relief when you got a pleasant one! But we all had some disgusting ones -- black pepper, booger, and sausage, to name a few. It took culinary courage to get through your turn.
It was a fantastic holiday.