Atlanta Parent talked to Alice Park of Alice Park Photography, who is the mom to Lyon, 9, and Elise, 5.

What’s your go-to craft or activity?

We have loved being outdoors in this gorgeous weather, so our go-to activities usually involve a creative bin filled with an assortment of crafting essentials, like paint, construction paper, cardboard boxes and maybe even a special glue gun. We take it outdoors, turn on some music, and let the kids use their creativity to create anything they want. They never get tired of this activity, and it buys some work time as well.

What’s your go-to meal? 

We have loved cooking during this quarantine. Our go-to meals are homemade chicken soup, Taiwanese pork tacos (a spin off of Taco Tuesdays!), anything in our new air fryer and chocolate cake.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Soup

  • Turn your Instant Pot to the sauté setting.
  • Add 2 tbsp. unsalted butter and cook until the butter has melted. Add 1 chopped onion, 2 medium chopped carrots and 2 stalks chopped celery. Sauté for three minutes until the onion softens and becomes translucent.
  • Season with salt and pepper, add 1 tsp. thyme (1 tbsp. if using fresh), 1 tbsp. parsley, 1 tsp. oregano (1 tbsp. if using fresh), and stir. Pour in 4 c. chicken broth. Add 2 lbs. of chicken with skin and bones, and add another 4 c. of water.
  • Close the lid. Set the Instant Pot to the Soup setting and the timer to seven minutes.
  • Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, should take about 10 minutes. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release, if in a rush. Carefully unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the soup and shred with two forks.
  • Add 5 oz. egg noodles to the soup and set the Instant Pot to the sauté setting again. Cook for another six minutes uncovered, or until the noodles are cooked.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot by pressing the cancel button. Add the shredded chicken back to the Instant Pot, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Garnish with additional parsley, if preferred.

What do you do when your kids say, “I’m bored?”

We have a card system for when our kids say, “I’m bored.” If they pick the pink card, we’ll turn on a GoNoodle video from YouTube, and they exercise for 20 minutes. Or they can go outdoors and create an obstacle course. If they pick the purple card, they practice playing the piano for 20 minutes. If they pick the yellow card, they choose whatever book they want and read for 20 minutes. If I feel they are bored or they tell me they’re bored, we play the game of randomly choosing a card and go from there.

Is there an educational app or activity they enjoy?

We have loved ABCmouse on the iPad; Osmo – this has been so fun and engaging for both ages; YouTube; Khan Academy has been fantastic; Reflex on the iPad has been great for developing Math skills; MINECRAFT for creative building and Epic! for reading.

How are you connecting to other relatives and friends during this time?

Zoom has been my favorite tool for family conference video calls, industry gatherings and even my weekly ladies wine nights. My children love FaceTiming friends for virtual playdates. And we use Google Hangout a lot for classroom meetings. I have also been more active on my social platforms, like Instagram Stories, sharing easy family recipes, tips on taking better iPhone photos and more. It’s been a fun and easy way for me to continue engaging with my community while being socially distant.

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