Entertainment

Tiffani Thiessen Stocks Her Secret Parenting Weapon

There’s a reason they say it takes a village.

Hard as you may try to find it, there’s no guidebook filled with the answers to all your parenting questions: What should they be eating? Are they getting too much screen time? Am I even doing this right? (Spoiler: You are.) So, we’re here to help. We’ve asked your favorite celebrity moms for their tips, tricks and hacks that are guaranteed to get you through every meltdown and milestone.

Welcome to E!’s Moms in the Moment.

Even with all the uncertainty brought on by shelter-in-place, Tiffani Thiessen has found a way to look on the bright side. 

Having partnered with snack brand Nature’s Bakery, the Alexa & Katie actress has been leaving heavily into their new microsite, What on Earth Should I Do With My Kids?, which, as the name suggests, provides parents with “snack sized adventures” they can do while homeschooling their children. And of the 100-plus ideas on offer, she estimates her eldest, 9-year-old daughter Harper, has pinned roughly 80 or so to try. 

One recent success made use of their frequent walks around their L.A.-area neighborhood. “Harper saw the one where you can actually do a rainbow of colors from nature,” the 46-year-old tells E! News, “and you make this big rainbow wheel-like thing with leaves and plants and all that kind of stuff and it was really cool. She loved that one.”

So, naturally, they’ve keyed up a few more to try out. 

On deck is tennis shoe decorating, allowing 4-year-old son Holt to go to town with fabric markers while big sis Harper glams hers up with glue gems. “It’s going to be really cute,” predicts the lifestyle expert

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And after that, they’ve got several dozen more, courtesy of the site that aims to give parents entertaining ideas that don’t involve electronics, a concept she and actor/artist husband Brady Smith wrote about in their children’s book, You’re Missing It! “You can pick and choose things that are a little more difficult some that are more easier,” she raves. “You know my kids are five years apart so their interests are very different, but it’s all based on really bringing your family together and giving you great ideas that sort of stay away from the laptops and the iPad and the phones.”

Of course, the old standbys accomplish that as well. And she and Smith, 48, have been trotting those out on the regular. “We do a lot of chalk art outside,” she says, Smith’s talents naturally lending themselves to that activity. “That’s a big one we do almost every day.” 

Family exercise sessions are another go-to, whether that means a group bike ride or some other cardio and strength training that allows the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum to get in her daily dose of fitness. “That has really helped me a lot, just mentally and physically,” she says of committing to breaking a sweat every day. “It really is important.” 

Tiffani Thiessen, Harper

Courtesy of StarPix

These days, she jokes, “I have a home gym in my bedroom, now. I’ve never had that before!” She also has some pint-sized workout buddies. “We’ve done quite a few workouts with them,” she say, “which has been really fun, too.”

Seeking out that silver lining of these many weeks at home has helped on those days when home schooling feels more like a lesson in patience. While Holt’s preschool activities are more about getting him to stay still, with fourth grader Harper, “I’m trying to be, you know, encouraging and supportive as well as giving her a little bit of independence,” she says. But no matter how thoughtfully she approaches the agenda, “I know she doesn’t want to take direction on school from me! She’d much rather take it from her teacher,” she admits. “And you know what? I do too!”

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So a second career in an elementary school is not in the offing. The 24/7 together time with her brood, though, she’s here for that.

Searching for the upside of this whole strange experience, that’s what she’s landed on. “It’s caused my husband and I to slow down a little bit at times and really kind of come together as a family,” she notes. As a foursome, they were already “very much connected,” she continues, “but, you know, it’s really pushed us even more so where it’s just us. And there’s something really wonderful about that.”

Looking to create more entertaining ideas? Check out Molly Sims‘ tips for keeping your brood amused and Brie Bella‘s go-to art project.


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