Mini Box Houses

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Well, here’s yet another example of my 4-year-old having a mind of his own, taking a game I intended one way in another direction entirely – but loving every minute of it!

We’ve been having lots of fun with various materials, finding ways we can make cities lately, and have used everything from paper bags to old cereal boxes to tape.

This time, we pulled out some papier mache craft boxes, which I thought would make adorable houses, and I encouraged Travis to draw windows and doors. But he said he just wanted to color them – the entrance was through the roof!

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Pretty soon we populated our village – a rock with a smiley face, a stuffed turtle, and “Blocky the Block.” Pet rock friendsĀ would make great village residents, too.

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The game got really fun when we poked a hole in each door with a tiny key, and he twisted the key in every door to let in his residents. He was busy with this for ages while I prepped dinner!

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Eventually he did draw some doors, too, making great rectangles – great pen control practice!

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Overall, these little boxes provided ages of great fun.

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Have you tried making any of our craft houses? Which was your child’s favorite? Please share in the comments!

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Infant Massage

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Massage is a fantastic way to bond with your newborn, and also helps him or her in tangible ways – you’ll stretch out little legs and arms that are used to being curled up, alleviate any dry skin conditions with the oil, and provide warmth and comfort.

This morning, I placed Veronika on a soft blanket on the floor between my legs, wearing only a diaper. Be sure to use an edible vegetable oil, or a specifically formulated baby oil for this purpose.

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Starting at the shoulders, rub down the arms and out to the fingers.

Repeat on the legs, rubbing from the hips down to the toes.

You can also gently massage baby’s belly, and turn her over and rub the back.

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It’s fun to sing, too, to the tune of a familiar nursery rhyme. As I rubbed her feet for example, I sang, “We’re rubbing Veronika’s feet, we’re rubbing Veronika’s feet, hi ho the derio, we’re rubbing Veronika’s feet.”

Mirror Your Baby’s Expression

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You probably spend lots of time staring at your newborn’s face and making little expressions – wide open mouths, silly faces, sticking your tongue out. Adults tend to get silly around babies! But this little activity is almost the reverse of that, and is such a wonderful way to see your baby.

I simply held Veronika on my lap, her head cushioned in my hands, and looked at her gaze, trying to copy what she did with her eyes.

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You can make wide eyes when your child’s eyes are wide, or blink when they blink.

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Copying expressions is such an important first step toward reading facial cues and teaching emotional intelligence, and you’ll have an adorable time with this one.

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