Printable Placemat

Printable Placemat (3).JPG

With Thanksgiving just a week away, we’re thinking about all the yummy foods we plan to eat at the feast!

Each year, I make sure to emphasize the foods we can eat as a vegan family rather than those we can’t, so Travis (and soon Veronika!) don’t feel left out of the traditions. This placemat template from Parents magazine was a fun way to think about how we’ll fill our plates, giving us a a beautiful representation of abundance rather than lack.

Of course in the center goes the Tofurky roast or other main dish (we’re partial to Gardein’s stuffed turkey breasts, a special holiday treat each year!).

Printable Placemat (1)

I asked Travis what else he wanted. Soon we had pink cranberry sauce and little patches of green beans, and some yellow mashed potatoes.

He made sure to color in all the utensils and napkins as well.

And added a cup of hot cocoa!

Printable Placemat (2)

We can’t wait to celebrate with family, and you can be sure we’ll have our traditional adopted turkey certificate up on the table.


Spider Time

Spider Times (6).JPG

The Itsy Bitsy (or Eensy Weensy) Spider is such a quintessential baby fingerplay, so today was the day to introduce Veronika to this classic. If somehow you don’t know the words, here they are:

The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the waterspout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.

Persistent little fellow! You can just say the rhyme to your child, but it’s so much more fun with the hand gestures; start your fingers as a creepy crawly spider, then make the fingertips patter down as raindrops:

Spider Times (1)

Then a cupped hand for the sunshine:

Spider Times (2)

For the littlest babies, I like to make the game tactile too. I rubbed Veronika’s tummy as the rain washed the spider out…

Spider TImes (3)

…and had the spider creep right up to her chin for a playful tickle at the end!

Spider Times (4)

Big brother Travis adored this game as a baby, but it’s been so long he barely remembered it. He loved re-learning the gestures and making his own spider.

Spider Times (5)

To finish off the activity, I also added a black-and-white spider to Veronika’s collection of images taped around the bassinet.

What’s your favorite fingerplay for babies? Please share in the comments!

Update: If your very young infant seems alarmed by the big hand motions (raindrops coming down always startle Veronika, for example!), then here’s a simpler version: walk your fingers up and down the arm as you say the words, then end with a tickle under the chin.

Let Baby Get Moving

Get Moving (6).JPG

Guilty as charged – I spend a lot of time either holding Veronika in the crook of my arm, or lying her some place where she is secure – the bassinet, a bouncy seat – and perhaps not quite enough time letting her move freely.

But even the littlest babies need to get moving, since this is how they’ll strengthen those tiny muscles! Today I made it a point to let Veronika get kicking and wiggling.

So they aren’t hindered by slippery fabric, this activity is best done in a warm room in just a diaper (although I added a onesie since the living room was a little cold).

It was great to watch her kick her legs high, and scoot around as much as she could!

Get Moving (5)

She seemed to love the freedom to move. This activity is definitely one we’ll add to her daily agenda, as we settle into longer wake stretches here.