Kisses to Learn

Learning Kisses (2)

Let’s face it – parents can’t stop kissing their babies! Those adorable faces, those irresistibly chubby cheeks, those tiny hands and feet… And today we added in a little learning to the kisses!

Diaper time is a great moment for this activity, but any time will do, really. As you kiss each part of baby, say, “I love your feet/tummy/cheeks” etc.

Perfect places for kisses: hands, feet, foreheads, eyebrows, ears, noses. And really anywhere! This foot is about to get a kiss of course.

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You can also bring stuffed animals into the game. “Giraffe loves your cheeks, Veronika.”

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Babies really absorb language when it’s combined with actions in this way – plus they get to feel you’re affection! So get smooching.


Bright Bean Salad

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This main dish salad from the December issue of High Five magazine is just gorgeous – bright indeed! The dominant colors of red and green would make it right at home in a Christmas holiday spread… or just make it any night with your kids!

Travis loved that the recipe involved kids every step of the way, including actions he’d never done before like washing the vegetables, chopping (!), and draining cans of beans. This was definitely a “next level” recipe in his cooking skills. I did a bit of the tough chopping (the green onions, cilantro, and spinach) ahead of time; judge accordingly for your kids.


  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn
  • 2 large red potatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 2 and 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar mild salsa
  1. Adults: Ahead of time, cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender; let cool.
  2. Drain and rinse the cans of beans. This was Travis’s first time using a can opener – he loved learning how the mechanism works! Use half of the beans for this recipe (about 1 and 1/2 cups) and reserve the remaining beans for another use.Bright Bean Salad (1)
  3. Drain the corn.
  4. Wash the bell pepper, then cut the bell pepper and the cooked potato into pieces. I let him help me with the knife the whole time, so couldn’t snap a picture, but he was so proud.Bright Bean Salad (3)
  5. In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, potatoes, bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, and spinach.Bright Bean Salad (4)
  6. Stir in the salsa until well combined.Bright Bean Salad (5)

We served this over tortilla chips the first night for easy “nachos.”

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It would also be great wrapped up in soft tacos…

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…or served over scrambled tofu!

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