Starry Night Crate

Starry Night Crate

The Starry Night crate will be Travis’s very last Koala Crate; I can’t believe my baby is going to be a “graduate”! I considered this crate a real test, then, to make sure he’s mastered the Koala and is ready for Kiwi (aimed at 5- to 8-year-olds).

He immediately knows when a crate has arrived, and needs to get his hands on the materials. When I told him the air-dry clay inside was for the moon, he noticed bubbles in it and declared, “Look, craters!”

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So along those lines, first up was the Glowing Moon. Press the air-dry clay over the surface of a provided ball, until it’s as even as you can get it. As a slight flaw, the clay was very sticky. I’m not sure it was supposed to be – Travis may have warmed it up in his hands through the package! But it made the spreading quite difficult. We did then use the provided hard ball to make “craters.”

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This was a neat science lesson for kids, since real space debris hitting the moon makes real craters, in imitation of their miniature version.

Next dab on glow-in-the-dark paint.

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We waited for the moon to dry, then hung it on the provided cardboard stand and watched it light up in his room. Very neat!

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The second activity was a Meteor Toss; Travis was super excited to learn there was a game in this crate, not just crafts. All you need to do is drape the provided fabric over a small ball, gather it up, and tie with a ribbon.

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Travis has just recently begun lacing up shoes, so proudly did this step alone. Now set up the cardboard “galaxy” and take aim.

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Travis enjoyed the challenge of making the universe successively smaller, or standing further away. If you like, keep score!

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Finally, we put together the Galaxy Bottle. First, squirt blue glue into the bottom.

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Next add pom poms and space objects (planets, stars, etc.). Then it’s time to add two colors of glitter, which Travis loved.

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I filled the bottle about two-thirds full with water, and we could play the suggested activity. Use the spinner, then tilt the bottle to find the objects floating in space.

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This was another neat science lesson, since I pointed out to Travis how hard an astrologist’s job is, to locate far off things like galaxies and supernovae among all the black of outer space.

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As a cautionary note, you may want to glue the lid on the bottle – it is very brave of Koala to assume kids won’t try to unscrew the cap!

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Again, this was our farewell crate. Stay tuned for the first post on Kiwi Crate in the new year!

Be a Kangaroo

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There’s certainly no right or wrong time to feed your baby, but I prefer to be an “on demand” nurser (listen for that “neh” sound, mamas!), which means Veronika might go three or four hours between feedings during the day, or prefer just a 90 minute stretch. But between 8 and 11 p.m., that girl wants to eat! A lot of it is just comfort nursing, after a point, which means I reach a moment where I want to cradle her close, but also eat my own dinner or get things done!

The solution? Take a cue from mother nature and try on a kangaroo pouch.

I have an Ergo carrier for shopping and walks and being truly hands free, but at night, a much easier sling that goes over the shoulder allows me to keep her close, but still get things done.

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Slings are fantastic for their ease. Your baby will feel comfort and warmth, but you get your hands. Make hushing sounds or hum to your baby, or simply rock back and forth – the movement will certainly remind your little one of the womb.

This is one of those activities that’s a win for everyone!