Play Patty-Cake

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Babies generally can’t clap until they are about 8 or 9 months old, but they sure do love clapping games long before that. Today, we simply played patty-cake, a perennial favorite of parents for good reason. It had Veronika giggling and wide-eyed as I guided her hands through each motion.

As a reminder, here are the words:

Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker’s man

Bake me a cake as fast as you can.

Roll it, pat it, mark it with a [child’s initial]

Put it in the oven for [child’s name] and me!

The first time, I simply said the words and did the actions for her: Clap during the first two lines, roll your hands for “roll it,” pat baby’s tummy on “pat it,” and trace their initial on “mark it.”

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The second time, her hands joined mine – clapping, rolling,  and patting. She looked so excited to be part of the action!

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I also broke my no-screen rule and let her watch a cute cartoon of the song, to increase her familiarity with the tune.

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In sum, this is a fun one to do throughout the day, or at diaper changesdiaper changes!

Design Your Own Palace

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Here’s to another clever lesson plan from Raddish Kids, one that I originally feared would be too advanced for a four-year-old, but which led to great fun and games.

The idea is to start with the Palace of Versailles specifically, and move on to what a palace is more generally. All in connection with the yummy Nicoise salad we cooked, of course.

I introduced Travis to Versailles through a few of the lesson plan’s suggested resources, such as quick videos and online books.

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Now that he had a sense of the place, I asked him what a palace was. We settled on a definition of a “grand residence” that housed a king or queen. (Note: Big kids can be more exact with this definition).

He seemed only mildly interested by the Versailles information, so I was delighted when he immediately stood from the table and said, “Let’s build one!” His preferred medium was magnatiles, and I was thrilled watching his design come together.

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He even added “rooms” inside his palace, since we’d rattled off fascinating facts about Versailles (700 rooms, 60 staircases, and 10,000 residents, oh my!).

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Now we needed to furnish our palace, and we followed Raddish’s suggestion for the youngest kids to make a collage. We went through a home decor magazine and I asked Travis what his palace needed.

He had very definite ideas, everything from a Corinthian column to a kitchen. “We need a fancy kitchen. And we don’t have a fancy stove yet,” he reminded me as we selected photos to cut out.

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We then pasted these down into a collage, which he loved so much we cut out more pictures and covered three sheets of construction paper!

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Finally, it was time for a royal gala. Travis dressed up in a cape and crown (mommy might have donned a second set…) to parade about our royal residence. (Note: Here’s where big kids can do this more as a presentation, and explain their palace to siblings or friends).

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What royal fun!

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