Rattle Choice

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One of the best ways to build your baby’s self-awareness is to give him or her choices. Obviously baby can’t make too many decisions at only three months old, but here’s one great game to set the foundation for future decision-making and a sense of self.

First, I gathered together all the rattles in the house; it was a motley collection, ranging from soft toys that make a gentle shake, to plastic ones that clatter, to more complicated ones with moving parts and lights.

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I sat Veronika up comfortably, and offered her a choice, going with two similar soft ones to start. She had an obvious preference right away. Her eyes turned to the lion instead of the apple, and this was the one she reached for.

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So next I tried lion versus a more visual rattle, where she could see the pieces that clicked and clacked. Lion was abandoned for this one.

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But it turns out she likes watching tiny beads more than bigger clicking pieces.

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Hmm, light-up puppy versus lettuce. She wasn’t quite sure which she liked here…

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…but light-up puppy won.

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As she chose a toy in each round, I praised her selection: “Great choice Veronika!” I cheered her on, and her big brother chimed in, too. She looked so pleased with her ability to decide.

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And some toys always trump others; to wit, blue puppy has been her absolute favorite toy for about a month now, and her whole body shakes with glee for it.

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It’s a nice reminder how early on your little one will have a definite personality, and definite opinions!

Foodie Family Dice Games & Game Design

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In conjunction with our latest Raddish Kids recipes, tonight was family “date night”! The activity: board games, charades, dice games, and a game of our very own creation!

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First, we did a little investigating; Travis and I talked about games in general, and the way they teach concepts of fairness, taking turns, and following the rules. More specifically, I then showed him a clip about the history of dice in this suggested video (Note: There are some bleeped out curse words, but they went right over Travis’s head). If you want to skip the video, just share some fun facts, like how dice have been around for 5,000 years (wow!).

Next, we cut out and folded up the two foodie dice provided in this month’s crate and played a round of “No Tomato.”

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The rules are simple: roll the dice and rack up a point for every food tossed except… if you roll a tomato you lose your points for that round!

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Travis loved taking a risk and giving one more toss on his turn, daring to inch his score closer to the 12 points needed to win.

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The game was also a great lesson in score-keeping. He loved being in charge of our tally sheet, and erasing when someone lost their points.

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Now it was time to design our own game! We settled on a few basics, using the helpfully provided Game Checklist as a guide. The theme of our game was Travis’s much-loved Spiderman. The goal was to reach the end of the path first. As he happily colored in decorations for the board, I drew the path and set up pitfalls.

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Oh no, Spiderman’s enemies could make you lose a turn or get stuck until you rolled a certain number.

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Lego men were our playing pieces, and we used a dice to move players around the board.

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We played so many fun family rounds!

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We followed up with another game using the Raddish dice, “Rad Yatzy”, a take on regular Yahtzee only using the foodie dice instead of pips.

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Cap off your family “date” with any other board games your kids love, or a round of charades.

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Update: We had to wait until we had a large enough group of family members (6 people or more!), and then we could play a final foodie dice game: Catch the Radish!

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Two people opposite each other toss the dice, but must pass it to the next player if they roll a radish. The first person to have both dice at the same time wins!