Give Your Baby a Massage

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I’ve fallen out of the habit of giving Veronika a massage in the evenings, which I tried to do when she was tiny. This prompt from my baby activity book was a nice reminder, and you can take more time with it now that your baby is older – and perhaps even has sore muscles from all the practice rolling and sitting!

I used olive oil, but any edible baby-safe oil will work.

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To give her the full spa treatment, I laid Veronika down on a soft blanket in a warm room, and started with her face. Stroke the head with your hands, then rub your thumbs gently along baby’s forehead.

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I moved down to the eyebrows and cheeks and along the sides of her face with my thumbs. Continue down to the chest, spreading your hands out around the ribs.

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Now it was time for legs! Rub first down one leg, gently squeezing as you go. I named the parts of the leg as I moved from thigh to knee to shin. Finish with the feet; press your thumbs gently into the soles, then lightly pull each toe. I know this is my favorite part at the spa, ha!

 

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Repeat a similar process along the arms: rub down the arm, then finish with thumbs gently pressing into the palm and tugging on each finger.

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She looked so relaxed by the end! If it feels like this won’t fit into a hectic nighttime routine, consider it before a nap, or even after an afternoon bath.

Easter Egg Granola Tarts

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These adorable tarts will get things off to a perfect start on Easter morning! Bake the night before and they’re ready to go as soon as you wake up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oat
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Plain or vanilla non-dairy yogurt
  • Fruit or food coloring for garnish
  1. Combine the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, and flour in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine the agave and canola oil in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until warm. Drizzle over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
  3. Pat the mixture into 4 egg shapes on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. It will be quite crumbly, but will set as it cooks.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the pans inside with the door propped open to cool completely. You can even leave them this way overnight!
  5. In the morning, spread with the yogurt. Decorate with berries to resemble decorated eggs, if desired, or make stripes by swirling through a little natural food coloring.

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Write Your Own Storycube Myth

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This DIY storycube idea is a cute way to help kids understand what a myth is, and then write their own! You can purchase storycubes, but we had fun making our own simply using slips of paper with little pictures.

First, Travis and I played a game of telephone. I whispered a word to him, and he whispered back what he heard. Obviously “telephone” works best with multiple people, but even in our phone call for two, we went from “Firetruck” to “A truck.” It set the stage perfectly to talk about myths: how they are stories told from person to person, but ones that get changed or garbled over time!

We ran through the four basic types of myths:

  • Creation myths
  • Nature myths
  • Hero myths
  • Gods and goddesses myths

Then we talked about some purposes of myths:

  • Explaining the origin of something
  • Teaching a moral lesson
  • Explaining a historical event
  • Revealing common feelings or hopes

For an example, you can watch a read of Anansi the Spider on YouTube!

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Now it was time to write our own myth. I set out slips with simple pictures for Travis. We had 18 strips, which I numbered 1 through 6 (so there were three slips corresponding to each number). Then we divided a piece of paper into three parts, and I had Travis talk me through the basic parts of a story: beginning, middle, and end.

He rolled a dice for the beginning, getting a number 1. We taped on the three slips with the number one. Repeat for the middle and end of the story.

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Now it was time to write our myth. Our 1s were: a magnifying glass, scissors, and a map. I was so proud of Travis leaping in. He told a story of how someone use the scissors to cut the map and so the pieces were lost! Already we had intrigue and a problem to solve.

It did get a little sillier from there (working in characters from his most recent favorite cartoon movie), but for a 4 year old, I was impressed he picked up on the nuance of what we were doing. Big kids can really have fun with these myths, or even complete each other’s stories to highlight the way myths change over time.

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All of this was in connection with a Raddish Kids┬árecipe about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – a timely myth, since we’re on the lookout for rainbows this rainy April! We finished up the lesson with a few myths from the library, which made for great bedtime stories.

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