Take a Train Ride

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We’ve had lots of firsts for Veronika lately, everything from swimming to hiking to rides in a bucket swing. Today’s new activity was her first train ride!

I set the stage for the big event in the morning, pulling out a few old train track toys (be careful baby doesn’t put magnet trains in his or her mouth), and singing train songs.

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Then we made pretend tickets and played train at home!

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Big brother Travis loved helping with this step.

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Finally it was time for the real thing. Unless you truly have a destination in mind, the best bet is to go to your local station and just ride one stop or two. Our 9 minute ride was the perfect distance to engage Veronika without overwhelming her.

As we waited on the platform, I pointed out other trains going by, as well as the people waiting.

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Here comes the train!

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On board, she had a blast! She loved looking out the window (and okay, playing with the vents under the window). We listened to the crackle of announcements and the ding of the doors.

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Another adventure, under her belt!

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This Is the Way…

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Let’s be honest; taking care of a baby can seem like a series of repetitive steps that you do each day – feeding them, dressing them, bathing them. But don’t forget that everything you do is fascinating for your little one, still. One way to make it fun – not only for Veronika, but also for myself – is to put it to music.

My favorite song to sing as we do daily routines is “This is the Way” (to the tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. Pretty much anything can fit into this song.

This is the way we take a bath

Take a bath, Take a bath

This is the way we take a bath

Early in the morning

Adapt the lyrics for each thing you do each day!

“This is the way we wash our hands… after having a meal.”

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“This is the way we put on your clothes…early in the morning”

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I also sing the song to her as I go about getting ready for the day, with verses for my shower, for toweling dry, and for getting dresses. You can also enlist baby to be your helper. “This is the way I brush my hair,” I sang to her, and then let her have a turn.

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Musical cues like these can help a baby understand where you are in your daily routine, and also sneaks in language learning.


Paper Parachutes

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Travis and I recently made fabric parachutes that were a bit complicated and tangled easily while soaring down. Today we wanted something simpler, because the goal wasn’t so much about the parachute itself as it was to test how to make a parachute fall faster.

For our experiment, we quickly put together paper napkin parachutes.

Decorate your napkins with markers first.

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Travis quickly learned that you need to be gentle drawing on napkins, and was proud when he got the hang of it!

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Cut 4 equal lengths of string for each parachute, and tie around the napkin corners.

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Gather the four lengths of string together in the center, and tie around any small object. Our “contestants” were a feather and a rock. But if you want, multiple toys can get in on the action; this game would be great with Lego people!

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Travis made his hypothesis: that the rock parachute would fall faster than the feather one.  So we headed outside to test it out! A fenced-in overlook made the perfect launch site.

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Even in a still photo you can see the feather parachute lazily drifting down as the rock plummets to the ground.

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The difference here was extremely stark, of course. As mentioned, your kids might want to do multiple launches with items closer in weight. Enjoy the discoveries!