Starring Role

Starring Role (3)

I’ve previously recorded Veronika and then played back the short clips for her to see. Even if she didn’t recognize herself in the videos, she liked seeing a baby on screen!

Today, big brother Travis wanted to have a bit more organized fun with this concept. We made a short “movie” with Veronika as the star – as baby godzilla!

This being a five-year-old boy’s movie, the plot was about a baby on the loose who was going to knock over city towers – oh no!

Starring Role (2)

While the two of them played, I snapped pictures of the “movie” unfolding.

Starring Role (5)

More importantly, I filmed!

Starring Role (4)

When it was finished, I sat them down to watch the playback. Travis was thrilled, and Veronika was delighted, even if she didn’t understand on the same level.

Starring Role (6)

This was such a cute concept, both to engage siblings in parallel play even if there is an age gap between them, and also to capture memories and moments in time.

Behold, Travis’s directorial debut:

Foot Day

Foot Day (3).JPG

On the heels of a hands day with Veronika, today was all about feet… and those adorable piggy toes of course.

The idea, as with the day we devoted to hands, was to pick a body part and make it the focus for twenty-four hours. I recited a few nursery rhymes that feature feet (This Little Piggy is an obvious choice). I also sang ‘Clap Your Hands’, but made up verses about feet: stomp stomp stomp your feet; tip tip tippy toe; wiggle wiggle wiggle your toes etc.

Foot Day (5)

I then pulled out a few stuffed animal friends to show her their feet.

Foot Day (7)

It was fun to play with a clean pair of baby shoes!

Foot Day (9)

We read books about feet, including Dr. Seuss’s classic The Foot Book

Food Day alt.JPG

…and one that focused on toes.

Foot Day (4)

Finally, I pointed out feet to her wherever we saw them throughout the day. Look, mommy’s feet are in slippers!

Foot Day (8)

 

Japanese Flower Art

Japanese Flower (8)

Travis has been very into all things Japanese these days, starting with ninjas and moving on through sushi, taiko drumming, and more. So we were psyched to see a project in his latest Highlights magazine that detailed how to make Japanese flower art (ikebana), a practice that goes back 500 years!

First, cut two cups from an upcycled egg carton. Poke a hole through the cups, and stack them together. Flip them so they are bottom side up and place in a flower pot or small bowl.

Japanese Flower (1)

Begin adding flowers, one at a time. Keep space between each flower in the arrangement, tilting them if needed.

Japanese Flower (3)

It was absolutely beautiful to watch Travis work, so deliberate and careful.

Japanese Flower (2)

I had purchased a few different types of flowers and greenery at the supermarket, and Travis loved selecting which should go next, especially the berries that were laid out.

Japanese Flower (4)

We could start to see why ikebana is a form of meditation!

Once the arrangement was to his satisfaction, we filled our flower pot with small stones (you can purchase these at a craft store), which heightened the beauty.

Japanese Flower (5)

Fill your container with water, and enjoy your flowers!

Japanese Flower (6)

Agave Granola Bars

Agave Granola Bar (4).JPG

Travis opened up his latest kit from Raddish Kids today, and discovered a garden party theme! We had to adapt the first recipe we tackled – no-bake granola bars – to make them vegan, using agave instead of honey. This meant that the accompanying lesson on beekeeping was a bit of a moot point, but they were still fun to make!

First, coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 and 1/2 cups quick oats, 1 and 1/2 cups rice cereal, and 3/4 cup raisins.

Agave Granola Bar (1)

Melt 4 tablespoons Earth Balance butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup agave nectar. Bring to a boil, then continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Pour the hot mixture over the oats mixture and stir to coat. Spoon into the prepared baking pan and cover with wax paper. Press down firmly until you have a smooth, flat layer. This part was good fun!

Agave Granola Bar (2)

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Agave Granola Bar (3)

Cut the granola into bars, and enjoy! They will keep best stored in the fridge.

As we did a taste test, I read the facts about honey to Travis; even though we don’t eat it, it’s fun to learn about bees, or the fact that honey never goes bad! The recipe card also featured a bug-themed word scramble, too advanced for my pre-reader, but he was able to guess all the words based on the clues underneath. Check back for more garden-themed recipes soon!

Agave Granola Bar (5)