Vary Story Time

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Storytime with my eldest has always been about the story; even as a baby he sat and listened to a book. Veronika has been a delightful reminder of just how different all babies are, because she looks at a book and she wants… to eat it.

I still read to her every night, but I have to catch her attention! So today we played this little game, varying my voice in ways that made her sit up and focus a little more.

First, I did a silly read through of Goodnight Moon, reading the first half veryveryveryfast and the second half very…very…very…slow. This got looks of surprise and giggles!

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Next I read a favorite color book, but sang the words to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. This didn’t line up quite right on every page, but she kept looking at me with interest. I sure had her attention!

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Finally, I read in a deep, silly voice for another favorite book; this got lots of looks of delight after every page, almost as if she was checking to make sure it was still me doing the reading.

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This game will work best with books you read often, where baby is already familiar with the rhymes and rhythms and will notice the differences.

Choose books that lend themselves to getting in on the action, too. When the quiet old lady whispers hush, I put my fingers to her lips. Other good actions to copy include: tickling toes, giving hugs and kisses, or waving hello and goodbye.

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One final way to vary your story time? Vary the location! We took our books to a coffee shop today, where the novel space made her pay more attention to sounds on the pages, and less attention to their taste.

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Sneak Through Laser Beams

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Travis returned home from school to discover that, in order to reach his lunch, he’d have to sneak through laser beams!

To set up the surprise, I set out stools and chairs and wound yarn in and out, up and down. For the best results, vary the height and width between your “lasers”.

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Travis practically dove at the setup when he walked in from school, barely sparing a moment to take off his shoes.

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On the first attempt, he got nipped slightly by one of the lower “lasers.” I challenged him to think of how he could go over it, since under hadn’t worked, but this would mean ducking his head from those above.

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Soon there was lots of slithering and maneuvering about. This one will have the kids delighted and sneak in some exercise: a win-win.

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Finish up by sharing this clip with your kids!

Homemade Butterfly Feeder

Butterfly Feeder (5)Travis and I have made bird feeders before… but never a butterfly feeder! So we were delighted to make this simple little craft, connected to his Garden Party Raddish Kids¬†crate.

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar; reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Cool completely.

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Use a pen or pencil to punch a hole near the top of a sponge. Travis loved this part! Thread twine or string through the hole.

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Carefully submerge the sponge in the sugar syrup. We found that it helped to use a stick to push the sponge down, so our fingers didn’t get sticky.

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Hold the sponge over the bowl to let any excess drip off, then hang some place that will attract butterflies outside.

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The craft was beautiful already, even without any visitors. I will post an update picture if a butterfly comes calling!