Rock R


Travis traced the letter R today and then we found three materials beginning with R to make our 3-D models.

First up was upper case R, using a ruler and rope (ok, ours was more string, but perhaps you could call it a thin rope).

He placed the ruler straight, and then had to ponder how the rope could twist in such a way that he ended up with R. He remembered that first you make a loop so it looks like a P…

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…then just needed to angle the final bit of rope out.

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For lower case r, we headed outside to the driveway and found a few small rocks.


“I can do this!” Travis said with confidence, since r is in his name. In no time, our rocks were in an r.

Increase Baby’s Vocabulary: Onomatopoeia

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Today I focused on a few specific words with Veronika while dressing her and folding laundry… all words having to do with the sounds that clothes can make. In other words, many of these are examples of onomatopoeia, and they’re a fun way to expand your baby’s vocab!

First, of course, there are zippers. I ran a few up and down for her, and said “zzzzzip!”

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She wanted to reach out and touch the zipper and I encouraged her to babble the zzzz sound back to me.

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There are lots of other fun ones to try. Each time I snapped her clothes up, I said “snap snap snap”, and then let her hear the sound close to her ear.

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You can do the same for anything that clicks or buttons, even though these are subtler sounds.

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In sum, have fun when you dress your child. It will make the mundane tasks of daily dressing or folding laundry that much more enjoyable, and turn into a little lesson to boot!


Picnic-Perfect Basket

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This fun basket is a great way to involve kids in the planning for a summer picnic. It’s perfect for holding utensils and napkins: a mini basket to put in the big basket!

To assemble, Travis helped cover an empty snack box with brown cardstock. We trimmed it to fit and glued on, then let dry.

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Meanwhile, I showed him how to weave a few additional strips of brown cardstock together.The weaving was a little beyond his ability but he helped use a glue stick at each intersection I showed him to complete the weave.

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Leave one strip extra long to be your handle and glue that down on the other side of the “picnic basket.” Meanwhile, glue an empty toilet paper tube into the box. Once dry, add plastic utensils!

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We colored in a watermelon slice on pink cardstock for a touch of whimsy. I colored in a green rind and Travis added black seeds with crayon. Glue to the side of the basket.

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Finally, we colored in a piece of white cardstock as the “blanket.” Travis’s choice of gray and black seemed a littler, er, dark, so I added a few pink stripes! To make it sturdy, glue this cardstock onto corrugated cardboard, and then glue the basket onto the “blanket.”

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For the final touch, we tucked in some paper napkins. This craft makes a great caddy for kids to use all summer long, easily able to reach utensils and napkins when the family dines al fresco. Or bring it along to the next true picnic! You could even tuck in salt and pepper or a few other light items.

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Spiderweb Snacks

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Travis is so into spiders lately: finding them in our new home; discovering their webs in the garage; you name it. So no better way to foster his interest than to make a spider-themed snack! We actually tried to do this craft once before, but lacked a good vegan white chocolate at the time. This time turned out so much better. As a bonus, the webs are an example of circular symmetry, something we’e been studying lately in our play.

First, arrange 5 or 6 pretzels as the spokes of the web on wax paper.

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Meanwhile, place vegan white chocolate and non-dairy chocolate chips in zip-top bags and place in glass jars.

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Fill the jars with hot water (a grown-up step). Travis loved watching the chocolate turn from solid to melted in this method.

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Remove the bags from the water and snip a small hole in the bottom corner. We piped a big circle of chocolate in the center, and added a few raisin “flies” as victims. Oh no!

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Pipe additional circles of white chocolate to form each web.

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Then each web got a big melted chocolate spider. They were tarantulas, Travis decided. We ran out of white chocolate, so made one dark chocolate web as well. Transfer the wax paper to the fridge to cool.

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The webs will set quite quickly, at which point you can peel them off the wax paper for a neat reveal. It turned out that the dark chocolate web peeled off more easily, but they all were fantastically creepy and fun!

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