# Proportional Pie

Much like the magnetic hearts that Travis and I crafted today, this project is a fun way to teach kids about symmetry… With the added bonus that it’s edible!

Unlike linear symmetry, this project shows circular symmetry. You can point out to your child things in nature that show symmetry in a circle like this, including starfish and spider webs.

For the ready-to-eat equivalent, bake a pre-made pie shell according to package directions and let cool. (Note: A convenient vegan go-to is Wholly Wholesome).

Spoon a thick layer of non-dairy yogurt into the pie.

Set out plates of berries or other fruits for your child to use as decoration and score the top of the yogurt so the pie is divided into 4 equal portions.

(Note: Bigger kids might want to do this with six portions, but four seemed easier for my kindergartner to handle).

I placed a strawberry in one quarter of the pie. How many strawberries should each of the other three sections receive? Travis quickly added 1 strawberry to each.

Next I placed two blueberries in one section. At first he placed his blueberries any which way, but I showed him how to place them not just in the right quadrant, but also the same place.

“Is it ready to eat?” he wanted to know. Almost!

We added just a few more blueberry and strawberry decorations to help him see the symmetry, and then it was time to scoop into the pie. What delicious fun!

# Magnetic Hearts

This quick craft not only teaches about the topic of symmetry, but is also a fantastic way to explore the properties of magnets!

To cut out symmetrical hearts, fold cardstock in half and draw half a heart; cut out.

I thought to only have Travis help cut out the accompanying two long rectangles we would need from each color of cardstock, but he insisted on cutting out the heart himself – great practice along curves!

Open up the paper to reveal a symmetrical heart, then cut it in half.

Fold the rectangular strips you’ve cut out accordion style to form 5 pleats.

Fold this strip around itself to form a square and use tape or glue to adhere shut.

Tape a magnet to one side of the square, facing towards the center of your heart.

Tape down onto the heart and repeat on the other side.

Now, your two heart halves will snap together!

The other fun way to do this is to deliberately set up the magnets to repel each other. Travis loved chasing halves of hearts around the play room this way!

As you play, have a quick talk about attraction and repulsion in magnets, and you’ll have thrown a little learning into the fun.

# This Little Piggy… and Rabbit?

“This Little Piggy” is a favorite and anticipated game around here now for Veronika, especially since she’s at an age where she can anticipate that tickle under the chin. Today, we mixed it up with other animals. First she had piggy toes, of course.

And a big tickle!

But then she had… ducky toes?

And bunny toes!

What other silly versions of “This Little Piggy” do you and your baby play? Please share in the comments!

# Puppet Play

Veronika and I played with puppets today in a few cute ways. Babies adore puppets, likely earning you huge grins no matter how amateur your show. So pull out the puppets or make a few, and have fun!

For a simple homemade version, consider making puppets for whatever song or story your baby currently likes best. Veronika loves Itsy Bitsy Spider, so I made a nice big spider (a purple color, cute top hat and smile ensured that he was a friendly spider, and yes I know that my arachnid is missing a set of legs), and a bright orange sun.

Tape your puppets to popsicle sticks and you’re ready for the show!

I sat Veronika down in her crib which made the perfect “stage.” As I sang the song, the spider and the sun took turns coming out – much to her delight!

Next we moved on to hand puppets.

I regaled her with characters popping up over the crib rail, everything from a doctor to a firefighter to a pirate.

She loved watching the puppet hands move and getting kisses on the cheek.

Somebody’s having fun!

There’s a reason shows like Sesame Street have endured for so many years; puppets can bring comfort down the line, as well as amusement. We like using puppets to search for other toys that have gotten lost, or to help illustrate emotions.