Picnic Scene Craft Challenge

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Travis loves the open-ended craft challenge he finds in his Highlights magazine every month, having crafted robots and camping tents in the past, among others. Today, we wanted to make a picnic scene using nothing more than colored paper, cotton balls, and paint.

I loved the little method that Travis came up with. First he needed a paper base, and he chose green grass. We glued down a separate square of colored paper for the blanket.

Everything else in the little scene was made of cotton balls, which he dipped into paint and then glued on!

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It definitely was a five-year-old’s take on a challenge for kids as big as age 12, but I loved watching his process. There was green cotton ball grass:

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Orange cotton ball food:

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And pink cotton ball people! He then made some black cotton ball ants.

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He loved carefully pouring the paint onto each cotton ball before gluing them down, and enjoyed it so much that he wanted to make a second version. This time his pink person dined on yellow lemonade.

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Dropping Objects

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Impish Veronika has discovered the joy of dropping objects and making mama pick them back up again; this is actually an important skill, both for her motor skills and for object permanence (and for sense of humor!). Whether from the highchair…

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or from the grocery cart…

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…she is a little imp about it these days.

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You can use baby’s enjoyment of this game to your advantage with at-home dropping games!

First, I sat with Veronika in front of a bin of toys that needed cleaning up and showed her how to drop one in.

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Say a cheerful “oopsie!” or “dropsie!” with each toy that lands, to up the entertainment factor.

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Pretty soon she was cleaning up all her toys without knowing it.

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You can also do this game with socks in front of a low dresser drawer.

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Okay, Veronika isn’t really helping me put away the laundry, but she loved watching me drop in the socks, or trying it herself.

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The drawer wasn’t the right height for her to play by herself, so I set her up with an open box to continue the fun.

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Perhaps if you play this enough, your little one will tire of it and you can end round after round of highchair dropsie.

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Or maybe not!

Pick Which Bowl

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Here’s a little challenge for your baby if you want to keep him or her entertained the next time they sit in a highchair.

I let Veronika see a few pieces of banana (cut into safe pieces) and placed them on her tray.

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Note: Any other soft fruit would work just as well here, like soft ripe peaches or apricots. Cover the fruit pieces with one bowl and place a second bowl next to it. Ideally, I would have liked my bowls to match but certainly Veronika didn’t seem to mind the mismatch.

Encourage your baby to find the fruit and pick up the bowl it’s hiding under.

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If the fruit was underneath, I made a big show of it and celebrated with a hearty cheer.

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Arguably Veronika was more interested in the bowls themselves than in the fruit she discovered, but it still made for a fun little game as I prepped dinner. It certainly kept her hands busy!

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If your child seems excited about it, play with three bowls to make it more challenging.