DIY Star Wars Sun Prints

Lego Sun Prints (3).JPG

Travis has been obsessed with Star Wars lately, so we used a favorite summer art activity (sun prints) to make DIY room decor!

Print out templates of your child’s favorite characters heads. Favorites around here include Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, but many of the character’s heads or helmets will make iconic shadows.

Cut out the templates and place on colored construction paper. Set in the sun for at least a few hours – the longer the better!

Lego Sun Prints (1)

Travis loved the shadowy images we achieved and proudly hung them in his room.

Lego Sun Prints (4)

Don’t forget you can play this game with plenty of other objects, too. Cookie cutters make cute decor for Veronika’s side of the room.

Lego Sun Prints (2)

Crawl Space Race

Crawl Space Race (3)

Big brother’s toys are so tempting to Veronika, but I usually keep her in a safe playroom filled only with baby toys. When she manages to break free into the hallway, she looks immensely satisfied with herself. Today, I indulged her desire for freedom and turned it into a little game. Here comes trouble…

Crawl Space Race (5)

Definitely only play this game with toys that are safe for a baby even if they belong to a big sibling. We set up a few large superheroes as the grand prize. You can cover them with a blanket or basket for extra excitement.

Crawl Space Race (4)

Travis knelt down next to Veronika until I gave the green light. And they’re off!

Crawl Space Race (6)

She had no idea she was having a race, of course, she was just having a blast! Meanwhile, Travis had the thrill of a chase and the satisfaction of winning.

Crawl Space Race (7)

Now it was Veronika versus mommy! I crawled along at her pace to her absolute delight, and we reached the toys together.

Crawl Space Race (8)

You can also deliberately let your baby crawl ahead of you, which gives you the chance to tickle little toes.

Crawl Race alt.JPG

There are lots of variations on this game. Introduce silly concepts like “The last one there is a rotten egg!” or have the race be to a person instead of a toy.

Crawl Space Race (9)

What games do you play with your little crawler? Please share in the comments!

Crawl Race var

Refresh Your Wardrobe

Refresh Wardrobe (1)

Today’s activity is one of those for mama, not baby. The goal: to refresh your wardrobe.

I knew I needed this challenge! My go-to dresses all summer have been the same ones I wore last summer (i.e. maternity clothes) because they are loose and are perfect for nursing. But it was also nice to think about shopping for clothes that were just for my body, not for a body that’s pregnant or lactating.

I headed off to the mall, but somehow this didn’t feel right, too indulgent. At least Veronika was napping so the mall was a nice cool place for it!

Refresh Wardrobe (5)

I kept getting distracted by baby stores; I was out of the habit of indulging myself since I only buy kids’ clothes these days!

Refresh Wardrobe (6)

I backtracked to a local store, because it always feels good to shop local. Veronika was awake now, and loved playing in the dressing room.

Refresh Wardrobe (3)

And mama got a little wardrobe refresh after all. In sum, take the time to do these things for yourself. Baby gets a fun outing, and you get to practice some self-care.

Refresh Wardrobe (7)

 

Meteor Meatballs

Meteor Meatballs (5)

These meatballs were the second recipe in Travis’s cosmic cuisine-themed Raddish Kids, meant to mimic meteors from space (and get it meat-ier meatballs?). We made ours with Raddish’s excellent vegan suggestion for chickpeas in place of chicken.

To start, Travis helped peel 3 cloves of garlic. I minced them and we put in a large bowl. Finely chop 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves and add to the garlic.

Meteor Meatballs (1)

Next I showed him how to grate zucchini against a box grater; he loved it! Add 1 cup to the garlic mixture, along with 2/3 cup canned or frozen corn.

Meteor Meatballs (2)

Next we made a flax egg: whisk 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed into 3 tablespoons water and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir into the zucchini mixture, along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Meteor Meatballs (3)

Add 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan sprinkles and 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs. Finally, drain 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas and pulse in a food processor until crumbly. Add to the mixture. Time to get messy! I was so proud of Travis, getting his hands right in there to mush it up, and I showed him how to roll a meatball.

Meteor Meatballs (4)

Arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet covered with foil and greased with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Travis ate – I kid you not! – half of the recipe in one sitting. This either means he’s having a growth spurt or speaks directly to how awesome the meatballs are. Or both! We served with onion ring “Saturn rings” for a fun veggie side dish.

Meteor Meatballs (6)

As he dined, we read the recipe card facts about various space rocks (meteoroids versus comets etc.), and learned a bit more about meals in space for astronauts.

Meteor Meatballs (7)

For a little dessert fun, we repeated an old favorite: marshmallow constellations!

Marshmallow Constellations (1)

All you need are marshmallows (try Dandie’s for a vegan brand) and toothpicks. This time, I really challenged Travis to follow along with a provided diagram and piece together one of the simpler star formations.

Marshmallow Constellations (3)

After some puzzling, he was able to put together Libra!

Marshmallow Constellations (4)

Meanwhile, mommy worked on some intricate ones, like Ursa Major and Scorpius.

Marshmallow Constellations (6)

Travis then decided he preferred to make his own, and soon had this stick person constellation.

Marshmallow Constellations (7)

Don’t forget to clean up – by eating them, of course.

Marshmallow Constellations (5)