Black Bean & Carrot Mash

Black Bean & Carrot

This mash of beans and carrot puree will thicken as it cools. Once thickened, it’s perfect to pick up by the handful for little ones who are baby led weaning!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) drained and rinsed can black beans
  • 4 ounces carrot puree
  1. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.

Yogurt Ice

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These easy “popsicles” will be fun for your baby to eat in the high chair, or perhaps just amusing to play with! You can puree any fresh fruit to equal 1/2 cup for the recipe; in a pinch, use a fruit pouch from the baby food aisle. Veronika’s favorite is a peach/apricot blend.

Since I didn’t want Veronika to hurt herself on long popsicle sticks, I found a great alternative; milkshake-sized straws cut to about the length of her fist. Just supervise closely at feeding time and remove the sticks if they come free from the yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5-ounce) plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fruit puree
  1. Stir together the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Divide evenly among the compartments of an ice cube tray, and insert the straw “sticks”. Freeze until solid.

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Play Dough Sensory Bag

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I’ve been on a recent kick of making sensory bags for Veronika, a great way to enable my little imp to play with messy materials that might otherwise end up in her mouth. Safely inside a plastic bag, even the messiest items are a go!

Normally for a ten-month-old I’d whip up homemade play dough for added security, but since it was going in the bag, I used the store-bought kind.

I added a few craft beads in fun flower shapes that she would be able to squish into the play dough. Now it was simply a matter of sealing and watching her squish away!

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Veronika loved grabbing at the bag.

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I showed her how to squish the hard beads into the soft dough, talking about texture as we played. The contrast seemed to really interest her.

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I felt comfortable leaving this one around for her to play with since there was no liquid to spill, even in case of a slight tear.

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A fantastic way to keep her busy, in sum!

Leaf Canvas Craft Challenge

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What was this month’s craft challenge from Highlights magazine? To use a leaf as the canvas for painting! You’ll want to use acrylic pants for the craft, which will hold up better than tempera paint.

No doubt there are fantastic artists who could create a whole miniature scene on their leaf. For my kindergartner, the project was more about the novelty of using nature as the canvas.

We found some giant leaves on a nature walk and knew those were the ones to use!

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At first, he painted along the lines of the leaf’s veins, which was great for reinforcing a recent science unit on trees and nutrition.

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Then he had fun blending colors and seeing how they mixed on the leaf.

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At the end, he liked making big blobs of paint.

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Whether your little Picasso makes something abstract, something highly detailed, or just has fun smearing paint, this was a simple and fun alternative to painting on paper.

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