Classic Beating on Pots & Pans

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Today I needed to keep Veronika occupied while baking banana bread, so I pulled out an old classic: a kitchen percussion set made from pots and pans.

For novelty, though, I made today’s focus less about the musical element and more about sensory play. I provided her with several different types of baking ware: a saucepan, a muffin tin, and a loaf pan. We started out drumming with bare hands, and I drew her attention to the sound this made.

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Then I set out a variety of implements to be drum sticks, everything from spatulas to wooden spoons to cookie scoops.

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Look for a variety of materials in your kitchen; we had soft silicone, wood, metal, and more. I sat with Veronika and asked her about the different sounds she was hearing. She grinned up at me and tested them all!

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When I showed her how to swirl the whisk in a muffin cup or saucepan, she was an eager mimic.

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You can also make piles and see how this changes the sounds around. If the loaf pan was on top of the muffin pan, it sounded different (more metallic) than when it sat alone on the floor.

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Once our little sensory lesson was done, Veronika kept busy by herself as mommy finished up the banana bread. A win-win!

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Cruise Control

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Veronika loves pulling upĀ these days, anywhere and everywhere, and is making those first moves towards walking. To safely encourage those first few steps, one great practice area is a cruising station!

I lined up a few child-sized chair in our kitchen, with the backs securely against a cabinet so they couldn’t tip. I started Veronika at one end and placed a tantalizing toy on the other end, hoping to encourage her to side-step.

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It turned out she was way more interested in the circular back of the chair where I had started her than in the toy!

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So thinking quickly, I reversed her and started her on the other end. Now she had incentive…

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She moved her hands…

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…and then her little feet followed. Soon she had the gist of it, and arrived at her goal so proudly.

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Success!

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Eventually, I did put the toy back on the other chair, and this time she knew how to side-step on over.

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This game was a fantastic success for gross motor development, and enjoyable to boot.

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Banana Bread

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This nut-free banana bread is sweetened with agave and applesauce and has no added oil. Perfect for babies and toddlers, in other words, but big kids love it, too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup melted Earth Balance butter
  • 2 tablespoons thawed apple juice concentrate
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe bananas
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Pour the applesauce into a large bowl and stir in the remaining baking powder. Whisk in the butter, apple juice, agave, and vanilla.
  3. Mash the bananas in a bowl and add to the applesauce mixture.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour; a wooden pick inserted in the center should come out clean.

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