Rubbings Collage and Puzzle

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Here’s a neat way to create your own shadow puzzle, an advanced version of a game Travis and I played long ago. One child can challenge him or herself with the final product, or invite a friend or sibling fill in the puzzle once created.

First, Travis and I gathered metal items from around the house. We ended up with a coin, a paper clip, a hole punch, a spoon, and a key.

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Place the items on a piece of paper and cover with a second sheet of paper. Rub with the side of a crayon to reveal the shadow of the images underneath.

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It was interesting to see what worked well (the flatter things) and what didn’t; the spoon was quite tricky!

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We removed the items and now Travis had to match everything up to its silhouette, a challenge he enjoyed.

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Again, this was fun with one kid but would be a great game for two kids: one to make the puzzle and the other to fill it in.

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Bubbles on the Breeze

Bubbles on Breeze (5)Don’t underestimate the magic of bubbles. Blowing bubbles is an activity I remind myself to return to at intervals, since children engage with them differently as they age. The last time we did bubbles, Veronika was sitting up and just starting to crawl. Now, she’s fast as can be, and wanted to scoot after them and pop them!

So the instructions for today’s activity: Open up a bottle of bubbles and blow!

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I pointed them out to Veronika, and how they shimmered and floated.

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This little girl wants to walk, so it was also fun to hold her at the waist and help her reach out for them.

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A perfect sunlit pause.

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Make a Mailbox

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Kids just love the mail and playing mailbox, and this is true even before they fully understand what the pretend play is all about! So today I made Veronika her first mailbox, simply by cutting a slit in an old shoebox.

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We had fun decorating it together; while Veronika proudly scribbled in purple, I added “U.S. Mail” across the top and some red and blue coloration.

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It was time to send the mail! Use old envelopes or stationary or even playing cards for your “letters”. I showed her how to put them in the slot…

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…and then reach in to take them out again. She got the hang of it right away.

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Add to the pretend play by addressing a note or two to your baby. You can then pretend to “read” the mail together.

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For proof that games like this never grow old, big brother Travis needed to horn in on the action.

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Soon he was practicing his handwriting as he addressed letters, mailing them through the slot, and opening them back up again.

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It kept both of them entertained for ages!

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You can finish the fun with a trip to a real post office, or even just a stop to watch a mail carrier at work, delivering letters from the truck.

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