Roll It Out

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One thing I love to do with the kids is find items around the house that aren’t actually toys, but that can easily be used in play. Large exercise balls fit the bill perfectly, and here’s some simple fun Veronika and I had with one today.

First, I tapped on the ball; it made a perfect vibrating drum. Have fun with this, alternating the rhythm fastfastfastfast and slow    slow    slow.

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Then I placed Veronika on her tummy on the ball and rocked it ever so slightly.

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This is a fantastic way to build muscles if our little one is still doing tummy time, but even as a “big kid” Veronika loved it.

What’s your favorite “non toy” toy around the house? Please share in the comments!


Monster Balloon Decorating

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Blow up these “monsters” to decorate the house on the eve of Halloween! The LED lights should last about 48 hours.

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Travis was thrilled with the little balloon lights (you can find these at party stores). Turn one on and slip into an uninflated balloon, then blow up.

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I had pre-cut a few monster features for Travis on sticky-back black craft foam. As an alternative, you can make mouths, eyes, and noses on black cardstock and use a glue stick to attach to the balloons. But we found that the sticky backing made things very easy!

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Our monsters were wiggly and wobbly as we decorated them; it was ultimately easier to hold them between my legs than to tape them onto a table, which we had tried first.

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The darker it gets, the more your monsters glow!

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Travis loved having these creatures around to set the mood for Halloween.

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Haunted Hummus and Pita Chips

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Here’s a final spooky recipe to thrill your kids this Halloween! This was the last recipe in Travis’s Spooky Kitchen kit from Raddish Kids. He was less interested in the cooking for this one, but did enjoy the eating, especially when I called it Vampire Dip instead!


For the pita chips:

  • 3 large pitas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the black hummus:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. To prepare the chips, cut each pita into 8 wedges. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, mixing well with your hands.
  2. Arrange the pita wedges in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (use two sheets, if needed). Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the hummus: drain the black beans in a colander and transfer to a blender.
  4. Smash and peel the garlic clove; add to the blender.
  5. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze over a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons juice to the blender.
  6. Add the tahini, 3 tablespoons olive oil, water, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; blend until creamy.
  7. Scoop the hummus into a serving dish and arrange the pita chips around it.

Travis loved the spooky madlibs we put together as he snacked, a great mini lesson on parts of speech with a silly Halloween dinner party as the result.

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You can also read facts about hummus on the recipe card, and solve a Spooky Word Ladder if your kids are readers. Happy haunting!