Crumbly Coconut Dough

Coconut Dough (2)

With about 2 feet of snow outside, we needed something tropical around here! This easy sensory dough was the perfect indoor amusement.

Coconut Dough (1)

In a shallow bin, combine 1 cup coconut milk with about 2 cups cornstarch. You may have to adjust the ratios slightly; at first I had something similar to ooblek, but dusting the mixture with just a bit more cornstarch made it perfect. I crumbled it between my fingers and it began to look – and smell – like tropical sand!

Coconut Dough (3)

Add any fun items that will heighten the tropical vibe. I had a few bright purple flowers, as well as some star fish from the craft store. Veronika enjoyed plucking the flowers out, and testing their texture.

Coconut Dough (4)

More than anything, she loved simply stirring at the “sand”. This was a great way to keep busy and feel warm on a winter day.

How to… Build a Snow Fort

 

Snow Fort (g)

It’s only the third day of December and Travis is on the second snow day off from school. That meant we had to test out Highlights magazine’s tips for making the best snow fort!

Highlights recommended first delineating an area for your fort with a stick. We used a shovel instead, making a big square on our patio and then mounding up the walls to give us a base.

Snow Fort (a)

To make bricks for the walls, fill a rectangular container with snow. Drizzle with a little water, than add a final layer of snow on top.

Snow Fort (3)

Depending on the consistency of your snowfall, you may or may not need that extra water. We soon found that we did not – today anyway! Continue building until you have several layers of “bricks”.

Snow Fort (h)

We even tried adding windows.

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Simply twist an empty soup can to drill a little peephole.

Snow Fort var

Even more fun was adding food color to a spritz bottle; now we could decorate our fort’s walls with art (though I wish Travis hadn’t opted for orange!).

 

Snow Fort (f)

Travis loved being in charge of the “moat”, shoveling a long path away from our fort.

Snow Fort (d)

And we even armed ourselves with ammo, in case enemies (i.e. neighborhood friends) happened to storm the castle!

Snow Fort (i)

Don’t forget a side door to sneak out of! What special activities to you do on a snow day off from school? Please share in the comment!

Snow Fort (j)

Chickpea Noodle Soup

Chickpea Noodle Soup (4)

Of all the vegan variations helpfully provided by Raddish Kids, this one deviated most from the original ingredients and purpose of the recipe Travis received in his kit. Based on a Turkey Noodle Soup recipe intended to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, the vegan variation was a chickpea soup. There was no vegan suggestion for the egg noodles in the original, so we opted for elbow macaroni. Now we had more of a classic broth and bean soup cooked over a mirepoix. But it was perfect timing for a boy home from school with a cold on a snow day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 (15-ounce) drained and rinsed can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  1. Peel and chop the onion. Chop the carrot and celery, and mince the garlic. Set these vegetables as in a bowl; they will be your flavor base.Chickpea Noodle Soup (1)
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the vegetable mixture, along with the salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes.Chickpea Noodle Soup (2)
  3. Add the broth, water, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then stir in the pasta. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the parsley, then spoon into bowls to serve.

This was the first recipe that’s ever gotten Travis to enjoy chickpeas, so a big winner!

Chickpea Noodle Soup (3)

Your kidsĀ  can enjoy information about other flavor bases from around the world (this one uses the French mirepoix) as well as some turkey trivia as you dine.

Create Holiday Cards

Hospital Card (5).JPG

This holiday season, I’m trying to help Travis understand the meaning of charity a little more deeply. It’s never too early to model charitable giving, especially around the holidays, but you also don’t want to alarm young children with issues like illness and poverty.

One action that’s just right for kindergarten age kids is to spread holiday cheer through cards. Cards for Hospitalized Kids accepts letters all year long, but you can easily tailor it with a holiday message in December.

Travis has a cold right now, which helped him sympathize; he was alarmed to learn that some children have illnesses that last much longer than a cold, and need to live in a hospital. He was immediately excited to make a card for these boys and girls.

Hospital Card (1)

Following the organization’s guidelines, we designed a card and Travis wrote his own Merry Christmas message. We thought happy face stickers were just right for adding a bit of cheer.

Hospital Card (2)

We added just a touch of glitter. When I asked him if he wanted me to draw a Christmas tree on the inside, he insisted on drawing it himself!

Hospital Card (4)

I was proud of the generosity that went into this one project. More to follow as the lead-up to Christmas continues!

Hospital Card (6)