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)

Create Holiday Cards

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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)