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A play tunnel is a fantastic gross motor toy, and worth investing in (you can find them for under $20 on Amazon). Of course there’s just the fun of crawling through it, which Veronika loves endlessly!

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I like to put my head on one end, say “peek-a-boo”, and watch her proudly crawl to catch me.

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Another cute idea is to have your baby “commute” items from one end to the other. This helps with the idea of sorting and categorizing.

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We played first with her pretend food set, having her bring the food from a basket at one end to where I waited with a second basket at the other.

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Then we tried the game with puzzle pieces.

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Veronika trotted back and forth through the tunnel, filling in pieces to the base each time.

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What games do you play with a crawl-through tunnel? Please share in the comments!

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Whole Wheat Shells with Marinara Sauce

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This super-simple marinara recipe has just a touch of sweetness. In other words, perfect for babies eating pasta with tomato-based sauce for the first time!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Cooked whole wheat pasta shells
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, agave, basil, and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, as the sauce thickens.
  3. Serve over cooked pasta shells of choice! We like the very small cavatelli that are just the right size for little fingers.

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My Gingerbread House Kiwi Crate

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Travis’s kindergarten class is doing a unit on gingerbread houses, featuring everything from social studies (types of houses) to literature (stories featuring gingerbread boys and girls) to math (patterns and shapes). Who knew so much could go into a holiday project! So I purchased Kiwi Co.’s special holiday gingerbread kit to augment the theme. Travis was so proud of his creation.

To start, fold up the cardboard house and secure with a clear plastic sticker. Travis helped glue on the rectangle roof with the provided glue stick.

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Now the decorations are really up to your little creator! Travis and I followed some of the suggestions, including cutting white felt stickers into half circles for a “Snowy Rooftop”.

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Travis wanted to add colorful pom poms and felt shapes on the roof as well.

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You can also make “Gingerbread Candy Canes” by twisting together the provided red and white pipe cleaners. Travis decided ours should be straight, instead of curving into a hook.

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Next we made “Paper Candies” by twisting a sheet of provided tissue paper around a pom pom. We glued one just above the gingerbread house door.

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Finally, our window could be “Stained Glass” by gluing a sheet of tissue paper (Travis chose blue) to the inside.

Glue down white felt on the cardboard base for a snowy scene. Travis also wanted to glue green felt to the cardboard tree, which slots together.

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He loved wrapping the two provided gingerbread people in ribbon as decoration, and was particularly proud of himself for this idea.

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Additional pom poms and crumpled bits of tissue paper finished our gingerbread scene. We love that this creation will last, unlike houses meant to be eaten!

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