Play Tourist in Your Town

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I love playing “tourist” in our home town with the kids, finding new ways to appreciate and discover the same place. One perfect way to do this is to head out in search of holiday decorations in December, when the same-old same-old houses suddenly look new again decked in holiday lights. Acting on a tip for the best neighborhood in town, we headed out to play tourist!

We made it special by getting everyone in pajamas first. And Travis got a candy cane!

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Don’t forget to set the radio to the holiday station!

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Travis knew we had a particular neighborhood as our destination, but that didn’t stop us from ogling every house along the way, rating the ones we liked best.

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The recommended neighborhood did not disappoint. There were flying Santa’s sleighs, giant penguins in doorways, sparkling candy canes, and more.

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Travis took it all in with wonder!

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This was such a fun way to appreciate our town anew.

Snowdrift Detective Game

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There’s no need for real snow in order to play this game – although we have plenty of that out the door. Instead, fill a container with kosher salt and pretend to unearth the treasures that have been buried in the “snow”.

Travis helped me select a few small items from around the house, including a playing dice, rubber bands, clothespin, key, and coin.

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I wrote down all the words in a list and we glued this to the top of a mason jar lid, so we wouldn’t forget what we “buried”!

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Glue a colorful ribbon around the lid to make the jar feel festive. Now alternate adding kosher salt and the items until nearly full, leaving a bit of room at the top.

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Travis and I took turns shaking the jar and finding everything on the list. What detectives we were!

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Here’s hoping we don’t lose anything in a real snowdrift this winter.

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Rice Garden

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Here’s a fun variation on playing with rice as a sensory activity. Rice + bucket + toys never seems to grow old for tots in that 12 month to 18 month window.

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But today, instead of random toys, we made it a “garden” for Veronika to plant – and uproot!

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She loved the variation right away, pulling out the veggies, replanting the asparagus, and more.

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Of course then the fun became emptying giant handfuls of rice on the floor, which was just fine with me since I love how easy rice is to sweep up at the end.

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She kept busy with this the entire time I prepped dinner, crawling through big piles of it by the end.

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Mistress Veronika, not contrary, how does your garden grow? With lots of smiles of course!

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