Spot the Dot


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This silly activity is a fun way to build self awareness for young toddlers, learning that hey, that baby in the mirror is… me!

To help foster this awareness, I put a small splotch of lipstick on Veronika’s cheek while we were playing.

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A few minutes later we headed to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Hello baby in the mirror!

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She loves waving to the mirror, but this time she seemed to realize something was different. I helped point out the dot on her cheek, which – once noticed – was endlessly amusing.

As a variation, next I put a hat on her head. Now she knew something was different right away. She loved grabbing onto the hat.

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And then seemed to offer to put this tiara on the baby in the mirror!

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It’s early for her to truly tell that she’s the one looking back from the glass, but games like this will get her there.

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Lemon-Glazed Sugar Cookies

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It’s not Christmas until you’ve made cut-out sugar cookies! This recipe was more of a mommy project, not a kid recipe like some others in our kitchen this holiday season, but kids will love helping to decorate the cookies in the final step.


For the cookies:

  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

To decorate:

  • Chopped pistachios
  • Sprinkles
  1. To prepare the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Whisk the flaxseed into the water to make 1 flax egg. Add to the stand mixer, along with the vanilla, and beat until combined.
  3. Beat in the flour mixture at low speed until a dough forms.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk and roll between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thick. Use holiday cookie cutters to cut out shapes of your choice. Transfer to 2 parchment-paper lined baking sheets.Lemon Sugar Cookies (1)
  5. Chill the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, then bake at 350 degrees F for 11 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets.
  6. To prepare the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Spread over the cookies and return to the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with desired toppings.

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Let dry completely, and then it’s time for pretty packaging! To gift the cookies, transfer them to wax paper bags and fold over the top. Add a holiday cupcake liner. Use a hole punch to punch through all the layers, then secure with a brad.

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Of course don’t forget to save some for your family… And a few for Santa!

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