Small Toys in an Empty Wipes Container

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Today Veronika and I circled back to a game we played when she was much smaller, back then using fabric scraps. Now, with strong toddler hands, it was time to put toys in an empty wipes container!

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To kick off the game, I used pieces of toy fruit that Velcro together. I showed Veronika how to stuff them down into the container, and she was an eager copycat.

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Then we lifted the whole lid and dumped the fruit out. Next up: magnet letters! She loved making these disappear into the container, and of course we named each letter as it went in.

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We followed up with foam puzzle pieces. This time she was much more interested in taking out. Doing so requires strong hand muscles, in order to reach past the flap in the container, grip the item, and tug it out.

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Don’t be surprised if your little ones gets silly and wants to see what else fits inside. A chocolate bar?

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Finally, we played with a set of plastic bugs. Perhaps because of all the tantalizing legs and antennae, these were her favorites to put in and out.

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A very simple game that will entertain a toddler immensely!

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Wish Upon a Star

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We teach babies so much about stars, whether through songs, books, nursery rhymes and more, which has always seemed strange to me. Real stars (those distant fiery balls of gas) are not something our little ones can comprehend, and let’s be honest: they rarely even see those glowing points of light since they go to bed early!

And yet stars in the night sky have great meaning for humans, and always have, so today Veronika and I devoted some play specifically to stars.

We started off with a read of a few board books about stars, namely Touch the Brightest Star and How to Catch a Star. As we read, I opened up a can of glow-in-the-dark stars for her walls.

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These were like magic to her. She loved to pick up handfuls of them and we “twinkled” them up in the air as I sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.

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Of course put a few up on the walls, for bedtime magic!

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We finished by watching a video of “Twinkle, Twinkle”. Now when we pop outside after dark, I hope she’ll begin to make the connection with the stars we see shining in the sky.

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Before you know it she’ll be wishing on one!

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Ooey-Gluey Colors

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It’s not often that I find an art project for my 5-year-old that feels refreshingly new. This artsy idea from Highlights magazine had definite goo factor that appealed to him!

First, drip school glue all over the clear acrylic cover from an empty photo frame. We used an 8×10 frame for maximum work space.

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Drip food coloring over the glue, ideally with some restraint, although Travis loved making big puddles of color.

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Finally, use a paintbrush to smear it all together.

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The colors will swirl and mix in neat ways and make little bubbles on the acrylic. This is a fun chance to experiment with different brushstrokes.

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Let dry completely, then insert back into the photo frame (gooey side in) for instant art. These look particular pretty when the sun hits them through a window, acting almost like a suncatcher.