Clothespins + Empty Box

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This is one of those classic games for toddlers that checks all the boxes: only two supplies needed, great for fine motor skills, and endlessly entertaining.

For Veronika at 14-months-old, I used clothespins that simply slot on (without a hinge). Older toddlers can definitely work their pincher grip here with the kind that pinch open and shut!

I set a few of the clothespins along the rim of an empty stacking box, and she immediately began pulling them off and dumping them into the box. This was great fun!

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Soon she wanted to imitate my ability to hook the clothespins on. This took a bit more coordination, turning until the slot lined up just the right way. She was so proud when she made it work!

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It kept her busy and concentrating for quite some time.

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Another fantastic toddler activity that you can put together in a, well, pinch!

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Toddler Chick’n Dinners


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Here are two ways I love to serve vegan chick’n strips to my Baby Led Weaning toddler for a full meal.

Parsnip & Chicken Dinner

Chicken Parsnip (1)

Peel and chop 4 small parsnips. Cover with water and bring to a boil; continue to cook for 20 minutes, until very soft.

Drain and return to the pan, then add 1 teaspoon Earth balance butter and mash until smooth. Serve with finely chopped Gardein chick’n strips.

Chicken, Sweet Pea, & Sweet Potato Dinner

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Microwave 1 sweet potato for about 6 minutes, or until very tender. Let cool slightly, then scoop the flesh from the peel and mash to desired consistency.

Serve with finely chopped Gardein chick’n strips and cooked green peas.


Animal Puppet Craft Challenge

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More and more I’m watching Travis take the lead when it comes to the monthly craft challenge in his Highlights magazine. This morning, I presented him with an empty paper towel tube, a few craft sticks, and construction paper, with the challenge to make an animal puppet. It didn’t take him long to get creative!

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He could immediately see how the tube would work as the body. Whereas I had envisioned the sticks only as a handle for a puppet, Travis figured his animal would need arms. As soon as he held the sticks out to the side of the tube, he declared, “A bird!”

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Now we knew we needed construction paper “feathers” for the wings.

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I helped him cut these out, along with a head and beak.

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A second little winged creature looked a bit different without the circle face. Travis declared this one was a bat! He couldn’t wait for them to dry so he could flap his puppets around.


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What animal will your kid come up with using only these materials? Please share in the comments!