Follow Me

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Today I focused on gross motor skills during Veronika’s play. The title of this post refers both to literally having your little one follow you (up, down, and all around an obstacle course), as well as the idea of following directions. Both are great skills for your little toddler!

I set up a few couch cushions for a standard obstacle course, but added a few new twists today, namely a laundry basket and balls. She trotted over immediately to see what was up!

First, I showed her how to roll balls down one of the cushions. She loved doing so, with a big push.

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Next it was time to follow me, modeling how to crawl down the ramp. Crawling down can be tricky for little ones, so supervise closely.

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We headed back in the other direction where she followed my lead to toss balls into the basket.

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Next we upended the basket and I turned it into a choo-choo train. I went first (“Follow me!”) but soon she was the thrilled conductor.

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She played games with the balls on the cushions even after I stopped being the leader.

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You can add so many more elements to an obstacle course like this, whether a jump rope (to walk a straight line), a box (to scoot around the room), or just about anything else that can work your toddler’s gross motor skills.

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Make Your Own Pinata

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Travis has been learning about birthday traditions around the world, and one that especially intrigued him was the Mexican pinata. It seemed like a fun idea to make our own!

Full disclosure: we worked with materials from a kit, but if you’re doing this craft completely DIY, you’ll need to cut two equal-sized circles from cardboard, as well as a third strip of cardboard to be the loop between them. Tape the three pieces together, leaving a slot through which you can later add candy or other treats.

Cut strips of yellow paper, and then snip them half-way up to make fringe. Travis liked the challenge of this step.

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Now begin gluing the strips onto the cardboard base, working from the bottom up.

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Ours wasn’t perfect, but soon we had a fringed yellow face!

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We added fun details like sunglasses and a smile cut from additional colored paper. Tape a string to the top of the pinata and loop it onto a stick. I held the stick aloft, while Travis took a swing!

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For extra authenticity, kids can swing blindfolded.

If you don’t have candy, fill the inside of the pinata with fun confetti or even pom poms. Travis was ecstatic once the pinata had a tear and the pom poms rained down.

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Strawberry Applesauce

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This chunky applesauce is a great homemade alternative to store-bought pouches, and a nice way to introduce berry flavor to toddlers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled and chopped apple
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 12 minutes, until the fruit is very tender.
  2. Mash with a potato masher and cool before serving.

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