DIY Lift the Flap Book

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If your toddler is at all like Veronika, then a) any lift-the-flap books you have in the house are dearly loved and b) the flaps have all been torn apart! Here’s a simple hack to make your own lift the flap book. All you need are post-its and board books.

Any kind of “First Words” book works particularly well for this game since there are lots of individual pictures to cover up. Technically, though, you could play it with any book on your child’s shelf!

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For variety, I left some of the post-it notes as full squares, and cut others into smaller squares or rectangles.

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Now simply let your child turn the pages (working those fine motor skills) and talk about the pictures he or she discovers as each post-it is ripped off (working those language skills)!

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A note of caution: You might want to avoid books that make noises. Veronika was so sidetracked by a cat meowing that she lost interest in the flaps for a while!

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But once she discovered the post-it notes could be pulled off, they were a hit.

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Plus she figured out they could double as “stickers“.

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This was a simple and novel way to engage a reluctant reader at storytime, and I highly recommend it.

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Butter-Nutty Snack Dip

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Equal parts sweet (from roasted butternut squash) and nutty (from tahini), this dip is a sure winner with kids!

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Cut the butternut squash in half, and reserve one half for a later use. Place the remaining half face down on a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes. Let cool, then scoop out the flesh.
  2. Place the squash in a bowl, along with the remaining ingredients. Mash with a potato masher until smooth.

We like this spread on crackers, but it’s great for dipping veggies, too!

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Drive Home Reading

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This activity is the advanced version of an alphabet parking lot I made for Travis back when he was in pre-school! Now he’s fast learning his sight words in Kindergarten, and I was so proud watching him drive up to the “parking spaces” I created today.

Lay out a long sheet of craft paper and draw rectangular parking spaces. I filled the spaces with common sight words, using only about ten words to start. I set out an assortment of Travis’s cars and called him over.

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“I love this game!” he said, remembering the alphabet version. I took over as the announcer, asking, “Can the orange car drive to the parking spot that says ‘in’ please,” and so on.

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It only took him a moment to scan through and find each word, which showed me he’s growing quite comfortable with these sight words.

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Of course we needed to park a silly Lego in the final space.

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He loved it so much, he immediately asked, “Can we play again!” So I quickly created a second parking lot adjacent to our first.

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He very seriously drove all the cars over. I added a few slightly tougher words, now, including “down” and “here”. That didn’t slow Travis down here in the slightest!

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Soon every car was parked. He even wanted a third round, which I didn’t have time for! I promised him a new lot, soon.