Creamy Pasta Salad

Creamy Pasta Salad a

A creamy dressing is a nice way to dress up pasta, making this one appeal to the whole family!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy ranch or goddess dressing
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 and 1/2 cups rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup quarter cherry tomatoes
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, dressing, milk, vinegar, and mustard. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta and carrots in boiling water for about 7 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente and the carrots are tender. Drain.
  3. Add the pasta mixture to the bowl with the dressing, along with the cucumber and tomatoes.

Creamy Pasta Salad b

Contact Collage

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Sticky contact paper might just be the perfect medium for art projects with toddlers; everything sticks instantly but there’s no glue required (i.e. no mess and no drying time). This particular project also incorporates great ways to talk about shapes, build vocabulary, and more.

To start, I taped a piece of contact paper up to the wall, and peeled off the backing so the sticky side faced Veronika. You can make this surface as small or as large as you want. Feel free to cover the full length of a wall! Veronika trotted over and was quite curious about the way the paper stuck to her fingertips.

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I gave her a pile of things to stick up on the paper, including pictures cut from magazines and fabric scraps in various textures, everything from soft cotton to bumpy burlap to fuzzy felt.

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She immediately began sticking things up, declaring, “Sticker, sticker!”

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I let her select which items to put on where. The magazine pictures interested her far more than the fabric to begin with, and I said the name of each item (“dog!”) as she applied it.

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For a little learning, I cut some of the fabric scraps into squares and others into triangles. I also pointed out the different textures as she hung them, using descriptive words for how each one felt.

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She was so proud arranging and rearranging her canvas. Although the magazine pictures were stuck in place, the fabric could be pulled off and moved elsewhere.

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My girl looked so big, standing at her artwork. This one really made me feel like I have a toddler, no longer a baby.

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What a masterpiece!

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Crumple Crazy

Crumple Crazy (4)

Glue + crinkly tissue paper? This art project is a toddler’s dream come true!

To make a glue solution that isn’t quite so sticky, I first mixed a little white glue with a splash of water in each compartment of a paint tray. This turned into a nice solution that was just sticky enough, but wouldn’t immediately do damage if Veronika got it on her hands or face.

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She was wild about dipping a paint brush into it! I showed her how to smear the gluey mixture over cardboard. (Note: Use any piece of cardboard from packaging for this project, or an old cereal box, or even sturdy construction paper).

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Next, I tore off pieces of white tissue paper and showed her how to crumple them into little pieces. These could stick perfectly onto her gluey cardboard. Could we hide all the glue?

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It turns out that she loved lifting off the crumpled pieces, pulling them off the sticky surface and then putting them right back on again. Or tossing them to the floor!

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Once there had been enough sticky glue play, the fun continued with extra tissue paper on the ground. Shake the pieces overhead, or crumple them close to the ear and talk about the sound it makes.

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I thought for sure she would want to tear the tissue paper up, but that didn’t interest her. Instead, we crumpled them into tight balls that were great for tossing… and kicking!

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How will your toddler play with tissue paper? Please share in the comments!