Where Is Your Nose?

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When Veronika was still a baby, I introduced body parts through fun games, sometimes focusing on one body part for a whole day, but not expecting her yet to know what was what!

Here’s an update on that game now that she’s a toddler; today we made it more of a ‘Simon Says’. For each body part, I would first point to the one on my body. “Here are my fingers,” I said, wiggling them. Then I posed the question: “Where are your fingers?”

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Over the course of the game, she proudly wiggled her fingers, pointed out her own toes and knees, touched her shoulders, and tapped her head, following my lead each time.

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Her favorite body part is her belly. “Where is your belly? I asked. She loves to share it, and then she needed to see mine!

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You can reinforce the game with any book that focuses on body parts.

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Although she’s young for it, we read through Head to Toe by Eric Carle, with an action to accompany each body part. She loved seeing Baby act it out!

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It was a delight to see how many of these words she now knows, recognizes, and says.

Soap Crayons and Bath Paint

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Some baths are for getting clean, but sometimes a bath is meant for playing! To wit, this afternoon I treated Veronika to an extra long bath just so she could enjoy some arts and crafts in the tub.

The bath is a perfect place for your toddler to experiment with art. What’s easier than a mess that can literally be washed down the drain?

We started out with soap crayons. You can make your own, but I skipped the labor of love and instead purchased a set from Sud Smart Bath Toys.

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Unfortunately they snapped into small pieces easily, but that didn’t deter Veronika from having a blast.

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Imagine her delight that she could scribble everywhere without being reprimanded!

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I made lots of squiggles and swirls for her, too, since you have to press hard with these crayons and her efforts didn’t always produce much color. Since we’re working on her budding vocabulary and object recognition, I drew simple shapes that she knows the word for, like the sun and birds.

Next up, we swapped out the crayons for paint! For an easy bath paint, look no further than the medicine cabinet: foamy shaving cream.

I squirted a generous amount of shaving cream into each of three cups and added a few drops of natural food coloring to each, resulting in pretty pastel colors. Insert a paintbrush into each color.

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As with a recent edible paint, Veronika first just loved plunging the paintbrush up and down in the mixture.

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Once I showed her how to smear it on the tub walls, she was game!

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I also lathered some on one wall in a thick canvas, hoping she would run the paintbrush through.

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She was more into the fact that she could paint it on her hands, though. Look mommy!

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Throw in a little education if you want, writing letters (your child’s initials are always fun) or shapes. And when it’s done, just rinse it down the drain.

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Valentine’s Day Marbled Messages

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Your kid can wow the class this year with these swirled heart cards. Classmates will love learning that the marbled colors were made with shaving cream paint!

To set up, Travis and I filled a shallow craft bin with a thick layer of shaving cream. Add generous drops of food coloring in multiple colors and stir with a skewer.

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Press a thick piece of white paper firmly onto the surface of the shaving cream.

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Lift up and scrape off the excess shaving cream with the side of a ruler. Travis loved the big blobs of shaving cream this produced!

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Repeat as needed for the desired amount of Valentines. We found we needed to add more food coloring to the shaving cream base after pressing in 3 sheets of paper. Let dry completely.

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Once dry, we traced hearts onto the paper with a cookie cutter and cut out. Cut red and pink construction paper into 8×5-inch rectangles and fold in half. Glue one heart to the cover of each card.

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Don’t forget to write a sweet message inside! Prefer your class Valentines with a little less mess? Check out past ideas for necklaces, bookmarks, and even “tacos“!

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Flower-Power Pendants

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Kids will love this novel bubble-based painting method. The resulting pendant necklaces are perfect for class Valentines!

To create the bubble paint, fill a short cup with 3 tablespoons dish soap, 1 tablespoon water, and 2 tablespoons paint. In order to make our cups short enough, I snipped the top half from regular 8-ounce paper cups.

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Use a straw to blow into the mixture and you’ll create colored bubbles that rise to the surface. Press a piece of thick white paper firmly over the top. Repeat with more bubbles and more pressing until you’ve covered the sheet of paper, then let dry.

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Travis loved that the bubbles toppled over the edge of our cup each time; needless to say, this is a bit of a messy project! We repeated with three different paint colors.

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Once dry, cut the pages into flower shapes, repeating for the desired amount of Valentines.

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Punch a hole in each flower and thread with cord (available at craft stores), to complete each necklace.

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On the back, we wrote the sweet message, “You’re a great bud!”

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