Melting Race

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Here’s a clear way for even kindergartners to learn about how temperature affects states of matter: have a “race” between two toys trapped in ice, and see which one emerges first!

Before heading off to school, Travis selected two toys that fit into paper cups. We filled the cups with water and placed them in the freezer. By the time he got home, the toys were trapped in giant ice cubes. Oh no! Peel off the paper cups, and place the resulting ice blocks in larger plastic cups.

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We filled these cups with water, one cold, and one warm (don’t use hot or the race will be over too quickly!). Travis was proudly in charge of pouring the cold water.

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He hypothesized that the warm cup would melt the ice faster, and the results were immediately evident. Within a few minutes, the front wheels of the truck were already out of the ice. “It’s coming free!” he exclaimed.

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About 15 minutes later, the car was completely free. Meanwhile the poor dinosaur was still in ice for hours, only breaking free at bedtime.

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower SOup

This soup is full of good-for-you tidbits like cauliflower and potatoes and toddlers will love the creamy consistency.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the potatoes, cauliflower, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, bay leaf, and yogurt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.
  3. Remove the bay leaf, then mash with a potato masher until the soup is chunky. If your kids prefer a smoother soup, transfer to a blender and puree instead.

Cream of Wheat Imagination Bowl

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One of Veronika’s latest words is “truck” and she has a set of construction trucks that she loves to play with, just right for toddler-sized hands. Today, I engaged her imagination by making an indoor “construction site”. Cream of wheat made the perfect base for this easy sensory play; it’s simple to clean up from floors or wipe off of clothing, and it also makes it okay if a toddler decides to taste the “sand”, resulting in a much more pleasant experience than an outdoor sandbox!

Once I demonstrated how she could drive her trucks through the pretend construction zone, she jumped right to it. I showed her how she could use the bulldozer blade to push through the cream of wheat, which was a big hit.

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I loved watching her concentration as she carefully sprinkled “sand” into the dump truck.

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She also loved just vrooming the various trucks, which made fun tracks in the “sand”.

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Trucks lend themselves naturally to lots of onomatopoeia as you play. Be sure to makeĀ  beeps and vrooms and other car noises, and your toddler is sure to join in!

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What a great way to get the imagination going and have hands-on sensory play.

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