Rainbow Craft Challenge

Rainbow Challenge (5)

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Travis’s art challenge from Highlights magazine was to make a rainbow using tissue paper, glue, and… anything from the recycling bin!

So of course first we had to dump everything from the bin onto the floor. Travis loved going through the pile, including boxes and tubes and cans that we didn’t ultimately use for the project (some of which became props for his games all afternoon).

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A pizza box was the largest piece of cardboard available so that became our base. We glued down blue tissue paper for a quick background.

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I had bought tissue paper in every color of the rainbow, and assumed we would tear these into tiny pieces. But Travis had other ideas, and I loved watching him twist a sheet of each color into a rope, then glue these in rainbow order.

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A black bottle cap made a pot of gold and white tissue paper glued on to a container lid became a puffy cloud. Clever!

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Here’s hoping we have some extra luck whenSt. Patrick’s Day rolls around next week.

Peanutty Overnight Oats

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These individual servings of overnight oats are perfect for hectic mornings since most of the prep happens the night before.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups plain soy milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sliced banana
  • 4 teaspoons agave nectar
  1. Divide the oats and chia evenly among 4 small mason jars. Pour 1/2 cup milk over each serving and stir. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, mash the raspberries and sugar together in a small bowl with a fork. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. In the morning, spoon 2 tablespoons raspberry mixture over each jar of oatmeal, along with 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 2 tablespoons banana slices. Drizzle with the agave nectar.

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Chick’n Pot Pie Muffins

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Croutons are the secret for the “crust” in these individual-sized pot pies. As a result, they make fantastic toddler finger food!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance butter, melted
  • 4 cups croutons
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Gardein chick’n strips, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup vegan ranch dressing
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
  1. In a saucepan, whisk together the broth and melted butter. Heat over medium heat until warm. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the croutons, chick’n, mixed vegetables, wheat germ, and ranch dressing in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed and water. Pour over the crouton mixture, along with the broth mixture.
  4. Divide evenly among 12 muffin cups and top each serving with 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Note: These may fall apart slightly for serving, but you’ll still have a tot-sized portion ready to go, even if they aren’t perfect “muffins”.

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Sandpaper Line Designs

Sandpaper Lines (3)

This classic toddler activity can be a lifesaver whether you need to keep little hands busy at home or if you’re on the go. To make it portable, simply cut the sandpaper square smaller and tuck the strands of yarn into a zip-top bag.

For an at-home version, I just sat Veronika down in front of a few squares of rough sandpaper and added strands of yarn in various colors and lengths.

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I showed her how to make a few depictions of real things, like a little “fish” swimming in water. Older toddlers can have lots of fun trying to fashion real pictures!

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But the enjoyment here for a young toddler like Veronika was the way the yarn sticks to the sandpaper. I demonstrated by holding it up for her so she could marvel at how the yarn seems to “stick”.

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She also loved scratching her fingers against the rough surface.

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Or just picking up handfuls of yarn and dropping them down again.

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Truth be told, her favorite version seemed to be draping strands of yarn around herself like a scarf!

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One way or another, this is a great activity when you need to entertain your toddler in a pinch.