Happy Helper: Floor Mopping

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At around a year and a half, toddlers love to copy everything you do around the house. This makes them the perfect participant for any household chores, but sometimes their “help” can feel more like a hindrance. To wit, Veronika has really wanted to help me mop, but that means dropping toys or brooms into the mop bucket. So today I turned floor mopping into a game to get it out of her system!

I filled a small beach pail with just a little warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Then I gave her a sponge and showed her how to dip it in the water, squeeze out the extra, and start to wash the floor.

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Squeezing excess water is great for muscle development, plus it’s fun to do!

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The idea was to have her work alongside me while I mopped for real, but Veronika had other plans. She upended the bucket, which immediately soaked through her pajamas. Both my kids thought this was hilarious.

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Soon they were eagerly scrubbing the entire kitchen floor – my happy helpers!

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They wanted to play for so long, and when the fun was done, it was immediately upstairs for a change of clothes. And my floor was sparkling!

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Kitchen Instruments

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Travis and I plan to make a few “musical meals” soon thanks to his latest Raddish Kids, so this morning we made some simple instruments with kitchen objects to kick off the fun!

The most complicated was a Pop Stick Kazoo. You’ll need two leftover Popsicle sticks (or craft sticks) for this instrument. First, wrap one stick with a thick rubber band lengthwise.

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Cut 2 (1-inch) pieces of drinking straw and slip under the rubber band. Secure a second Popsicle stick on top using two thin rubber bands. Blow for a kazoo-like sound!

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Next we made Cereal Box Guitars: Cut a circle in the middle of an empty cereal box and stretch long rubber bands over the box for the strings. We made a smaller version using a cracker box for baby sister, and decided this was her ukulele!

For Water Bottle Maracas, we filled empty water bottles about a third of the way with rice and glued on the lids.

For Tin Can Drums, simply turn empty, rinsed out metal cans upside down. Add chopsticks to play!

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We sat down to rock with our band, and what fun the kids had!

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Travis’s favorite was the guitar, which he loved strumming with extra cut straws or chopsticks.

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Veronika gravitated towards the shaky maracas.

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Both kids loved drumming with chopsticks. For some musical learning, we went over a few concepts. First up, Travis thought of a beat (a.k.a. rhythm, or a pattern that repeats). His was “Bo-ba, Bo-ba, Bo-ba”.

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Then we played around with speed (a.k.a. tempo). We practiced his beat super fast, and then slow on the drum.s

Next you can try making up silly lyrics, although this was harder for Travis to do on the spot. I also challenged him to add style (a.k.a. dynamics), sometimes quiet, sometimes loud.

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Don’t forget to harmonize as you all sing and play along! In sum, there’s lots of musical exploration to be had, just in your kitchen.

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