Slowly, Slowly

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This little finger play is a great way to teach a toddler about the concept of fast and slow. Start off with the chant, and then get more elaborate with your play. The first time through, simply walk your fingers up your child’s arm, from wrist to shoulder, and match the speed of your fingers to the words of each verse. When you get to that quick little mouse, it becomes a tickle game!

Slowly, slowly, very slowly

Creeps the garden snail.

Slowly, slowly, very slowly

Up the wooden rail.

Quickly, quickly, very quickly

Runs the little mouse!

Quickly, quickly, very quickly

To his little house!

I like to use a deep voice for the snail and a high squeaky one for the mouse. Veronika loved it so much she immediately started saying “quickly quickly”, also in a high squeak.

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To help solidify the meaning of these opposite words, we turned it into a game of chase. First my slow snails chased each other very very sloooooowly.

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Then big brother was a scampering mouse running just ahead of her.

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Veronika even tested out running a quick little mouse along her own arms and legs! In sum, a great way to get out some energy while teaching new concepts.

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Yummy Chocolate Play Dough

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Today Veronika opened up her first bake shop…with chocolate play dough that is! This no-cook recipe is super simple, and lends itself perfectly to both sensory and imaginative play.

In a bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and 1 tablespoon cream of tartar. Slowly stir in 1 cup boiling water.

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Turn the dough out and knead until no longer sticky (you may need to add a little more flour).

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Once the dough was ready, I set up shop for Veronika! A few disposable cake pans, cupcake liners, and old birthday candles made perfect props. She was helping make “cupcakes” in no time.

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Inserting candles was lots of fun. I realized we needed more toppings, so colorful pony beads from the craft bin made perfect “sprinkles”. Veronika loved pushing these into the dough and saying “Squish!”.

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She also just loved transferring the pony beads from one cupcake liner to another.

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Rolling pins and other kitchen tools rounded out our play. I showed Veronika how she could roll portions of the dough really flat.

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This was so all so much fun that big brother Travis wanted to get involved. With him, we made it more about imaginative play. He was a “baker” filling my orders for specific types or shapes of cookies.

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Chances are the kids will play this one for a while!


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