Butterfly Art

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You and your toddler can make one of these beautiful paper towel butterflies, or a whole bunch of them to hang on walls or windows. Younger toddlers will probably need to use a paintbrush, but consider using an eye dropper with older toddlers; it’s a great tool to hone fine motor skills.

To start, I set a piece of paper towel down on a craft tray, along with watercolor paints and a cup of water.

Then I showed Veronika how to dip the brush in the water, into the watercolor, and finally onto the paper towel to decorate her butterfly. “Dot dot dot!”

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I also wanted Veronika to practice with the eye dropper variation, but didn’t want to use liquid watercolors because they can stain. Instead, I mixed some of the watercolor paint with a little water in a cup so Veronika could practice dipping and squeezing that way.

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It was the first time she mastered the art of squeezing to release water from the dropper. She loved watching the color come out!

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Then she proved that she still loves to be impish, and upended the cup of water all over the paper towel. That made for one very wet butterfly!

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Luckily I knew it would dry eventually.

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As the finishing touch, fold the paper towel in half, then gather up in the center and wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle; bend the extra pipe cleaner on top into antennae. Our butterfly looked so pretty fluttering about the kitchen!


The Gift of Gab

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Veronika’s at that exciting age where she has enough words in her vocabulary to string together proper sentences. I had forgotten how thrilling it is to watch a child move from noun-noun to subject-verb-noun!

To nourish this milestone, I’m remembering to speak in clear full sentences for every point throughout her day. “What are you drawing?” I might ask her for example, and she comes back with a full, “I’m drawing a heart!”

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Or “Vivi [Veronika] yellow dress,” she might say. “Yes, you’re wearing your yellow dress,” I reply a bit more completely. “I’m wearing yellow dress!” she repeats. A full sentence!

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I love seeing her full sentences spill over into her solo play, too. She’ll speak to her dolls and other toys, sometimes still in gibberish, but mostly in words I can decipher. “Daniel and Baby! Daniel is falling, oh no!”

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Be sure to listen carefully for your child’s words. Often, only a parent can recognize the particular phonemes or syntax at this age, but the words are there if you’re attuned to them.

And you might just find they are in full sentences!