Make Your Own Reading-Inspired Activity

MYO Reading Activity (1)

I am loving storytime with Veronika these days; at long last she’ll sit in my lap and snuggle for a story (although she still prefers to “read” solo!). One other way to keep her engaged in a book is to add a hands-on element, bringing the story to life. Books about food are especially fun for this, so here’s how we played today!

We started out with a read of Blueberries for Sal, one of my personal favorites. I gave Veronika a plastic cup and some blueberries, intending for her to ka-plink ka-plank ka-plunk along with the book. Lots of dumping and pouring of blueberries, ensued!

MYO Reading Activity (2)

I had enough extra berries on hand that my intention was to make blueberry muffins thereafter, cooking in the kitchen just like Little Sal and her mother. But a certain big brother ate all the blueberries!

MYO Reading Activity (3)

Oh no! I had already promised the kids muffins, so I searched online for a recipe that was quick and used only pantry staples. Veronika loved scooping flour and spices with a set of kitchen utensils while I did the real baking.

MYO Reading Activity (5)

Well, it turned out these last-minute muffins were so good that the kids delighted in running back and forth from living room to kitchen for bites with huge grins on their faces, while shouting out, “Mama Moose’s Muffins!”

MYO Reading Activity (8)

That made us think of another kiddie lit classic, If You GIve a Moose a Muffin. So we read that book over our muffin snack!

MYO Reading Activity (7)

As a result, here is my recipe for “Mama Moose’s Muffins”, which might just become a classic around here.


  • 3 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Scant 2 cups plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup melted Earth Balance butter
  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Pour the cider vinegar into a liquid measuring cup, and add almond milk to equal 2 cups. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the almond milk mixture to the dry ingredients, along with the melted butter, Ener-G eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the raisins.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly among 12 jumbo muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

MYO Reading Activity (6)



Dance Ribbon

Dance Ribbon (6)

This easy dance ribbon made the perfect rhythmic accessory for Veronika’s at-home music class today! I put it together just before class, and she continued to play with it long after the Zoom session had ended.

First, tie lengths of colorful ribbon to a ring that your toddler can easily hold. I used a canning ring for this, but a shower curtain ring or even key chain would work, too!

Dance Ribbon (1)

I alternated strands of green and pink ribbon. You can make your dance ribbon with one color, two, or a full rainbow!

Dance Ribbon (7)

I handed the ring to Veronika and showed her how to wave it through the air to the rhythm.

Dance Ribbon (3)

A lilting, slow tune felt just right for making big beautiful ribbon circles. Your toddler can take it from there!

Dance Ribbon (5)

She loved waving the ribbons around and dancing with them, and requested a tutu to be a ballerina!

Dance Ribbon (9)

She also later found other uses for it, like pretending it was her doll’s swing on the playground! I always love watching the way toddlers can invent worlds of imagination from just a few simple materials.

Dance Ribbon (8)

Rhyming Treasure Hunt

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt (1)

I’m wary of the summer learning slide that inevitably occurs a little, and realized today that Travis needed some brushing up on rhyming words. What better way to engage him in summer learning than by turning it into a scavenger hunt?

I had to set this up the night before because the clues were scattered all over the apartment. You’ll need to plan carefully, using words that rhyme with easy-to-spot items in your house. As your child arrives at each new item, the next flash card will await them.

You can draw all your words on index cards, but I took a shortcut and used picture flashcards from a school workbook, given my limited drawing skills! So when Travis came down in the morning, there a picture of a fish was waiting at the foot of the stairs. He immediately wanted to know what it was for.

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt (4)

“What rhymes with fish?” I asked. He wracked his brain, and when he spotted a dish on the kitchen table, he made the connection.

Inside the dish was the next card, a picture of a duck. Duck and… truck! (Note: I made this easier by having the truck within sight on the highchair tray. You can make it more of a challenge for older kids, but given all the rhyming options for each word, I knew visibility would act as a prompt for my six-year-old).

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt (2)

The truck was atop a picture of a nest. Now Travis was getting the idea, because there was a suspicious vest lying on the couch in the middle of summer. A clue! Jar led to car…

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt (5)

…and a toy car was on top of an image of a queen.

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt (6)

This one was tough for him, so I guided him through several rhyming options until he got to…

Rhyming Scavenger Hunt (3)

…Green! Now there was a sock. Rock! And outside on the patio, under a few painted garden rocks, was a packet of new bubble gum.

You can make the prize big or small, anything at all that will delight your child and reward this summer learning game.