Rain Walk with Kids

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We woke up this morning to a summer rain storm, the barely-drizzling kind of warm rain that’s perfect for walking in. So no sooner had the kids eaten breakfast than I knew what we needed to do: Take a rain walk!

We put on rain boots and rain jackets just for fun, since Veronika has new rain swag for the fall. But honestly it wasn’t even cool enough to need them.

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Off the kids headed, intrepid rain explorers!

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It was so beautiful just to watch their wonder. I encouraged big brother Travis to notice what was different after a rainstorm, whether the obvious (puddles to stomp) or the subtle (spiderwebs covered in wet drops).

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Veronika loved the sensory elements of the walk. I pointed out leaves covered in raindrops which she could pop like bubbles.

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And gently shook the raindrops from a tree onto her head.

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And yes of course, the biggest hit was finding puddles to stomp.

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And stomp.

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And stomp.


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Round and Round the Garden

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I’m on a kick lately of teaching Veronika nursery rhymes¬†and adding props to the fun. Here’s another classic that we did today, which ends with a delightful tickle:

Round and round the garden

With my teddy bear.

One step, two steps,

Tickle him under there!

On the first two lines, circle baby’s palm with a fingertip. On the third line, walk your fingers up baby’s arm. Then end with an armpit tickle!

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You can add this second verse with the same actions:

Round and round the haystack

Runs the little mouse.

One step, two steps,

In his little house!

So to make it hands on, we brought a few stuffed teddy bears into the action! Veronika walked “round and round” with her teddy, dancing around a toy garden set. Needless to say, the props then could keep her busy for solo play while I got things done around the house.

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Sponge-Ball Toss

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This game is an instant cool-down on a hot day. And you can tailor it easily, depending how wet your kids want to get!

Set-up just requires a few cheap sponges from the dollar store. Stack two together, and cut into 3 strips.

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Secure the strips in the center with a rubber band, fanning out the edges slightly. Make as many or as few as you want, and head outside the sponges and a bucket of water.

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First I simply showed the kids that if you soaked the sponges in water and then pressed onto the ground, they left behind fun starburst shapes.

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Little sister Veronika loved putting them in a bucket of water and squeezing out, delighting in the sensory element of the game.

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Travis’s favorite way to play was to launch them at the wall!

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Or squeeze them out like it was raining.

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Older kids may want to pelt them at each other, which is just fine as long as no one minds getting wet! We kept things gentler with a toddler around, but there was still lots of laughter and tossing.

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No matter how you play, these sponges are sure to provide cool-down fun.

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Treasure-Map Pizza

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This pizza was so fun to put together, complete with a tropical island background, an X-marks-the-spot, and golden treasure! You can prepare your edible mini maps on individual pita pockets, or do as Travis did and make a full-size pizza.

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To start, pat pizza dough onto a pizza pan, then spread with tomato sauce, leaving a 1/2-inch crust. Sprinkle with your favorite non-dairy mozzarella.

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Travis loved assembling a little pirate island that included the following: two bell pepper strips to mark an X for treasure; palm trees made of orange bell pepper trunks and green bell pepper fronds; mushroom rocks; olive footprints leading to the treasure; and corn kernels as nuggets of gold.

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The kids had so much fun peaking while it baked!

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Bubbles in the crust after baking even meant that we had some fun topography, like a little “hill” now below our X.

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Then it was time to gobble up the treasure.

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