Auditioning All Dolls

Auditioning All Dolls (2)

Veronika loves her doll toys and frequently plays with them solo, but today we devoted some time to focus on doll play together. Some of our games were familiar to her, but I threw in some new activities, too!

First I simply set out all the doll accessories around her, and encouraged her to play. She loves to dress the dolls (and undress them!)…

Auditioning All Dolls (5)

…and to do diaper changes and feed them. Beyond merely mirroring adults in their lives, children build empathy when they care for dolls or other toys in this way.

Auditioning All Dolls (6)

Now it was time for something new! I read her a favorite story (Sleeping Beauty), and after we read each page, I encouraged her to act it out with the dolls. She loved rocking the baby when Princess Aurora is born.

Auditioning All Dolls (7)

And dancing the babies at the ball.

Auditioning All Dolls (9)

And then rescuing them with a kiss!

Auditioning All Dolls (10)

Paper dolls are another great toy, in general, but Veronika is still too young for the regular version. The perfect toddler alternative? Magnet dress-up dolls! I showed her a new magnet set, featuring two dolls and lots of clothes and accessories that can be mixed and matched. She immediately loved playing fashionista.

Auditioning All Dolls (3)

Dolls were also great for talking about body parts. “Where is the girl’s arm?” I asked her. “Where is her hair?” And of course there will be lots of clothing vocabulary, too.

Auditioning All Dolls (1)

To tie it all together, I drew her the outline of a few fancy dresses from the Sleeping Beauty book.

Auditioning All Dolls (11)

She colored these in (with a little mommy help).

Auditioning All Dolls (12)

Then we dressed the magnet dolls in these cut-out dresses!

Auditioning All Dolls (13)

Yakisoba Noodles

Yakisoba Noodles (4)

Tonight Travis journeyed to Japan in the kitchen! This recipe kicked off his Ticket to Tokyo kit from Raddish Kids. I thought it a bit strange that Raddish called for spaghetti instead of true soba noodles, but perhaps that was for simplicity when grocery shopping.

Either way, Travis loved helping with components of this recipe, like grating the ginger on a microplane and smashing the garlic cloves.

Yakisoba Noodles (1)


  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 8 Napa cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions in a pot of boiling, salted water; drain in a colander and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cabbage, ginger, garlic, and carrots in a bowl; set aside.
  3. To prepare the sauce, place the green onions in a small bowl. Add the brown sugar, ketchup, sesame oil, and soy sauce, whisking to combine.Yakisoba Noodles (2)
  4. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage mixture; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing with tongs.
  5. Add the cooked noodles and the sauce; continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through.

Yakisoba Noodles (3)

I love when my kids get to “travel” through their palates, trying new recipes like this. Even little sister Veronika loved it!

Yakisoba Noodles (5)

The recipe card featured information on Japan’s geography, as well as on the various kinds of noodles in Japanese cuisine. Travis is eager to try them all!

Footprint T-shirt

Footprint T-Shirt (3)

Big brother Travis is off at camp, and Veronika misses him! Here was a fun way to have her do something special for him while he was gone, plus fit in some arts & crafts.

We used an old tie-dyed t-shirt for this project, but you can also purchase a plain white t-shirt from the dollar store.

I sat Veronika on a chair and painted the sole of her foot with fabric paint. No doubt your toddler will giggle at how this tickles! Press firmly onto the shirt.

Footprint T-Shirt (2)

You can make as many prints as you like, whether just one front and center, all over the shirt, or anything in between. We thought it looked cute with three footprints marching across the shirt, each in a different color, like a little trail walking somewhere.

Veronika proudly added a few extra dots of fabric paint with a paintbrush, and then we set it aside to dry.