Raspberry Strawberry Muffins

Raspberry Strawberry Muffins (1)

Take advantage of fresh summer berries for these muffins! In a pinch, use frozen and you can bake them all year.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup raspberries
  • 3/4 cup chopped strawberries
  1. Combine the flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
  3. Add the flaxseed, oil, vanilla, maple syrup, yogurt, and almond milk to the applesauce mixture.
  4. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the raspberries and strawberries.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees F for 27 minutes; a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.

Raspberry Strawberry Muffins (2)

Grocery Store

Grocery Store (2)

I’ve been saving up empty snack boxes from our pantry for a few days so that Veronika could go shopping in her very own grocery store! Toddlers love to be just like mommy or daddy, so I knew she would love being able to do the “shopping”.

Save up empty boxes (think: crackers, cereal, snack bars, etc.), and tape closed securely with duct tape. You could also include empty juice or water bottles, and some play food. We added fruits and veggies from Veronika’s kitchen set for a “produce section”.

Grocery Store (1)

I gave her a small paper bag and then set her loose in her little store! “Look, crackers!” Veronika said when she saw the “shelves”. I showed her how to put an item in her bag and then keep shopping.

Grocery Store (4)

She was mildly frustrated a few times to learn that favorites (ahem, fruity bunnies) were empty and not really there for a snack. But then she loved going through the veggies and filling up her bag.

Grocery Store (5)

Then she headed over to her kitchen to unpack! This is a fantastic activity to get a toddler playing, imagining, and helping.

Grocery Store (6)

Giant Tissue Paper Sensory Bin

Tissue Paper Sensory (4)

Sure, you can give a baby a bag filled with tissue paper and consider that a sensory activity. But you’re not going to impress your toddler with something so mundane! Nope: today I made tissue paper play on a giant scale for Veronika!

I emptied out one of our toy storage containers, then took out a bulk package of tissue paper. Veronika was immediately delighted by all the thick piles of color.

Tissue Paper Sensory (2)

I showed her how to separate out a thin sheet of tissue paper and crumple it up, then toss it into the bin. This was of course a delight. “Clean up clean up!” she started to sing, which made me laugh since we were of course just making a mess.

Tissue Paper Sensory (3)

Once we had filled the bin deep with crumpled paper, I lifted her up and set her right inside.

Tissue Paper Sensory (5)

She looked so surprised! She kicked her feet and ran her fingers through the pieces. But then surprisingly she preferred to be back on the other side, tossing sheets of tissue paper in.

Tissue Paper Sensory (6)

We set aside sheets of tissue paper just to crumple and kept them out of the container so we could toss them in the air.

Tissue Paper Sensory (8)

Whether in the bin or out, this game was a delight!

The Floor is Lava!

The Floor is Lava (7)

Veronika is learning how to hop, and this silly game is the perfect way to add a little imagination into the mix.

I taped down sheets of construction paper in all the colors of the rainbow; technically you can use only one color, but this meant I could throw in a little color learning with the jumping.

The Floor is Lava (4)

In retrospect, I should have done the set-up while Veronika was napping. She was eager to “help”, asking for pieces of tape, and I had to work quickly before she pulled pieces of paper off the carpet in curiosity!

The Floor is Lava (5)

But phew, we laid out all the paper pieces, and then I announced, “Oh no! The floor is hot lava. Quick jump onto the islands!”

The Floor is Lava (3)

Well of course she doesn’t know what hot lava is, but she sure felt my excitement and saw my speed and watched me jump on a piece of paper. “Jump!” she said, and hopped onto purple.

The Floor is Lava (2)

Can you jump to blue?” I asked her, and she happily jumped over (“jumped” being a relative term, still more of a quick walk/hop). She loved going from piece to piece, and naming the color. If her feet were on the rug I reminded her, “Oh no the carpet is hot lava!” This had her giggling and playing along.

The Floor is Lava (8)

This is the kind of game that’s great to pull out periodically, and I have no doubts we’ll play again. Older toddlers will be even more into the role play portion (eek, lava!) and will hone their jumping skills each time.

It’s a perfect way to get out some energy when kids feel cooped up, too!