Nature Bracelet

Nature Bracelet (2)

Turn any nature walk into a hunt for treasure with this toddler craft!

Nature Bracelet (6)

As we headed off on a nature trail through a meadow, I wrapped a length of masking tape around Veronika’s sleeve, sticky side out. While we walked, I started adding small flower petals and leaves to the bracelet, and remarked how beautiful the items were.

Nature Bracelet (1)

She very quickly got the idea and soon started gathering finds of her own, which I helped her attach to her “bracelet”.

Nature Bracelet (5)

Big brother Travis thought it looked so fun that he wanted an armband of his own to decorate.

Nature Bracelet (8)

And he was a big helper adding finds to his sister’s arm!

Nature Bracelet (3)

The activity led to beautiful moments on our walk, like pausing by the strands from a milkweed pod, which looked like silk on her bracelet.

Nature Bracelet (4)

Once home, I cut the masking tape from her sleeve and we mounted it on the wall as a gorgeous memento.

Nature Bracelet (7)

Homemade Limeade

Homemade Limeade

This toddler-friendly version of limeade has just the tiniest bite from sour lime, and no added sugars. You can use the same method to make lemonade, too! Add 1 teaspoon agave nectar if your kids do want a little extra sweetener.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cups white grape juice
  1. Stir together the ingredients in a pitcher, and serve over ice.

BBQ Chick’n Wrap

BBQ Chickn Wrap (2)

My kids devour this savory sandwich wrap. In other words, it’s the perfect way to refuel between in-person school mornings and remote afternoon learning sessions!

Ingredients:

  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 4 Gardein chick’n strips, cooked and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage mix
  • 1 tablespoon vegan ranch dressing
  1. Arrange the chick’n strips down the center of the tortilla, and drizzle with the BBQ sauce.
  2. In a small bowl, toss together the cabbage mix with the dressing. Sprinkle over the chick’n, then roll up tightly and cut in half to serve.

BBQ Chickn Wrap (1)

Nursery Rhyme Fun

Nursery Rhyme Fun (3)

No doubt your toddler has favorite nursery rhymes by about age 2, and probably knows a few of them by heart. Play this game to help with memorization, rhyming, and language learning. It’s perfect for car rides because it’s hands-free and requires no props. Though of course you can play at home, too.

Start a favorite nursery rhyme, but stop before the rhyming word at the end of a sentence. So for example, “Five little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his…” It was her turn to chime in with, “Head!”

We played with other ditties too, “Hickory Dickory Dock.”

Nursery Rhyme Fun (1)

She also loves a song about a little red car, so we recited that one with props to help her chime in with the right word.

Nursery Rhyme Fun (2)

This game can easily be tailored to become more silly. Throw in a few fake verses and see if your toddler catches on to the error, e.g. “Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse ran up the chimney”. One word of caution: whenever I do this, it makes Veronika cry! So skip it if your toddler prefers the true version.

Parking Game

Parking Game (10)

Here’s a fancier spin on a cars and colors game I played with Veronika as she was just starting to learn her colors. Now that she knows them well, this version involved more of a craft, and had an imaginative component, too.

For each garage, you’ll need a thin cardboard box. Big cereal boxes are perfect, but Veronika loved the game so much that I had to raid the pantry for cracker boxes and oatmeal boxes to add to her little town.

For each parking garage, use a craft knife to cut an opening for toy cars to drive into. Use masking tape to close any loose flaps on the boxes.

Parking Game (1)

Cover each with a different color of construction paper. Originally I intended just to make a blue garage and red garage for her. “What color is it?” I asked, holding up the paper. “Blue!” she said with delight.

Parking Game (2)

I used double-sided tape to make quick work of covering each box instead of waiting for glue to dry.

Parking Game (3)

In short order, Veronika could drive in her cars.

Parking Game (5)

We sorted the toy cars by color, and I parked them relatively near the corresponding garage before asking prompts like, “Can the red cars drive into the red garage?”

Parking Game (7)

Sometimes I tried to trick her with a car pulling up to the “wrong” spot. She quickly spotted it each time!

Parking Game (6)

She had so much fun driving the cars in and then dumping them out, too.

Parking Game (9)

Pretty soon we had a whole little town. Between making the craft, playing with it, and returning to it over the course of a few hours, this made for a wonderful morning activity.

Parking Game (8)