Ranch-Style Pasta

Ranch Pasta (2)

This easy pasta salad is perfect for lunch since it’s best served chilled. Use rotini or fusilli for a fun spiral shape.


  • 2 and 1/2 cups uncooked corkscrew-shaped pasta
  • 1/2 cup sliced vegan deli ham (such as Tofurky)
  • 1/2 cup cubed vegan cheddar (such as Violife)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy ranch dressing
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

Ranch Pasta (1)

Button Tap

Button Tap (5)

Mix up your toddler’s musical play with this silly D.I.Y. instrument. The buttons can be drumsticks, cymbals, or anything else your toddler imagines as you jam to favorite tunes.

To assemble, I used large two-hole buttons from the craft store and simply threaded one end of an elastic through each hole.

Button Tap (1)

Now, the two loops of the elastic stick out from the back. Slip these loops over fingers, then turn pots and pans upside-down for some classic drumming.

Button Tap (2)

Veronika didn’t actually like wearing the loops on her fingers, but she sure loved clanging the buttons against the pans.

Button Tap (3)

She also liked putting the buttons in the pan, covering with the lid, and then shaking it to make noise.

Button Tap (6)

For a slightly different version of buttons-on-pans, I hot-glued smaller buttons to the fingertips of an old garden glove.

Button Tap (7)

Now she could slip this on and tap tap tap her fingers against the metal.

Button Tap (9)

Consider this homemade instrument the next time you have a toddler sing-along over Zoom!

Wax Paper Art

Wax Paper Art (6)

Here’s a toddler-friendly art project that’s perfect if you find yourself with a handful of colorful leaves after a fall walk!

To start, I mixed together a little white glue with different colors of tempera paint in small cups. Veronika chose yellow and green. I set these out, along with paintbrushes and two roughly equal squares of wax paper.

I showed Veronika how to dip her paintbrush in the glue mixture and then paint all over the wax paper.

Wax Paper Art (1)

The more glue the better, which means this is the perfect task for a toddler who wants to make a mess! Veronika loved that this activity was both goopy and colorful.

Wax Paper Art (2)

Once the wax paper is covered, help your child add colorful leaves to one of the squares. Cover with the remaining wax paper square. Trim the edges to the same size once the glue mixture dries.

Wax Paper Art (4)

It was hard to see the leaves when our wax paper was down on the floor, but once taped up against the window, the sun makes the leaves peek through. The perfect autumn window decoration!

Wax Paper Art (5)