Plate Faces & Playdough Faces

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Veronika and I played two different games today to learn facial features and emotions. The activities were both so hands on, and she loved them equally!

For the first version, I set out blank paper plates and used cut pieces of felt to create features. I simplified the prep work by using felt pieces from a set with pre-cut squares, rectangles, squiggles and more. You could just as easily do this activity with lots of shapes cut from construction paper.

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I showed her how to arrange the pieces to quickly transform plates into faces. “What’s he feeling?” I asked her for each expression. “He’s happy!” she piped up, or, “He’s sad!”.

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We could manipulate the shapes to make all kinds of variations, including surprised, silly, sleepy, angry, and more. In addition to the expressions, it was also a great chance to name individual features. “Her mouth is a circle,” I pointed out, or, “Here are her ears.”

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Pretty soon she was busy designing “faces” of her own.

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The second game was similar, except this time the sensory experience was squishy playdough instead of fuzzy felt.

I drew two faces on plain white paper and inserted each piece into a large zip-top bag.

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Now use playdough and squish against the bag to follow along on the facial features!

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Veronika got the hang of it quite quickly.

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Again, there was lots to talk about, including eyebrows, noses, ears, and mouths.

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But because this time she had to manipulate the playdough, it was great for thinking about how we shape our mouths into a frown or smile.

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I loved watching her move the frown from the sad face over to our happy face, and stretch it out first into a line.

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I helped her arc it upwards into a smile. She looked so pleased.

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The added bonus is that when you’re done with the games, your toddler will have lots of playdough and felt (or construction paper) pieces to play with solo for a while.

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Halloween Countdown Day 15: Eat Orange Meals

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Forget about eating the rainbow for a day. As we reach the halfway point in our countdown to Halloween, it was time to eat only orange for the day (well, mostly orange).

At each meal, I made sure to include at least two orange foods. Breakfast featured oranges and pumpkin waffles.

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Snacks included goodies like vegan cheese crackers, cheddar cheese slices, and crunchy orange bell peppers.

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Carrots were the star of the show at lunch, including a carrot sauce over sauteed tofu.

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Dinner featured roasted butternut squash and orange pasta (Note: if you cook up red lentil pasta, it will turn orange after it boils). An carrot-laced marinara sauce finished things off!

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The one place we didn’t have orange was dessert. Too bad we didn’t have pumpkin pie in the house! What would you serve on an all-orange day? Please share in the comments!