Video Time Capsule

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Veronika turned 2 years old today, and it was a fun reminder to look back on the videos we took last year when she turned 1. We had footage of the expected big moments (blowing out the candles, opening up her first present), but also a birthday dance party with dad and big brother Travis that I had forgotten all about. We loved it so much that we decided to make it a tradition!

So we staged a fun dance video to the same music as last year. The goal is to make this a tradition so eventually we can string together a video time capsule over the years.

Similarly, you can pick anything big or small on your child’s birthday (a tour of your child’s room, asking him or her what their favorite toy is, blowing out candles) and take a clip each year that becomes a time capsule over, well, time!

We also filmed snippets throughout the day, which we know will be fun to look back on. These included opening up gifts…

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…a special trip to a local children’s museum…

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…and of course, cake!

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What are the go-to birthday traditions in your family to film? Please share in the comments!

Happy Birthday Sensory Bin

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For toddlers who don’t entirely understand what it means to have a birthday yet, here’s a beautiful way to greet them the morning of their big day and introduce some of the items they’ll be seeing now and in years to come!

I filled a craft bin with bright and birthday-themed items. Birthday goodies included cupcake liners and candles, lots of bows and ribbons, and birthday-themed stickers. I also added neon pipe cleaners and a huge pile of pom poms, just for pops of color.

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Veronika barely let me finish setting up before getting her hands in the mix! She loved pouring the pom poms from one cupcake liner to another. Then we started baking pom pom cupcakes! Fill the liners and add a candle in the center for an introduction to the tradition of making a wish.

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The ribbons were so fun for to pull at or twist apart.

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Or to place on Veronika’s head like a birthday crown!

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At one point, she realized she could walk all the way around the apartment while unraveling a strand of gold ribbon, which was a pure delight to watch.

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I also set down some construction paper so she could peel off stickers (in fun shapes like cupcakes and balloons), and sticker all over the paper at will.

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In sum, you’ll have a very happy birthday boy or girl on your hands if you start a toddler’s birthday with this activity!

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Jack-o’-Lantern Quesadillas

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Spook your little ones for Halloween lunch with quesadillas carved to look just like pumpkins! The filling ingredientsbelow can be used as a guide. Swap in roasted bell peppers for the zucchini, for example, if your little monsters prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tortillas
  • 2/3 cup shredded non-dairy cheddar
  • 1/4 cup chopped vegan chick’n
  • 2 tablespoons black beans
  • 2 tablespoons shredded zucchini
  • Salsa, for serving
  1. Place two of the tortillas on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 1/3 cup cheddar.
  2. Divide the chick’n, black beans, and zucchini evenly among the tortillas.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut jack o’ lantern features out of the remaining two tortillas; place on top of the filling.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F for 5 minutes. Serve with salsa on the side for dipping!

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Just be careful; we thought these looked even creepier after we cut them up for serving!

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Halloween Countdown Day 29: Do the Monster Mash

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If you need to pump up the volume in the final stretch before Halloween, then simply queue up the Halloween tunes! It doesn’t matter what spooky song your crew listens to, as long as everyone does the boogie(man) boogie!

Veronika was soon obsessed with the Ghostbuster’s theme song and paraded around singing “ghost busters!” at the top of her lungs. Monster Mash was also a fast toddler favorite.

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Travis wanted super spooky, which meant we had to dig deeper into the Halloween vault. Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the overture from Phantom of the Opera upped the ante!

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We soon decided we needed ghost dancing partners, so put together classic ghosts: wrap a cotton ball in a tissue and secure with yarn. Add marker eyes and an 0 mouth to each, and then break out the spookiest dance moves you know!

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