Catching Snowflakes

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We learned about this neat trick for catching snowflakes from Parents magazine and had a chance to test it out today when we looked outside and saw snow flurries!

Ahead of time, place a few sheets of black construction paper in the freezer. Just leave them there if you live some place that’s bound to get snow during the winter, because you’ll want to have them at the ready.

When we saw the snow, we bundled up, grabbed the frozen black paper and a magnifying glass, and headed outside.

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When the snowflakes hit the icy cold paper, they won’t melt. That gave Travis and Veronika the chance to peer at them with a magnifying glass. Travis marveled at how we could see the six points of each flake.

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Veronika just loved the beauty of it, and kept eagerly holding out her paper for more.

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What a simple but wonderful way to experience winter.

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Roasted Sweet Potato Pita

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This warm pita pocket is a super-easy lunch to throw together thanks to this hack: a package of frozen sweet potato fries instead of cooking them from scratch!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pita bread
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato fries
  • 1/4 cup lettuce
  1. Split the pita in half and spread the inside of each half with 1 tablespoon hummus.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the sweet potato fries according to package directions. Divide the fries and lettuce evenly among the pita halves.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Watercolor and Painter’s Tape

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Whether you’re using tape resist painting for holiday projects or just any old day of the week, there’s always a ‘wow’ factor to this painting method. It’s a favorite for my toddler and big kid both!

For toddlers, simply encourage them to lay down strips of painter’s tape any which way on thick watercolor paper. I helped Veronika makes lots of crisscross shapes. You could also experiment with making deliberate shapes, like squares or triangles, if desired.

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Travis wanted to see if he could make a favorite Lego character show up in tape form, which was admittedly harder to do. I taped out a rough outline, leaving empty space for the watercolor to show through.

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Time for watercolors! I loved watching brother and sister work side by side for this one.

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Travis loved choosing the right colors for his character. Veronika sometimes painted on her paper…

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…and sometimes preferred mixing the watercolors right in the tray. I loved seeing her artistic exploration.

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Once the pages were covered, we set them aside to dry. Then it was time for the big reveal!

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Pretend Play Tea Party

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Veronika is really starting to enjoy dramatic and pretend play, so today we staged a proper tea party! I thought we might set the scene by dressing her in a fancy dress and shoes…

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…but nope. Veronika wanted to wear a bathing suit! For easy to clean “tea”, I skipped anything liquid and instead used blue crinkle paper (available at craft stores).

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She loves this material, and soon it was brimming out of our tea pot and cups.

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That’s one big pot of coffee she’s brewing!

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She loved stirring through the tea, and of course her dolls all wanted a cup.

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We then added little white pom poms to be sugar cubes, either in the cups or in the sugar bowl.

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Did she always understand the imaginative part of the game? At two years old, of course not. But between the sensory play and the dolls and all those cups to fill and dump out, she had a great time.

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Toddler Pouch

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If your toddler wants to carry along a little purse just like mommy, all you need to do is put together this simple craft!

To start, Veronika helped decorate some paper plates. Use whatever coloring material your toddler likes best; Veronika jumped right to it with her favorite color crayons (purple and blue), and lots of stickers.

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I also drew familiar images on the plates for her like a rainbow and sun.

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Cut one of the paper plates in half, and then staple it onto a second paper plate.

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Punch two holes at the top of the full plate and thread through with yarn. Now it was ready to sling over her shoulder! Or to be stuffed full of toys and treasures.

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She seemed so delighted with this pouch of her very own.