Sock Puppets

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Stuck inside on a rainy day? Then it’s time to make silly sock puppets!

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We always seem to have extra pairs of socks (no thanks to indoor playrooms that require them even in flip flop weather!), so we simply grabbed a pair and set to work.

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First up was adding facial features with fabric markers. I folded the toe of the sock down toward the heel so Veronika could visualize where the head would be, but mostly she just scribbled any which way.

The fabric markers were a little frustrating for her, too, since they tend to catch in the fabric, but I assured her that any markings at all looked great!

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Once we had decorated the bodies, I also used hot glue to add pom pom eyes. Time to slip on those socks and put on a show! Veronika giggled just seeing the sock on her hand or my own.

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She laughed even harder once the socks “talked to her”.

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And it turns out that sock puppets like to go on toes, too!

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Interrupt Rule

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Life is full of Zoom meetings these days, but it occurred to me that this is an opportunity to teach Veronika a few rules about interrupting, and make a little lemonade out of all these virtual lemons!

Yes, even a two year old can learn how to politely ask for your attention. We have two methods now for when Veronika needs me, whether during a Zoom, a random phone call, or just while I’m making dinner!

The first trick is to teach your child the sign for “wait”: Hold up the hands and wiggle the fingers. Interestingly, this is one of the only signs Veronika ever latched onto, and she has used it long past when she dropped all the others. So when she needs my attention, I say, “Show me your wiggle waiting.” And she wiggles her fingers and waits!

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Our second method is newer, but seems to be working! I’m teaching her to touch my leg, instead of yelling out for me. Then, I put my hand back on hers to acknowledge that I know she needs me.

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The key to making this a success? Don’t make your toddler wait for long! Yes, Zoom participants are usually understanding if you turn aside a moment for your child.

Shaving Cream Marbling

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I made shaving cream prints with Travis when he was in preschool, and it was meant as an art project (one that resulted in lovely bookmarks!). For Veronika at age two, this same activity was definitely more about the process and the sensory play. I love when I’m able to tailor big kid activities to my toddler in this way.

To start, we squirted a thick layer of shaving cream into a disposable foil tray. In turn, I placed this inside a second craft tray, because the activity is definitely messy.

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Next, we added lots of drops of natural food coloring. You can also use liquid watercolors, but I like the food coloring with a toddler because it doesn’t stain.

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I showed Veronika how to swirl the colors through the shaving cream with a dowel. The dowel is great because it’s long enough that you’ll minimize any mess on your toddler’s fingers!

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Next, we pressed a piece of watercolor paper over the shaving cream, patting down on it lightly. Veronika loved the patting! Lift up and reveal the pretty marbled colors.

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Finally, we needed to scrape off the excess shaving cream, and the edge of a jumbo craft stick works great for this. Repeat as many times as desired!

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We ended up with four lovely prints that we can turn into art, but Veronika was still busy with all the materials. We squirted in a second layer of shaving cream, then added lots more food coloring, and did lots more stirring, scooping, and playing for quite a while.

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