Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies (1)

These sugar-free oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy and a huge hit with the whole family. If you want to add a little variation, try stirring in 1 cup chopped apple or 1 cup chocolate chips in the final step before baking.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce and baking powder.
  3. Add the apple juice, maple syrup, and canola oil to the applesauce mixture, then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
  4. Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Oatmeal Cookies (2)


Shiny Things in the Dark

Glow in the Dark Bowling (5)

If it’s starting to feel a little dreary that the sun sets so early this time of year, make the dark exciting by deliberately setting things all aglow!

We did this in two ways tonight. First up was a round of Glow in the Dark Bowling. This is so easy to do: simply activate glow sticks and insert one per empty water bottle. The kids loved helping to crack the sticks…

Glow in the Dark Bowling (2)

…and put them in the bottles!

Glow in the Dark Bowling (3)

We set up a formation of the bottles and took aim. A glow-in-the-dark ball would have been ideal, but the bright neon of a tennis ball was the next best thing.

Glow in the Dark Bowling (4)

Or sometimes Veronika just wanted to knock the bottles over by hand. Either way, everyone was delighted by the glow.

Glow in the Dark Bowling (6)

Next, we went on a hunt for Shiny Things in the Dark. As Veronika and I headed up for bedtime, I handed her a flashlight and we found all sorts of things that were shiny and beautiful as the light hit them. Metal is obviously a big winner here, so look for items like foil pans…

Shiny Things in the Dark (1)

…or coffee pots and tea kettles. Appliances like the fridge and oven were neat, too.

Shiny Things in the Dark (2)

Upstairs in her room, she wandered all over with such careful footsteps and found items like toy cars and her music box.

Shiny Things in the Dark (6)

One thing is for sure: we made the night shine!

Shiny Things in the Dark (4)

Magic Letter Learning

Magic Letter Learning (5)

This game can be tailored for toddlers who are just starting to recognize letters, preschoolers who know them well, or even big kids who are reading early sight words!

To start, write out the alphabet (or the above-mentioned sight words) with white crayon on a white piece of paper.

Magic Letter Learning (1)

Now to reveal the letters magically, I gave Veronika a cup of water and we stirred in a little red food coloring. She curiously brushed this magical mixture over the paper. At first she thought we were just painting, but she gave a little squeal of delight when she realized the white crayon showed up like a secret code.

Magic Letter Learning (4)

As her “paint” revealed each letter, I told her the name of it. Once the full alphabet was uncovered, we sang through the Alphabet Song together! That made this a great lesson for a toddler just starting to realize that each letter shape has a name attached to it. As mentioned, though, you can make this more like a hunt for preschoolers who know their letter names and have them shout out each one as they paint over it.

Magic Letter Learning (6)

In sum, this was quick and simple letter learning for a rainy morning.