Apple Pear Crisp

Apple Pear Crisp (1)This easy dessert lets the natural sweetness of the fruit shine. Serve with your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream if your kids like their dessert served a la mode!


  • 3 pears
  • 3 apples
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance butter
  • Cooking spray
  1. Peel, core, and thinly slice the pears and apples; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vanilla, flour, oats, and butter.
  3. Spoon the fruit into a 13×9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, then top evenly with the brown sugar mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes and let cool slightly before serving.

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Balls, Balls, Balls

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Veronika attends a toddler gym class once a week, and her favorite part is always when they bring out a big bin of balls and a hoop and she practices her “slam dunks”. The only problem is that she’s sad every day that isn’t “slam dunk” day! So today, we brought the ball fun home.

I wanted to try working on several different ball skills with her, so first we sat with our legs together to form a little enclosure and rolled a bouncy ball back and forth.

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Then we upped the ante. Turn a laundry basket on its side and roll the ball into this “goal”. She initially wanted to bounce the ball in, but soon switched her focus to rolling.

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Next, we turned the basket upright. Now she could toss or bounce it in!

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Time for slam dunks! Place the basket on top of any slightly higher surface, like a coffee table or stool, and let your toddler reach up high.

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Slam dunk!

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For a final challenge, we angled a couch cushion down like a ramp (you could also use cardboard or a wooden plank for this step). First we rolled the ball down into a waiting basket.

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And then she rolled it up to the tip top of the ramp so we could roll it back down again. This took great concentration, as well as dexterity, on her part.

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In sum, there are so many ways to play with a simple ball at home. What’s your toddler’s favorite ball game? Please share in the comments!

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Bubble Wrap Snowman

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While we’re eagerly awaiting the next snowfall ample enough to build a real snowman, Veronika made do with this painted version today!

The novelty here was painting the snowman using only a piece of bubble wrap. Little bubble wrap pouches are better for this particular project than a sheet of bubble wrap, since they can easily slip over a hand.

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First, we painted the bubble wrap in wintry shades of white and pale blue. While Veronika painted, I drew an outline of a snowman on white paper.

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I slipped the bubble wrap over her hand like a mitten and showed her how to press down. She loved this, and also wanted to check out the way the painted bubble wrap felt with the other hand. I recommend having a pack of wipes handy, in case your toddler does the same!

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Set your snowman aside to dry, then cut out and glue onto a blue construction paper background.

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Finally, I cut out a few accessories for our snowman.

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For a little vocabulary exercise, Veronika named all of these as we used a glue stick to attach them: a black top hat, red buttons, a red scarf, and an orange carrot nose!

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