Roasted Winter Vegetables

Roasted Winter Veg (1)

This quick roasted veggie recipe is a great way to introduce unfamiliar ones (like parsnips) to the more familiar (such as sweet potatoes or butternut squash). Mix up the recipe simply by varying which root veggies you use next time! Rutabagas, carrots, or beets might be nice, too.


  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Peel and cube all of the vegetables and transfer to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Drizzle with the oil an sprinkle with the salt.
  2. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

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Color-Changing Lemonade

Color-Changing Lemonade (5)

This fun STEM snack idea from Kiwi Co has a “wow” factor thanks to the fact that red cabbage acts as a pH indicator. In other words, it will turn acids (like lemon juice) pink. Just like that, a glass of yellow lemonade becomes a glass of pink lemonade!

First, soak about 1 cup torn red cabbage in 1 cup very warm water. Add 1 cup sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Strain the cabbage mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a cup. Set aside.

Color-Changing Lemonade (1)

In a second cup, whisk together 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 cup cold water.

Color-Changing Lemonade (2)

Pour a little cabbage mixture into a glass and add ice. Fill with the lemon mixture, then start to stir as you add the remaining cabbage mixture.

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Pink lemonade!

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Note: The kids declared that the lemonade tasted a little “funny”, which is no doubt the result of a little cabbage flavor. So you may find that this drink works more as a novelty than as the best glass of cold lemonade your kids will ever have.

Valentine’s Day Vase

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This cute Valentine’s Day gift idea from Hands on As We Grow is a great way to recycle leftover plastic bottles! We used non-dairy smoothie bottles, which were the perfect size and shape.

Clean and dry the bottles thoroughly, then set out a tray filled with Epsom salt. We added red food coloring (naturally!) for Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Vase (1)

Next, I showed Veronika how to smear white glue all over the bottle with a paint brush.

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Once the bottle is completely covered, simply roll in the salt. It will cling on, and it sparkles so beautifully! Veronika thought it was so pretty that we added blue food coloring and made a second bluish-purple version. Let dry completely.

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Meanwhile, Veronika was still busy playing with the Epsom salt mixture, stirring it around with a paint brush or dipping her brush into the cup of glue and back again. Just be sure to supervise play closely, as Epsom salt is not edible.

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When the vases are dry, fill with roses and set out for someone special!

Valentine Window of Hearts

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Veronika has made lots of Valentine cards to give away this year, but we realized our house was lacking in decorations that we had kept for ourselves! I had leftover doilies from one of her projects, and these only needed a little toddler-friendly embellishment before we could hang them in the windows.

Toddler Hearts for Window (2)

First, Veronika used dot markers to decorate some of the doilies. We chose red and purple, to keep with a Valentine’s color scheme.

Toddler Hearts for Window (1)

I thought she might also enjoy painting some of the doilies, but she hasn’t wanted to get her hands messy lately. Instead, I placed a few of the doilies in a plastic container and added two balls, one big and one small. Squeeze in a few drops of red paint, then roll the balls around. Your toddler might want to do this with his or her hands and get nice and messy!

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Veronika preferred it when I showed her how she could til the container to and fro, making the balls scatter paint across the doilies.

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Let these painted ones dry before adding to the other doilies hanging in your window. This made the easiest toddler “garland” ever!

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