Tofu Lasagna

The kids have loved lasagna lately, but lasagna recipes often feed a crowd, and we never quite make it through leftovers. This version bakes up in an 8-inch pan and is just the right size!

Ingredients:

  • 6 lasagna noodles
  • 1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu
  • 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded non-dairy mozzarella
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, mash the tofu with a fork to desired consistency. Stir in the artichoke hearts, spinach, nutritional yeast, and garlic salt.
  3. Spoon a little of the sauce into the bottom of an 8-inch baking pan. Add three lasagna noodles. Top with the tofu mixture, followed by the remaining lasagna noodles. Pour the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the mozzarella.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Toddler Ball

Spring weather and spring sports are calling us outside! It seemed like the perfect time to finally invest in a wiffle ball bat and tee set for Veronika. These sets are great because they work so many gross motor skills for kids. Batting, of course, was the first step. But then we mimicked a full game of baseball!

Whenever one of us whacked a ball off the tee, we ran to the nearest tree as a “base”. She might not have understood, but my excited modeling of the behavior and cheering of “Go go go!” had her running and grinning.

Pretend to try and tag each other “out” on the way back to home base.

Of course enext you can work on tossing skills (i.e. fielding the ball). She loved passing a ball back and forth.

For fun, I also had her kick the balls a few times, which is always good practice even if these balls were not meant for soccer. That meant we tackled three sports skills with one set: batting, throwing, and kicking.

It all looked like so much fun that big brother Travis ran out to play!

He even hit a few home runs out of the park!

Simple Origami Jumping Frogs

These little folded frogs were too complicated for my kids to follow along with the steps, but they loved leaping about the final product!

Rather than attempt to explain instructions for folding, simply check out the step-by-step tutorial here. I cut green construction paper into squares to start, but you can also use standard origami paper. By the end it should look something like this from the bottom:

And like this from the top:

Once the little frogs were folded up, we drew on eyes and black spots. Kids can decorate however they choose, or even add long paper tongues!

Place a finger near the back legs, then release to watch the frogs hop hop hop.

The kids loved watching the frogs leap, making this well worth the folding effort.

Dump Truck Domino Counting

Here was a fun way to combine Veronika’s truck play with a little early counting! She can count by rote up to about 20, but it’s still early for her to connect the idea that those rising numbers correlate to one more thing added each time.

We chose dominoes for the activity because we have lots of them and they fit easily into the truck bed. My hope was that physically them out would help her make the link. First, we just started filling up the truck randomly:

She eagerly counted along as we placed each domino in, and we made it all the way into the teens before she was too tempted to… dump!

For the next round, I challenged her to fill the truck with only a certain color. This meant we only counted as high as ten, and then it was time to dump. We repeated with the remaining colors.

For older kids, you can even make predictions about the point at which dominoes will start to spill out, without having to tip back the bed of the truck at all.

We played this version toward the end, piling in all the dominoes (confession: we stopped counting!) and watching them spill out. Chances are your toddler will stay happy with trucks and dominoes for some solo play after the lesson, too.