Herbed Broccoli

This recipe comes together in minutes, and is a great way to dress up otherwise ho-hum vegetables.


  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  1. Cut the florets from the broccoli head and transfer to a large bowl; reserve the stems for another use.
  2. Toss the florets with the broth and the herbs. Cover and steam in the microwave for 5 minutes, until tender.

My kids love this with Gardein chick’n or pasta for an elegant meal!

Rainy Day Pasta Sort

Dried pasta has so many uses, whether for simple sensory play, making big instruments to shake, or enjoying a little early learning. So when Veronika was a little aimless today, I simply poured three different shapes of pasta from our pantry onto a tray. You can aim to have very different shapes (for a young toddler) or pasta with subtler differences for preschoolers. We used: farfalle, shells, and penne.

First, I invited Veronika to explore all three shapes. She loved that the farfalle looked just like butterflies!

Next, I set out three small containers and challenged her to sort the pasta. The idea was a little hard at first (words like “sort” or “match” are new vocabulary for her). But once I put a few shells in one bin and then asked, “Where does the shell go?” she latched onto the idea. Soon we had three sorted types of pasta!

Of course then it became a free-for-all, with lots of sensory scooping and dumping of all that pasta. You can even dye it if you want to fill up even more time on a rainy day!

Sock Matchup

Veronika is working on the concept of “matching” lately; specifically when presented with a variety of objects, can she find the two that match. This vocab word will make the most sense to your child only in context, so start with the most classic match (or dreaded mismatch!): Socks.

To make the task one step more advanced than classic laundry sorting, I put dot stickers on each of her socks with numbers written in permanent marker. Now she had pairs of socks numbered 1 through 8, and we needed to help each one find its match!

Sometimes during this task she focused on the number to make a match.

Sometimes, I could tell she was looking more at the color or pattern of the sock instead. But ultimately, she was able to find each match!