Vanilla Maple Rice Pudding

Here’s the perfect warm dessert for those evenings that need just a little dose of extra coziness.


  • 4 cups plain unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • Blueberries, for serving (optional)
  1. Combine the soy milk, maple syrup, and vanilla in an oven-proof pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then stir in the rice.
  2. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven; bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour, stirring about halfway through.
  3. Serve warm, with blueberries on the side if desired!

Make a Sailboat

Travis has been tackling projects that hone his fine motor skills as he completes the academic year for first grade. For this one, he made a floating sailboat with just a few common household items.

First up was making the sail. Since he chose black paper, I suggested he use white crayon so his drawing would show up well. He loved decorating it with an imposing figure.

I then drew lines so he could cut the paper into a triangle.

Apply glue to the non-decorated side of the sail, then fold in half over a straw in the middle (as the mast). Let dry completely.

For the hull of the boat, wash and dry a Styrofoam tray. Travis used a blob of clay to secure the mast in the center, then it was time to set sail! This boat proudly braved the waves of Baking Dish Sea.

If kids want to get scientific, they can test out different sized sails and see if the boat floats better or worse!

Rainy Day Recycled Rainbow

Veronika loves rainy days lately, because she’s on the hunt for a rainbow! While we waited for a real one to appear, we made this upcycled version at home, the perfect use for the last few sheets from a pack of construction paper. If you don’t have construction paper, use up any leftover bits of scrapbook or patterned paper from your craft bin. We actually didn’t have any green paper left, so thinking quickly, we scribbled green marker onto white paper.

Tear the paper into pieces (and invite your child to help!), then draw the outline of a rainbow on a large piece of cardboard.

Working with one color at a time, Veronika helped dot glue all along that color, then press down the paper bits that matched.

She loved the process, whether shouting out “gluey gluey!” as we dotted the glue on first, or proudly selecting which paper piece to add. She enjoyed sliding the paper pieces through the glue, too, watching the way this smudged the marker line underneath.

We worked our way up from purple, and she was thrilled when she had to step across the rainbow to work on yellow, orange, and red at the top.

When the rainbow was complete, she wanted to keep going. I gave her a sheet of paper and the remaining paper scraps to design her own rainbow. I loved this toddler-take on the craft!

Pretty soon we’ll head outside to find a real rainbow for the perfect finish to a rainy day.