Stop and Eat the Flowers

This adorable idea from Highlights is one of those times when it’s perfectly okay to let the kids play with their food.

Just before Travis got home from school, I prepped a big platter of veggies and fruits that could be used to make a veggie “garden”. This can include almost anything, but we used an assortment of:

Celery

Snap peas

Cherry tomatoes

Baby carrots

Green beans

Broccoli

Green apple

Blueberries

I set out the plate, along with a cutting board for a “canvas”, and invited Travis to form the items into flowers.

There was so much room for variety here! The long green shapes like celery and green beans were perfect for flower stems. The slightly shorter snap peas could be grass.

Rounder shapes (cherry tomatoes, blueberries) worked nicely as the center of flowers, and we played around with ideas for petals, such as baby carrots or fuzzy broccoli trees.

This “flower” with a cluster of blueberries made me think of delphiniums!

Be careful though, because you’ll probably have garden “pests” who gobble up the flowers only moments after they’ve bloomed.

Tin Foil Constellations

Children love the glow of the stars, and here’s a beautiful way to bring that glow inside! This activity doubles as a quick lesson on constellations and a D.I.Y. nightlight.

To start, I set out a sheet of tin foil and showed Veronika how to prick it with a toothpick to make dots. We did this step over a yoga mat, so the toothpicks wouldn’t scratch a tabletop or other surface; you could also place a sheet of felt underneath.

While she made holes at random, I made more deliberate constellation shapes, such as the Big Dipper. Older kids can follow along with pictures of real constellations, too. For a toddler, this was a great first chance to talk with Veronika about how some of the stars make shapes in the sky.

Next, we fit the dotted sheet of foil inside a mason jar. This was trickier than I thought, with the foil crumpling on the first round, so we quickly made a second sheet and inserted it more smoothly. It helps to make the holes a bit wider than the point of the toothpick, too, so they show up better.

Finally, we needed to light up the night sky! Veronika helped turn on a tea light, which we then inserted into the jar.

She marveled at the twinkle as soon as we were in a darkened room! Even better, the stars will twinkle in her bedroom all night long.