Great Green Guacamole

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At a recent hotel stay, Travis’s favorite channel on the room’s TV was… Food Network! A boy after his mama’s heart. So when we got home, we staged our own “Food Network kitchen” and whipped up this recipe, care of High Five magazine.

Adults, first cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Let your child scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Travis loved this tool!

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Next he added 1/4 cup jarred salsa:

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1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (adults can do the mincing ahead of time; Travis loved the way the cloves of garlic smelled!)

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We served our “test kitchen” masterpiece with cut up cucumbers, orange and red bell pepper strips, and bean tortilla chips.

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Snow Globes

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Our snowy themed indoor fun continues, as negative wind chills are still keeping us mostly indoors. These snow globes didn’t turn out as pretty as the kind you’d buy in a store, but we enjoyed making them!

First, you’ll need to arrange little figures or miniatures, and glue to the lid of a mason jar. We had fun sorting through cute bird-themed figures we had at home, which looked great when we affixed them (I used hot glue, a grown-up step).

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Next time though, I would use something taller, since these didn’t really stick far up enough into our swirling “snow.” But more on that later.

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Help your child pour water into the mason jars until they are almost full. Then it’s time for the secret ingredient: vegetable glycerin. Travis loved the goopy texture. Add 1 teaspoon to each mason jar.

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Finally, we needed to add snow…. glitter that is! Don’t overdo it, or you won’t really be able to see your figures in the jar. We might have been a little too heavy-fisted.

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Now give them a shake to create a beautiful indoor snowfall! These would make great gifts if you want to save the idea for the holidays.


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Here it is snowing on our little birdhouse:

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Borax Snowflakes

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I’ve avoided Borax as a crafting tool until now because it can be a potential skin irritant, and of course hazardous is if ingested… but snowy days inspire snowy projects, and for this one we really needed the Borax. Luckily Travis was very responsible using it as an ingredient in our craft.

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The goal was to make sparkly crystal snowflakes, but first we needed to do some mixing. Under careful supervision, have your child pour 1/3 cup Borax into a mason jar.

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I added 3/4 cup boiling water, and then monitored carefully as Travis stirred to dissolve the Borax; make sure your child doesn’t touch the glass jar, as it will be hot at this point. Travis loved the slightly taboo nature of all this!

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To make your “snowflakes”, bend pipe cleaners into a roughly snowflake-like design. Ours were really more like stars, with five points instead of six. Of course you could also make other shapes, including circles, squares, triangles, or just freeform.

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Tie the pipe cleaner shapes onto jumbo craft sticks, and then dangle into the Borax solution. Now we needed to wait overnight!

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In the morning, on yet another day of polar weather, we were rewarded with sparkling icy snowflakes.

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We’re going to set these aside to make them ornaments next Christmas!

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