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Here’s a cute and easy jack-in-the box that you can make for your infant. It’s a little less startling than the kind you buy where a wind-up figure pops out, making it a good intro to the toy. And you only need a few pantry items to make it!

Poke a hole in the bottom of a Styrofoam cup with a pencil.

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Push a straw through the hole, and attach a small   to the other end of the straw (I just taped one on).

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Hold the straw so the puppet is hidden in the cup, then… Peek-a-boo!

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Here’s a cute rhyme you can say before the big reveal:

Jack in the box, still as a mouse,

Deep down inside your little dark house.

Jack in the box, resting so still.

Will you come out? Yes, I will!

Lots of giggles and delight for this one.

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Big siblings will probably want to take a turn doing the popping, too.

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Ribbon Dancer

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April showers bring May flowers, or so they say! Which means we’re having a rainy month and we’re on the lookout for rainbows these days. This easy craft is a cute way to bring a little color and rainbows inside, even when the days are cloudy and gray.

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First, we measured out a length of red ribbon that was as tall as Travis – he thought it was neat to see a piece so long!

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Once we had our red, we could measure out the other colors of the rainbow against it. This is a good chance to review ROYGBIV order for preschoolers. Travis used scissors to cut each to the right length.

Now fold one ribbon in half, and loop through the ring of a canning jar. Pull the ends of the ribbon through the loop.

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Pretty soon we had our rainbow strings for dancing!

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Put on some good music and just jive.

Rainbow Dancer (6)Or perhaps do a raindance.

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If you’re lucky and it’s beautiful outside, this little rainbow looks even prettier out in the sunshine!

Build Your Own Tacos

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When Travis came home for lunch today, we set up a whole taco assembly line in the kitchen. He loved the hands-on nature of this recipe, care of his final issue of High Five magazine.

Ahead of time, I cooked a package of Gardein chick’n strips, and let cool. Travis helped shred the chicken, and we sprinkled it with 1 teaspoon taco seasoning. Microwave for 1 minute to rewarm.

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Meanwhile, warm up hard taco shells according to package directions. Travis then got to hone his knife skills; together we chopped a tomato and a little lettuce.

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Time to assemble! We made a big line with everything.

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In goes:

  • Gardein chick’n
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Shredded Daiya cheddar
  • Non-dairy sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Mild salsa

Travis loved it! We made one version that was a stuffed taco and one that was more like nachos.

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If your kids don’t like Gardein chick’n, try the recipe using black beans and roasted sweet potatoes as the base instead.

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