Who Do You See?

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For toddlers who are forming a firm sense of “me”, the chance to see themselves in a mirror is especially exciting. This little project lets your toddler play peek-a-boo with him- or herself!

To make a mirror box, I used a wooden box with a hinged lid that Veronika would easily be able to flip open and closed. You can also find boxes like this at the craft store.

Use hot glue to attach a small flat mirror inside the lid of the box.

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I decorated the outside with pretty wrapping paper, purely for the aesthetic. And of course she loved playing with extra wrapping paper as I put it together!

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We started with just the mirror inside. You can tell from the photos that she was smitten.

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She tried playing peek-a-boo with her reflection, and said “hello” to it and paraded around so proudly with the box.

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And of course tried climbing in it!

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I later added a few photos of family member’s faces, thinking to make the surprise inside the lid different each time. You can mix this up by taping in pictures of animals or other favorite items from magazines, too.

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Even once the surprise of the mirror wears off, this makes for a special box to store little keepsakes in.

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Peanut Butter and Cheddar Melts

PB Cheddar (1)This gourmet sandwich is the perfect marriage of two kid classics: PB&J and grilled cheese. It’s sure to bring a smile to kids’ faces at lunchtime! Use your favorite jam for this recipe. Cherry would taste nice, as does mixed berry.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 teaspoons Earth Balance butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar
  • 4 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
  • 4 teaspoons berry jam
  1. Spread one side of each bread slice with 1 teaspoon butter; set aside.
  2. Place two of the bread slices, butter side down, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, spread the remaining two slices of bread with the peanut butter and jam, on the opposite side from the butter. Place over the cheesy bread in the skillet; flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

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Let’s Build a Flashlight

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Kids will feel like real electricians with this easy project! All you need is a cheap flashlight, the kind you’ve probably picked up at a drugstore or dollar store check-out in the past and have lying around.

I disassembled the flashlight into all of its components and arranged them on a tray so it felt very official, then called Travis over.

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He was so excited when I challenged him to put it together again! At first he was twisting together just the body and the screw cap, without a thought for coils or batteries or other pieces that might need to go inside.

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Hmm… it wouldn’t turn on. What was missing? Now he worked hard to figure out where the coils should go.

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Being allowed to handle the batteries all by himself was super thrilling!

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It took a few tries before he had everything arranged in the right direction.

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He was so proud once a push of the button turned it on!

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This is a great introduction to battery power that even young children can grasp.

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