Last term, Beetle and I merrily trundled off to our weekly music class. We sang. We clapped. We danced. Then the teacher pulled out a cute little pop-up puppet for a game or three of Jack In The Box, and our little Beetle boy was smitten. He stared at it. He cackled when it popped up. He clapped and giggled and enjoyed the heck out of that puppet show.
Of course, it turns out it was purchased many moons ago at a market, so the chances I could track down one the same were quite slim. What I could do, though, was make one. Using a plastic cup as a base, some scrap fabric and wadding, and a chopstick, along with copious quantities of hot glue (with only a small amount of finger burning along the way – a hot glue project isn’t complete without some scorched skin), I fiddled and glued and cut and had a lovely old time experimenting, and in the end, came up with this little chap.
And the boy ADORES it. We play Jack In The Box constantly. We pop up the puppet, then we grab a play silk or a baabaa (what we call his muslin wrap cuddlies) and we crouch down and jump up and laugh and cuddle and do it all over again. An added benefit of this homemade version is I don’t need to worry about him being too rough (because, let’s face it, he’s 13 months. Rough is a constant state of existence) and breaking it – if it breaks, it’s no real drama to either fix it, or salvage the parts we can and turf the broken bits. The fabric came from stash. The chopstick came from the kitchen. The cup came from the party cupboard. Zero outlay, priceless fun.