Make a Jumping Jack

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Make a Jumping Jack
Total Time 2 to 3 hours Ages preschooler

Fashion a colorful updated version of an old-fashioned wooden toy.

What you'll need

  • Template
  • Poster board
  • Colored and white paper
  • Glue stick
  • Black pen
  • Hole punch
  • Brass paper fasteners
  • Embroidery floss
  • Plastic ring (ours is a knitting stitch marker)

How to make it

  1. Use the template to mark the shapes from poster board, then cut them out. Trace the shapes onto colored paper and trim the paper shapes to make clothes, accessories and other parts. Glue these to the poster board shapes. Punch out two white paper circles for eyes, glue them in place, and draw pupils and other facial features with the black pen.

  2. Punch holes in the shapes where marked on the template.

  3. Put a brass fastener through each hole in the torso and into the bottom hole of the arms and legs.

  4. Place Jack facedown, with the arms and legs in an "at rest" position, then tie loops of floss through the empty arm and leg holes, as shown. (It's easier to do if a helper holds the arms and legs in place.)

  5. Tie a 2-foot length of floss around the leg loop, leaving two long ends. Tie one end around the arm loop, leaving no slack between the two loops. Tie the plastic ring to the other end. Add a loop of floss to the top of the head. To make Jack jump, hold this loop in one hand and pull gently on the ring with the other.


    Fun Fact: According to the Getty Research Institute, kids as far back as 800 BC played with jointed-limb dolls called plangones.

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