I've been working on a plan to keep Daniel busy during our upcoming plane trip to Florida and I definitely have the tendency to go overboard! I love toys, I love gifts, I love making things, I love Daniel and I HATE trying to keep a kid happy in an enclosed space. So, inevitably, I will have too much! But the good news is that it means lots of travel toy ideas for my readers!
This week I made a classic Montessori toy with a twist and I think he will love it. Button snakes are great for fine motor skills and learning how to button. They're usually made with all felt squares, but I wanted to add another element to the activity, so I didn't stop there. I used some wool felt, some old felted sweaters, leather scraps, crocheted cotton squares and cotton fabric.
Making your own is so easy!
6 inch length of ribbon
1 medium sized button
Any combination of wool felt, fabric, felted sweaters, crocheted squares, leather scraps, paper, fabric etc
Needle and thread
1.) Cut your length of ribbon. Fold over the end twice (like a small hem) and sew your button onto the ribbon tightly.
2.) Make a template for your squares approx 1.5" square. Cut out all your pieces. Making it all out of felt is definitely easiest! If you are crocheting squares:
Row 1: Ch 7, turn.
Row 2: Sc into 2nd from hook and each after (6 sc). Turn.
Row 3-4: Ch 1 and sc 6 across. Turn.
Row 5: Ch 1 and sc in next 2 stitches. Ch 2, skip 2 stitches and sc in last 2 stitches to make button hole. Turn.
Row 6-8: Ch 1, crochet 6 across.
Row 9: Ch 1, sc all around the edge to finish.
3.) Fold each square in half and cut small slits (button holes) in the center.
4.) Choose a square for the bottom of the button snake (you could also use a large button to keep the squares on). Fold the end of the ribbon under to hem and zig zag stitch it on like it's about to endure a nuclear war. Or hand sew if you have no machine!
Simple, right? Depending on your child's interests, you could do shades of the same color, black and white, shapes, patterns, make it seasonal, different sizes of squares etc.
Hopefully he'll have fun and learn something useful. And stay busy on the plane.