Ribbons of Wonder

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After the success of the PomPom Project, I wanted to see what other “Busy Box” type projects I could make that would entertain His Majesty.  This one looked simple enough to replicate (here’s the origination of the pin: lots of great ideas here if you’re interested) , but I didn’t have very many fabric scraps to make it, so I figured I’d just wait until I did.  But then I saw a big jar of cut ribbon on sale at Hobby Lobby for $4.79 ($2.87 with my 40% off weekly email coupon).  I figured that the ribbon would serve just as easily as cut strips of fabric, and I tossed it in my cart. I also purchased a happy face button to use in crafting this masterpiece, which rang up for a whopping $0.67.  For this craft I also needed an empty container (I used a baby wipes container, but you could use an oatmeal container, a tupperware container, a sour cream container, whatever, go wild), a glue gun, and some scissors, none of which I had to purchase, making my total out of pocket cost for this project $3.54 before tax.  Definitely a cheap date.

Don't forget your scissors when you assemble your supplies, or you'll have to get up from sewing and go grab them, like I did.

Start by grabbing your fabric strips or ribbon, and sewing them together end to end, in a chain.  (The source blog actually tied her fabric scraps together which is certainly an option, but I need the sewing practice, and His Majesty would likely be able to easily destroy a knotted chain.)  I started sewing the ribbon together with horizontal seams.

But then, I started thinking that with His Majesty being so rough on his toys, I might do better if I sewed the rest of the ribbon together with longer, vertical seams.

Since the vertical seams could cover a larger area at each junction, I thought it might be less likely to rip under a certain someone’s abusive play tactics.  Plus, longer seams = more sewing practice, which again, I need.  Basically, you just need to connect your fabric or ribbon somehow.  Knot it, sew it by hand, machine sew it, whatever.  Creator’s choice!

Keep joining your ribbon/fabric together until your chain is as long as you want it to be or, as was my case, until your materials run out (my chain is made of 15 one-yard pieces of ribbon).  Here’s what it looked like when I was done:

As I was finishing up my chain o’ribbon, it struck me that a long chain of anything could potentially pose a strangulation hazard for anyone, but specifically for small children and pets, so I wouldn’t want to let His Majesty or any other little one get wrapped up (pun intended) in this toy without an adult right there with them. Pretty much anything and everything can kill you, so be careful out there.

After you complete your chain, use your hot glue gun to affix your chain to something that will anchor it in the wipes container.  I used the big happy face, but you could use a large button, or a big knot of fabric or pretty much anything that won’t fit through the opening in your container.

Then, you stuff your chain o’ fun into your container.  His Majesty patiently sat by awaiting the unveiling of this craft.

Leave a little bit of fabric/ribbon out so that your little one will be intrigued, and will hopefully elect to play with it, thus abandoning any thoughts of riding the cat, in favor of your new creation.

Oh, is that just my kid?  Oops…

So, how did this go over with His Majesty, you ask?

He liked it.  He repeated “Pull, Pull, Pull” as he grabbed at the ribbon, and he delivered a few cute toothy grins during his play, as seen above.  Mad cuteness.  But, as with most activities he takes on, he lost interest pretty quickly. He didn’t get to the end of the chain before he moved on to his favorite activity in the world: Basketball.  He’s obsessed.  From the second we go get him from his crib that’s what he’s chanting: “Bak-a-ba. Bak-a-ba. Bak-a-ba”.  So, the ribbon pull activity was fun for a minutes here and there, in between his day long game of Bak-a-ba.  Leaving behind this.

Not nearly as bad as on days when we get out the little people blocks and road… shudder…

For the amount of time it took to make this (about 30 minutes) and the cost (less than $4), this provided 5 minute blocks of entertainment about 5 times.  So, even though this activity didn’t result in the silent bliss that comes along with pulling every single baby wipe out of a container, it still provided almost a 100% return on my investment in the first day.  Not bad.  Plus, he never wrapped himself up in the chain, so I’m glad I didn’t get worked up worrying about him strangling himself, although it’s still wise to hang out in the same vicinity as your kids if you give them this toy.  Of course, if your little one is as “spirited” as mine is, you don’t let them out of your sight anyway, lest you want to follow a trail of destruction all the way to the wine rack.  And it would certainly be feasible to stick a ribbon chain in a smaller container (like a sour cream container) if you wanted to tote it around in a Busy Bag.  Brief and easy to clean up activities seem to be ideal for that purpose.

Have you come across any easy, inexpensive kid-tastic activities lately? Pinned anything good?

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