As a Mom to a new baby, I’m constantly noticing the latest trends of “must-have” baby toys. I’m a fan of any toy that teaches my baby new things, but the more simple and attractive it is, the better, in my opinion!
The first toys babies enjoy are often hung from baby gyms, or even on the handle of the car seat. They can entertain and educate babies, even before your baby can hold a toy himself. Hanging toys stimulate the tactile and visual senses of baby and work out his muscles too. As baby learns to reach and grasp the toys his hand-eye coordination and fine motor function skills are put to the test. I thought it would be fun to add a few handmade options to the collection of baby toys at our house. This baby toy would also make a sweet gift for a new Mom!*
To make one toy you will need: chunky wool yarn in your color of choice, scissors, an embroidery hoop (3″ or 4″), unfinished wooden beads, and a small piece of string.
- Make hanging string. Cut about two feet of yarn. Tie the two ends together, creating a big loop. Slip one end of loop through the middle of your embroidery hoop. Pull the second end of loop through the middle of the first end and tighten, securing yarn to embroidery hoop (see photo two above). Set aside.
- Add beads. For the smaller toy (3″ hoop), cut about 4-5 feet of yarn. String one wooden bead on to yarn, stopping at the center of your piece. My yarn was too chunky to fit through the bead, so I tied a string to the end of my yarn and pulled it through the bead that way. Remove string when done. String a second bead through both ends of the yarn at the same and pull down to first bead (use the same string trick if needed). Add a third bead for bigger hoops/toys. Tie a knot above beads to hold them in place.
- Attach beaded string to toy. Tie one side of your beaded string to embroidery hoop to the left of your hanging string. Repeat with the right side so beads dangle down in the middle of hoop (see photo five above).
- Crochet! Starting with the left side, pull the end of the string you just tied under and through the embroidery hoop. As you pull up, pull string through its own loop to tie (see photos six and seven above). Repeat until you reach the bottom middle of hoop. Repeat with right side of hoop.
- Finish. Tie two strings together at the bottom of the hoop, knotting twice. Trim the ends and you’re done!
*All materials are natural and non-toxic, but I wouldn’t recommend hanging this toy low enough for baby to chew on it!