Electronic devices, in the form of television, tablets, and phones, are slowly taking over my kids’ undivided attention and all my rules and timetables and warnings are like fluffy cotton wool in the air. One afternoon I decided, enough is enough! I bought a lot of board games and took them to the bookshop to shop till they dropped. That was not enough, I needed more things to replace the fascinating world they have no intention of leaving behind. Sewing toys that my kids would actually use is what I decided to take on.
Buying these toys to play is a very convenient option – but when is parenting convenient anyways. And I feel more like a hands-on mama making these. Would the toys manage to keep their attention for long – that is the real challenge
1 DIY 5 stones game
This is one game that was a favorite in my younger days – We used real stones and catching all 4 stones while the fifth one was in the air brought a sense of achievement that I have not yet replicated with anything I do.
Today my kid cannot catch even one stone – the stones that I make with fabric scraps are softer and thicker and hopefully, she will manage to catch all of them sometime soon
How to make the five stones
To make the stones you simply need 5 fabric pieces of dimension – 4 inch by 2.75 inch
Fold the short edges of one piece to the wrong side – just 1/4 inch is enough. Finger press in place.
Fold the fabric piece by the center, right sides together – the folded edges aligned together.
Sew the side seams. This will make a small bag for you. Fill it with beans grains etc. Do not fill completely – 75% is enough
Now you have to stitch the open edge of the bag closed; but it is not done as you would regularly sew a bag; you keep the side seams to the center and pinch the edge closed so that the side seams touch. ( this will make the bag look like a triangle rather than the rectangle it was).
Now sew the edge closed with a hand sewing needle
I saw this first in this blog – ikatbag.com.
2 DIY Checkerboard game
The checkerboard is a game that whiles away a lot of time and teaches kids a lot of skills
Checkers is played by two people on a 64 square board, with alternating light and dark square placed in 8 columns and rows. The checker coins are kept on the dark colored squares. Each player is given 12 checker pieces and they are all kept on the three rows near to the player. As you start to play you aim to capture your opponent’s checkers as well as move your pieces so that the other person cannot advance.
How to make the checkered board
Join 1.5 inch wide strips of fabric alternatively. You need 8 columns altogether of alternative color
Cut the pieces 1.75 inches wide 8 pieces totally
Now join these pieces so that each piece is joined to another piece which is flipped – this if done continuously will get you a nice checkered fabric pattern.
Make a backing for this fabric as you would make a quilt so that it stays firm. You can use a flannel piece or felt piece as the backing
Here is a more detailed explanation of making a checkerboard game with a bag to keep the checker coins ( which are handmade as well)
3 DIY Fabric Ball
Making a soft ball to play with fabric is very easy.
Take an A4 size paper. Fold it by half. Fold it again by half. Mark it as in the picture below. Cut it out. You will get your ball template.
If you want smaller ball reduce the dimensions
Cut out the fabric pieces.
Join them one by one, keeping them right sides together . As you sew, you should defintely iron the seam allowances open and clip the seam allowance every one inch so that when you open the ball the curves lie smooth.
Make sure that the top edges are stitched to a point. As the top and bottom edges are 1/2 inch wide this will result in a point when you sew this area with correct seam allowance of 1/4 inch
When you have finished joining the 6th piece, you have to join the other edge of the 6th with the edge of the first. Leave 2 inches unstitched. Turn the ball cover inside out through this hole.
Stuff with fiberfill used inside cushions or fabric scraps or bean bag pellets. When stuffing is done, stitch the opening closed with hand sewing needle and thread.
4 DIY Bean bag toss
This is really an outdoor game, though it can be played indoors also.
The small bean bags are thrown into a hole in a board kept some distance away. You will be aiming for the hole from a distance. You get points when the bean bags fall through the hole. You can use big bowls or buckets instead of the board to catch the bags.
How to make the small bean bags
Cut out several fabric pieces measuring 7 inches by 2 . 5 inches
Fold the short edges of each fabric piece to the back of the piece and finger press in place.
Fold the piece again by the middle right sides together. Sew the side edges together.
Turn the bags right side out
Fill the inside of these bags with rice or beans. Use a hand sewing needle and thread and stitch the opening closed.
5 DIY Tic Tac game
Another all-time favorite with kids. You can make this by making 4 fabric tubes stitched onto a double layered flannel base
You make the tube by stitching a 2 inch wide fabric pieces.
My husband saw me make this board and remarked, “I used to simply draw the 4 lines with a pen on a piece of paper; What are you making (doing)?” He does not understand! It’s the Male brain and all that. But seems like he knows the game, as he beat me in less than one minute the first time and all the other times we played
Here is a more detailed tic tac toe game board than mine.