Monday, July 28, 2008
Homemade Toys: I-Spy Game
I like to give homemade gifts if I have time to make them. This one was for my nephew's 3rd birthday earlier this summer. I got this idea from other moms that make homemade toys; it's an I-spy game/toy. Earlier this year when I was making these, I was searching for something to hide inside them, and I found my answer at JoAnn's. They are buttons! They carry them in so many different shapes (cars, school supplies, animals, foods, sports, flowers, etc) and they are a perfect size for this type of toy.
To make the toy, I used fleece that I had around from other projects. The great part about the fleece was that I didn't have to worry about finishing the edges; I just left them plain. I cut my shapes in two layers, then cut the "window" in one piece. For the window material, I used the clear, flexible packaging that I got with some kids toy (sometimes sheets come in this type of packaging or you can buy some at the fabric store...it's just clear vinyl). I sewed my window in, pinned the two parts together, then stitched most of the way around the outside leaving a 3 inch hole to fill it. I put my button shapes in and filled it with lentils (You could also use rice, beans, small pasta...I guess the assumption is that no one would ever put an I-spy bag into a boiling pot of water). Don't fill it too tight, you need to be able to squish the stuffing around. Sew the last few inches closed, and the toy is finished.
Not that it was necessary, but I decided to make cards to go with these so that my nephew knew what he was looking for. One bag has animals, food, and school stuff in it; the other one has things-that-go and sports stuff in it. I downloaded clip art to put together cards, printed them out at home, then laminated them (if I were doing it again, I would have printed them on cardstock or glued them to a card...they're a bit too flexible). The cards also allowed me to personalize the gift for Luke and give him the directions.