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Our daughter loves her DIY muslin lovey, and she especially likes when there are a few stray strings on it to pull on. She has some sensory issues (mostly centered around eating), but she does enjoy touching different textured items with her fingers.
Since she liked pulling on strings so much when she was younger (about 3-6 months), I wanted to put together some sort of sensory play toy for her involving different textured strings. My yarn and other string collection isn’t terribly robust, but I do have a HUGE ribbon collection that I rarely ever use. And several of the ribbons have little strings on them. The ribbons are also so many different textures: smooth, rough, silky, bumpy, and more!
Since I’m always dreaming of ways to craft with ribbon, I decided to put together a sensory activity for my daughter using different textured ribbons. This activity was easy to put together, and my daughter has really liked her DIY sensory play toy so far.
How I Made Our DIY Sensory Play Toy
First, I had to select the perfect base to attach the ribbons to. I found a plastic grid (left over from some sort of air conditioner filter my husband had to cut up to fit our house vent.) I rescued it from his discard pile to reuse for this DIY sensory toy. There are lots of things that you can use as your base. As long as you’re able to tie or glue ribbons into holes, you’re good to go!
Making this toy was super easy and basically involved just hot gluing little pieces of ribbon around the grid. Here are several pictures. Check out all the awesome, textured ribbons! The burlap type ribbon on the bottom right with the light blue lace in the middle was her favorite for sensory exploration. My daughter would gently finger the little strings coming out the sides and really enjoy the feel!
I also included some lace as well amidst the ribbon. I didn’t worry about ribbon fraying, because the more fray, the better, as far as my daughter is concerned!
She used to love to run her fingers over all the different textures when she was around 6 months old! I also made another hanging item from a ribbon and sequin string that I had around the house. She enjoyed looking at it, but she wasn’t ever really in love with it. I think it would have gone over better when she was a little bit younger and did more staring and less moving! I had to really watch her with this sequin sensory toy because I didn’t want her to rip any of them off and accidentally eat them!
What do you think? What other ideas do you have for DIY sensory play for babies?
And finally, check out some of our other posts in kids and parenting here!