Monday, 31 October 2011

baby gym

With the birth of our fabulous little girl Mark and I have been looking at baby toys. We have felt sad that everything is made of plastic and lots of gaudy plastic toys with tinny music just don't sit well with us. So what is the alternative? There are some wooden toys out there to buy or we can be creative and make things ourselves. The problem is, although I have lots of ideas of things to make for Grace, Grace her self takes up so much time there is not much left for being creative!

As Grace is so much more interactive these days, I really wanted her to have a baby gym. It didn't take long to come up with a relatively quick and cheap solution. An afternoon mooching round charity shops and Ridgeons gave us everything we needed. Mark even managed to make the frame the same afternoon.

We bought enough 12mm dowel to make the whole frame but when we got home Mark found some nice thick dowel (25mm) for the top. He used a 12mm bit to make holes for the legs. The legs are at a 46 degree angle (which took much head scratching and trigonometry to work out, to give us the desired height and stability!) and offset so they can be drilled in by about 2cm. They are also glued.

The most time saving idea was to buy some small soft toys from charity shops, rather than faff around making things. It also makes us happy to reuse things other people no longer want. Three of the toys were wrist rattles that I took the wrist strap off and the orange cat has a bean bag bum so there are different textures and sounds for her to play with. They all went round the washing machine before I used them.

The curtain rings left over from another project turned out to be the perfect thing to hang the toys from. I cut the elastic to the right length and zig-zaged it onto a piece of material, catching in the brass eyelet of the curtain ring and stretching it as I went. Then I cut the material to the right width, sewed it into a tube and turned it back the right way using my trusty chop stick. The tubes were hand sewed onto the toys and the eyelets screwed back into curtain rings.

It all came together really well and Grace loves it!

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