I take my daughter to baby sensory once a week, and she has always been fascinated by one of the toys that they have at the class. Its a 3 inch plastic hoop with 7 coloured ribbons attached to the hoop, which make up the colours of rainbow. You can twirl or shake the ribbons around in front of her and she loves it – and I tried to find this toy in a few shops with no success, and so eventually bought it for her for Christmas from the class teacher for about £4.
A month later the ring broke, and we managed to glue it back together again, but it got me wondering if we could have done better by making it ourselves or buying a slightly different toy elsewhere?
After a little bit more investigative work on the internet, I managed to find the toy on the Baby Sensory website for £3.95:
I then managed to find some similar toys by searching for ‘Dancing Ribbons’, and to be honest most of them were around that price or slightly cheaper, but then you also had to factor in postage costs.
How easy is it to make this toy?
There’s nothing worse than starting a craft project, and then finding out half way through that its very complicated, fiddly or difficult and either making a botch-job or abandoning the whole thing.
So it turns out this toy is actually simple to make:
- Take a wooden (or sturdy plastic) ring
- Loop a ribbon around the wooden ring so that the ribbon sits halfway through when it meets the ring, and tie the ribbon in a double knot
- Repeat step 2 for the other strands of ribbon, making sure you arrange them neatly around the wooden ring
- Use pinking shears/scissors to cut the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying (or you can sear the ribbon using a lighter or flame)
So would it have been cheaper to make the toy myself?
Well – you need to buy the ring (which I found on Etsy for £3.50, or £10.85 for 10), as well as the ribbon in 36 inch long strips and in 7 colours. If you’re not fussy about the colour then you can get a non-specified bundle of colours for about £2 on Amazon,but if you want it to be the colours of the rainbow then it will cost you more. So cost wise, you could save a bit of money if you were making the toy in bulk, but if you’re looking to make only one then it doesn’t seem to be cost effective.
I probably wouldn’t make this toy myself, as for me the effort of buying all the different bits online, waiting for them to arrive and then actually making the toy seems like too much – especially when it would be more expensive than buying it from the class teacher. However, if you live near to a craft shop that has all the bits needed, and a slightly older child at home this could make a fun and simple craft project for them. And after a small bit of repair work it still seems to be working just fine, and our daughter still loves it and hasn’t come to any harm after we used a bit of superglue.