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everything’s coming up roses

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Today’s summer bowl activity is proof, once again, that if you take a toy out of rotation for a while it becomes new and fun when you bring it back. My fabulously crafty mother-in-law made these felt and button flowers for Pia a while back. I kept them out for quite some time because I thought they were so cool and tactile and pretty. But, since they had been out in plain Pia sight for so long it was like she had stopped seeing them. So I put them away for a couple weeks and they reappeared this morning in the summer bowl. Today she played with them in a totally new way, first organizing all the pieces by color and part of flower. Then she asked me to play ‘flower shop’ and we had fun picking pieces and putting together new flowers.

If you want to make a similar toy it works best with stiff felt. Cut out different sizes and shapes of flower petals and leaves and make button hole slits in them (make the slits big enough so the buttons you choose fit through easily). Cut strips of felt (about 6 inches by 1 inch) and sew buttons to them. The buttons should all be roughly the same size.  Make sure you leave about a quarter inch of space between the button and the felt when sewing on the button, so the buttons are easy to manipulate by little hands and so they can accommodate a few layers of flower petals. Then let your little one loose and watch a colorful garden appear!

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4 responses »

  1. I loved this when I first saw it at your house, and I love it still. What other things could we make with this system? Circus train cars that button together with all their (removable) animals? I am in boy-land and can’t think beyond trains at the moment, but I bet there are lots of options…

    Reply
  2. Tea and Pea's nana

    how about animals with different noses or ears or eyes — or a face (a 2D version of Mr. Potato head)

    Reply
  3. Nana, I love that idea! I think I’m going to steal it and make them for goodie bags for Pia’s birthday party. Which is in October so I have an outside chance of actually getting around to it by then! Especially if I get Robin to help me 🙂

    Reply

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