4.16.2009

soft block and game

This week I was all excited to share with your my serger cheat book I had made to help me remember all the different settings and stitches. The cheat book is something I've made, personalized to my serger, and I even have examples of the stitches made up and stapled to the pages.

But I lost it.

The book is somewhere in my sewing room, which is mostly packed up and all the way disorganized while we prepare for a move. When (if!) I find it, I shall share. Promise.

In the meanwhile, I have a small project to keep you and your wee ones moving and entertained. This morning I playing with the kids (ages 1, 2, 3, and 4) with something that has recently surfaced from my sewing room. I had started out making cloth blocks for my 2 year old dayhome kid, way back at the winter solistice. After making one I decided that it wasn't working well, stashed the unlovable block under a pile of fabric, and made something else instead.

Cleaning out the sewing room not too long ago, I rediscovered the block and thought that while it may be ugly, it would probably making a good soft throwing toy for my baby boy. And I brought it upstairs.
The kids love the block. It gets thrown, stepped on, hidden, found, and hidden again. So many impromptu games have been created for this block, where every side is a different colour and it is still square enough to have one colour land face up. Let me share our favorite game with you.
But first, you need a block!

Cut 6 squares of fabric, all of different colours and/or patterns, about 6" x 6". I suggest using corduroy, linen, or a tougher fabric that can stand up a bit of abuse.
Sew together the squares, right sides together, into a cube shape. Leave the last seam partly open, with an opening large enough to turn the cube right side out and stuff semi-firm with fibre fill. After stuffing, slip stitch the opening closed.


Now, the fun bit: find some kids (you don't need as many as I happen to have hanging around my house). Have the kids all gather in a large space with enough room around each child for arm flailing and leg wiggling. Have one of the children throw the block up in the air. When the block lands, take note of the colour on the up facing side and ascribe an action to corespond to that colour.

For example,
Blue side = spin around 3 times
Red side = hop from foot to foot
White side = drop to the ground and steamroller!


Make up a new action for every toss of the block (as long as your imagination holds out) or try to remember the action for each colour. Children love to try out all their silly moves and each having a chance to throw the block. You can even have the children make up the moves themselves.

This game is excellent for rainy days when everyone needs to do some movement play but are bored to tears of the hokey hokey pokey and ring around the rosey.

More soft block games:
Hot potato
Dodge ball (with preschoolers or older)
I wish... (the block is tossed from child to child, and as the child catches the block they make a wish - an excellent game to gain some insight into the minds of children)

If you have a game idea too, please share!

7 comments:

  1. I love, love, love your game idea! I made some blocks similar to yours a few months ago, but I used thick foam on the inside instead of stuffing. Five are completed; one to go.

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  2. that sounds like a great game! i dont have one of those blocks, but ill bet i could make one out of card stock, thanks for sharing!

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  3. Great idea! Wish I'd found it two weekends ago, when I was planning a party for Kindergarteners.

    Though the teenagers might enjoy it, too...

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  4. This idea is PERFECT for the little kiddies I teach!

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  5. I love this idea. My daughter-in-law just receivd her teaching degree. She will be teaching elementary next year. I can't wait to make her a couple of these for her classroom. It sound like a great way to teach, including social skills. Thank you so very much.

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  6. how about sewing some vinyl to each square ( on 3 sides of the square to make see through pockets so that you can slip in pictures of things to do?

    How do I sew them into the cube shape? any templates?

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