Baby toys are RIDICULOUSLY expensive! Especially if you want anything organic, free of chemicals, or just plain simple looking. My husband is in the midst of a job transition and blowing $50 on something that makes sound is NOT in the budget. Beatrice is getting so bored with all her baby toys (of which she only has like 5 total ha!) and she is really into music, so I wanted to get her some little musical instruments. Mind you, not loud, plastic ones that play mary had a little lamb by pressing a button. Uh huh.
I looked on Easy, and found lots that I loved but nothing even close to what we could spend. So it was decided... it was time to get creative! Bea and I headed to Hobby Lobby. She chewed on a bag of pipe cleaners, while I filled our cart a little too generously.
We came home and during her nap (literally, thats how long this took me from beginning to end!) I made her this little rattle/instrument. And she LOVES it! It makes noise, but not at an annoying level. It's simple, and sweet. It's perfect.
What you will need:
- A small dowel rod (can be trimmed to your desired length. Also I made several of these as gifts for friends and so that there would be a few to play with when other littles are over.)
- Some sturdy jute cord (Whatever color you would like)
- Bells (Shape and size is totally up to you.)
- Aluminum/baby safe paint (any color)
Fist you want to dip dye the ends of the dowel rods. Trim to your desired length, and then in a plastic cup or dish, combine paint with enough cold water to make it runny. This is just so that you can get a clean line on the wood.
Lay out a paper towel with an object such as a wooden spoon across it like I have here. This is just so that the paint doesn't stick to the paper towel while the dowel rods are drying.
Dip each rod into the paint, and make sure that it is evenly covered, with a clean line at the top. Set on the paper towel to dry.
When they are dry, drill a very small hole into the top of each rod.
Measure a piece of your cord to be about 5 or 6 inches. Lace it through the hole, and tie one of the bells on one end. Once the first bell is secure, pull the other end of the string so that the bell is tight agains the side of the rod. Now tie the other bell onto the other side, making sure it is tight to the rod like the first one. Trim the excess cord. The looser the bells are, the more they will clack around and jingle, the tighter the bells, the more they will just stay in place and chime softly, your choice.
Lastly, if for some reason you did not find paint you were comfortable with your child chewing on, you can seal the wood with a combination of coconut oil, and beeswax melted down in a double boiler. I do this with all my homemade toys that are wood. Leave a comment for the full instructions! (It's super easy.)
And believe it or not... that's it! You can make this with wooden beads too for a different sound, and texture. I also filled small glass bottles with dry rice, and beans to complete the collection. She has been making "music" ever since!