I am excited to say, that in just a week both the Littles will be attending their very first camp! They are both excited for it as they will be gone for 5 days with their friends from church. Little Miss though, is also nervous. She is rather attached to us and has never spent the night anywhere away from family. She is a bit OK with it because she knows Little Man will be there. We have discussed the menu with the camp and will be sending the necessary foods to adhere to her food allergy needs. But recently a new concern came up for her…. The beloved Big Kitty.
Big Kitty has been there for her through everything since she was a year old. This thing goes EVERYWHERE. And I mean she has even tried taking it to school a few times, it goes to the grocery store with us. I sometimes even have to bribe her to be able to wash it. She has had Big Kitty for 6 years now (almost 7) and it is so loved we even have had to restuff it (by the way Build A Bear will restuff any stuffed animal for free!). You can just tell by looking at it the love it has given my daughter. However, this new adventure has her concerned with losing Big Kitty or forgetting it at camp. So how were we going to calm this latest fear? Luckily I have this amazing friend who has not only worked with little kids, but was a camp counselor growing up and knows a few tricks. That is when Jess over at Caffeinated Army Wife told me about how her mom put a leash on her favorite Teddy to keep it safe at camp.
How genius is that?!?!?! Her mom did that so she could take it off the leash to sleep with, then during the day she could connect it to the pillow so it wouldn’t accidentally be knocked off the bed and kicked off to someplace. I honestly would of never thought of that! But with all the wonderful things Jess comes up with (seriously go look at her blog for amazing crafty things), it doesn’t surprise me she had a trick up her sleeve. Now for her “buddy leash”, her mom just bought an actual collar and small leash from the pet section of a store. So you could always go that route. But I wanted my daughter to make this “her own”.
This is really a fun, quick and easy project to do with your little one. What you will need is:
- one (or two) Key Chain Rings
- Gems or some other decorations (optional)
- Hot Glue
- Velcro (optional)
Now the reason why there are some options is because of all the different ways you could really do this.
First with the collar. To make one you can simple take some ribbon and measure it to fit around your stuffed animals neck. Put one end through the key ring and use hot glue to fold the end around it (example below). Then you can sew some velcro on the ends to make it close and decorate it with gems if you wish. Another option is finding something that is already made with a key ring on it. My daughter found a cute sparkly pink key chain band that has a clip already on it so she just got that.
Now that I got the collar around the neck it is time to make the leash. Take the length of ribbon you would like to use, remember some of it will tuck into the pillow case. Take a key chain ring and put the ribbon through it. Roll the ribbon down so that the cut part is tucked inside of it (that will help with fraying) and glue it so it stays. On the other end roll the end down again to keep the cut part from fraying and glue close like a hem.
Next, if your Little chooses to, have them lay out their leash decoration. Then you can go through and quickly glue the decorations on for them. If your child is old enough to handle a hot glue gun on their own they can do the gluing while they are laying out their design.
Last but not least attaching it to the pillow. You can either A- take velcro and sew some into the pillow and onto the end of the leash, or you can do a simple tack stitch and sew the leash onto the pillow case. By doing a tack stitch you can quickly remove the leash and stitching when camp is done.
And that is it! A quick and simple way to keep your childs favorite stuffed animal with them and safe! Now I must disclose (the obvious) child safety. This should done with kids old enough to understand the importance of taking the stuffed animal OFF the leash to sleep with. My daughter has been given strict instructions that at bed time, Big Kitty is taken off the leash and the leash tucked into her pillow case, thus avoiding any possible strangling concerns. I have gone over this with her and she understands and even hours later can tell me the instructions for the use of the leash. It is only to be used during the day to keep Big Kitty from running away (as she words it).
Does your child have a favorite stuffed animal or blanket? What are some tricks you use to keep it safe and sound?