Monday, March 1, 2010

It's often the simplest things...

...that bring the most joy to children.  After countless hours spent making dolls swing on imaginary swings with my daughter, I decided it was time to bring this activity into reality.  After all, if she was this happy with imaginary swings for her dolls, just think how happy she would be to have an actual swing to put them in!  
I know that there are doll swings out there, as I have seen them in stores, but rather than go out and spend who knows how much money on a doll swing for a child that already has plentiful toys, I took a look around the house and thought about what we already have that I could use to make one.  And when I explained to little g what I was doing, she exclaimed, "Oh!  You're making me a swing?!?" in her sweet little voice.

I knew at that moment I had to find a way to make this work.  My first idea was to take a doll stroller that she has, and some how attach it to a tension bar in a doorway.  I knew we had some old tension rods in the basement, which I thought would be perfect.  When the first one I found wasn't quite long enough to fit in our doorway, I looked around to see where else I could put it.  I found the perfect spot for it, but it wasn't big enough for the stroller.  Hmmm...could I make a swing out of something else for her teensy little dolls?  
Of course!  All you really need for a swing is something for the doll to sit in and string to attach it to the bar.  So I fashioned a couple of swings out of the top of crayon box and a tea box that were headed for the recycling bin anyway.  All I did was tie a string around each end of the boxes, then secure the string and cover the boxes with some pretty blue duct tape I had on hand.  I tied the other ends of the strings to the tension rod and secured with some more tape.  Voila!  Two new doll swings, much to the delight of my daughter.

Still determined to turn the doll stroller into a swing, I went back to the basement to search for a longer tension rod.  I found one, brought it up and measured it against the doorway.  Perfect!  Now all I needed was a way to hook the stroller to rod.  Aha!  Ribbon!  I cut two lengths of ribbon, folded over one end on each, and stitched it down to create a loop for the rod to slide through.  Then on the other end, I sewed on some velcro so that the ribbon could wrap around the handle of the stroller and attach.  Now "Smaller Baby" can have a swing too.  And Pingu and Evan and Bobo, and all her other friends. 
Sometimes it pays to think outside the box, and use things in a new way.  These swings have already provided hours of entertainment, and the best part is, they were completely free! 

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