Sweet Pea is 5 years old.
From: Lately, Sweet Pea has been very interested in braiding. There is a braiding board in her classroom at school that she often talks about which inspired me to create a version for her to use at home.
- Cardboard box.
- Duct Tape.
- 3 Different colors of ribbon or yarn, each cut to about 18 inches long.
- Tie the 3 strands of ribbon together and knot them several times to create a large knot.
- Cut a small hole in the top of the cardboard box. The hole should be just big enough to fit the knot through.
- Push the knot into the box from the outside and use the duct tape to secure it in place.
- Put 4 pieces of duct tape all around the ribbon on the outside of the box to help strengthen it.
- Sit next to your tot and put the braiding box in front of you.
- Separate the 3 pieces of ribbon from each other and lay them out so there is clearly one on the left, in the middle and on the right.
- Show your tot how to take the piece of ribbon on the left and move it to the middle.
- Next take the piece of ribbon that is on the right and move it to the middle.
- Take the piece of ribbon that is now on the left and move it to the middle.
- As you continue to slowly demonstrate braiding, explain that a braid is created by just repeating the pattern of moving the ribbon on the left to the middle and then moving the ribbon on the right to the middle.
- When you come to the end of the braid, undo it and let your tot try.
Observations: Sweet Pea has chosen to work on the braiding box several times and is always very engaged when she practices with it. I am somewhat surprised by her continued interest, but it seems to be a really good challenge for her right now.
The braiding box was very easy to create and is excellent for hand eye coordination and fine motor control. I would recommend creating one for any kids who are starting to show an interest in learning to tie a bow or braid.
Notes from the Trenches: I only used 2 colors of ribbon when I created our box, but if your tot doesn’t know how to braid yet, I would highly encourage you to use 3 differently colored ones.
Our braiding box has lasted us a couple of weeks so far, but given the nature of cardboard, I don’t expect it to hold up indefinitely. If you wanted a sturdier version, you could create one with a real wooden board and shoe laces.
Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal)