How to Use Plastic Straws to Make Toys for Kids
by SJ Johnson
As a proponent of inexpensive crafts for kids, I enjoy working with plastic drinking straws. Plastic straws are an inexpensive material to use for children's crafts. They are versatile enough to be used to create jewelry, toys and decoration. A few of the objects you can create are bracelets, necklaces and a floating toy raft for bath time. Here are the instructions to make those toys:
String or Yarn
Needle and Thread
Rubber bands (various sizes)
How to Make Plastic Straw Bracelets
1. Take a rubber band and cut it so that it can lay flat.
2. Cut your plastic straw into little pieces. You can start with 1" inch pieces or vary the size based on your personal preference.
3. I prefer the look of multicolored plastic straw jewelry, so I used different colored straws.
4. String your straw pieces along your rubber band as you would string beads.
5. When you are finished, tie both sides of the rubber band into a knot.
How to Make Plastic Straw Necklaces
1. Cut your string to the length you want your necklace to be.
2. Cut your plastic straws to whatever size you prefer. You may want to start with 1" inch pieces or smaller.
3. String the pieces of straw as you would string beads.
4. Once your necklace is complete, tie a knot to finish.
How to Make a Plastic Straw Toy Raft
1. Take a needle and thread and pinch the straw together about 1" inch from the top of the straw. If you prefer, you can use glue instead of a needle and thread--just make sure the glue will not dissolve in water.
2. Pass the needle and thread through the straw.
3. Once you have "sewn" through the first straw, add a second straw.
4. Keep adding straws until you have approximately twenty (20) straws connected.
5. Tie a knot to keep the straws intact.
6. Repeat Steps #1-5 to sew the other end of the straws.
7. Your plastic straw toy raft is ready for bath time.
Other Uses for Plastic Straws
1. For patriotic holidays, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, make an inexpensive tabletop centerpiece by lining a glass vase with red, white and blue straws before adding your flowers.
2. Use plastic straws as skewers for cold food. Plastic straws are a safer alternative to using wooden or metal skewers for young children. The key is to use cold food and to avoid using food that is too heavy for the straw to hold.
As you can see, plastic straws have many uses. The more you work with them, the more new ideas you will have. The best part of working with drinking straws for children's crafts is that they are inexpensive and easy for children to handle.
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