Teddy’s swing

I recently acquired this book:

It can’t quite decide whether it’s a how-to book or an introduction to Waldorf educational philosophy, but that’s a winning combination for me!

Dustyfeet likes the book too, as it’s full of beautiful photographs. She fell madly in love with a photograph of a teddy in a swing, and nothing would satisfy her but that her teddy should have a swing too.

This was Version 1:

The basic construction was very simple: a double layer of fabric (about 20 x 50 cm, excluding seam allowances) with a dowel (I actually used the plastic stick from a balloon that T got from a restaurant) in a tube at each end, and another dowel in a tube in the middle (to give structure to the seat). The strings are twice the length of the sewn fabric and attach to the two end dowels.

Teddy liked it, but we had it hung from a broomhandle resting on two chairs, and Dustyfeet’s enthusiasm kept sending it flying.

We spent quite a while experimenting with different options, and both came up with modifications – a good exercise in problem-solving for Dustyfeet! Eventually, we hooked it onto a coathanger and hung it from the clothes airer. Much better – and Dolly liked it too.

I had tied and hot-glued the strings onto the ends of the sticks but our next problem was that they kept slipping off – hot glue doesn’t work very well on plastic. So I found six big wooden beads that happened to have holes just the right size for the sticks to fit through, and glued them onto the ends of the sticks. Problem solved – and looks much nicer too (If you make this with wooden dowels, you probably won’t have this problem – you just cut a groove in the dowel and set the string into that).

This was really quick and easy to make (apart from the logistical hiccups) and Dustyfeet has surprised me with the amount of time she’s spent playing with it. Teddy and Dolly are spending a lot of time on their swing!

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