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Fun Project For Kids: DIY Blankets

Last weekend a group of 17 kids ages 4-17 came out for a service project I organized.  We made blankets for dogs in the Naperville Area Humane Society.  With only 2 pieces of fleece and a pair of scissors, in less than an hour the kids were able to make blankets that will provide much needed comfort for dogs that are awaiting forever homes.

Making dog blankets can be a fun project for a snow day, a homeschool activity, or an activity for any day that you are looking for a technology-free project for your kids. Here's how:

Materials
2 pieces of 1-2 yards of fleece per blanket
Fabric scissors

Instructions

  1. Cut the fleece to the desired size.  We used 1 yard for most of the blankets. The 1 yard blankets were just right for small-medium dogs. For larger dogs, use more fabric. For each blanket you will need 2 pieces of fabric. 
  2. Placing two pieces of fabric together, cut one 3 inch square out of each corner. 
  3. Cut strips around all 4 sides of the fabric. The strips should be about 1-2 inches wide and 3 inches deep. 
  4. Tie each pair of strips into double knots. A “pair” is a strip from the top fabric and the matching strip from the bottom fabric.
  5. If your blanket gets all bunched up into a crazy shape, that’s OK. After all your knots are tied, you can reshape the blanket by gently tugging all the sides out straight again. If your blanket does not end up being a perfect rectangle or square, that's OK. The dog will not mind!
Tips
  1. To save on fleece, check out your local fabric store’s remnant table. Prints are typically more expensive than solids. We used a solid for one side of a blanket and print on the other. Many chain fabric and craft stores regularly offer coupons via email, online, or in the newspaper.
  2. If you plan to donate to a shelter, check with the shelter first. Not all shelters accept them.
  3. If you are making a blanket for your own dog, see how your dog reacts to it. Some dogs will bite the knots and try to eat the fabric. 
  4. Knotted blankets can be made for cats!
  5. Knotted blankets can be made for humans as well!!  Buy a larger quantity of fleece.

 
As part of the service project, each child wrote a note to the recipient dog explaining why he or she is giving the dog the blanket. Not only did the kids enjoy writing the note, it provided a fun (and sneaky) way for kids to practice writing skills! 

To download a blank "Note to Pup," and other free downloadable pages, click here!.



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