Fidget Sensory Toy

Longtime readers have likely noticed that my publication schedule has slowed way down. A big part of this is because our Little Lovely has reached kindergarten age (can you believe it?). After a few years of researching her schooling options, The Animator and I have decided that homeschooling is the best option for our family (fun fact: The Animator himself was also homeschooled).

As I have been spending much of the last few months preparing for LL's first "official" year of homeschooling, Crochet Kitten has unfortunately been pushed to the back burner, but it is not my intention to give it up entirely. While I expect homeschooling to take up much of my previously free time, I do still plan to have Crochet Kitten be what it has been at times in the past in its early years: a place where I can post my patterns, tips, and thoughts when I happen to have something to say, and not something in which I plan a new post every week (which takes up more time than I think most people realize). In this way I can focus more on creating quality posts instead of quantity for quantity's sake. In addition, I have started a new blog to chronicle our homeschooling adventures--where I also plan to post casually when I have something I would like to share--and I would like to invite you all to read it at www.newstonemooracademy.blogspot.com.

All of this said, I have a new pattern to share with you all today! Last year we did a trial run in a local homeschool group that meets one hour a week. While we love this group and made many friends, I discovered that LL had trouble sitting still at her desk while her tutor was talking. Of course, this is a personality trait of hers that we had suspected would cause trouble for her in a traditional school setting (though it is not the only reason we chose to homeschool). That's when I came up with the idea to make a fidget toy for her.

Fidget toys are often used in the autistic and ADHD community for children who have trouble sitting still in class. The idea is to give their hands (or feet) something quiet to do in order to free up their brains to focus on their teacher. I figured if it worked for them, why not LL? Having myself been a child who doodled in class in order to stay focused on the teacher, it made perfect sense to me.

The fidget toy I designed for LL looks like a classic sock monkey, but I used ridged stitches to add physical texture, increasing stripe widths for visual interest, and a springy tail just for fun. And since it's a soft toy, it doesn't make any noise that would be distracting to other children in the class.

Fidget Sensory Toy


Finished Size: About 10 inches tall.

Materials:
MC: 1 skein Cascade Cherub Aran
CC: 1 skein Cascade Cherub Aran
White: 1 skein Cascade Cherub Aran
Size F-5 (3.75 mm) crochet hook
Yarn needle
2 stitch markers

We carry almost everything you need to make this pattern at Crochet Kitten's Bazaar!

This pattern is worked in American crochet terms.

Note: Pattern is worked in the round without joining or turning between rounds. To avoid confusion, it may be helpful to mark the beginning of each round with a stitch marker.

Outer Eyes

With CC, ch 2 or start with a magic loop.

Rnd 1. 6 sc in second ch from hook (or magic loop). 6 sc.

Rnd 2. 2 sc in ea sc around. Join with sl st in first sc. 12 sc.

Finish off.

Inner Eyes

Note: The inner eyes are optional. You may choose to use buttons or doll safety eyes instead.

With MC, ch 2 or start with a magic loop.

Rnd 1. 6 sc in second ch from hook (or magic loop). 6 sc.

Rnd 2. Sc in ea sc around.

Finish off.

Head

With White, ch 7.

Rnd 1. 2 sc in second ch from hook (mark the first sc with first st marker), sc in ea rem ch across. Rotate work and continuing in unused loops along bottom of ch, 2 sc in first ch (marking the first sc with second st marker), sc in ea rem ch across. 14 sc.

Rnd 2. Sc in first marked sc; move st marker to this sc. 2 sc in next sc, sc in ea sc around to the sc before the next marked sc. 2 sc in next sc, sc in next marked sc; move st marker to this sc. 2 sc in next sc, sc in ea sc around to last sc; 2 sc in last sc. 18 sc.

Rnds 3-6. Rep rnd 2. The stitch count will increase by 4 ea rnd.

Rnd 7. 2 sc in first marked st (move st marker to first sc), sc in ea sc around to next marked st, 2 sc in next marked st (remove this st marker), sc in ea rem sc around. 36 sc.

Rnds 8-10. Sc in ea sc around, marking the first st in ea rnd with st marker.

Change to MC.

Rnds 11-20. Sc in ea sc around, marking the first st in ea rnd with st marker. Sc in next 3 sc to begin rnd 21 at the side of the Head.

Do not finish off.

Attach eyes by threading post of safety eyes or button through center of crochet eyes. Sew or attach eyes at the border between White and MC on head. Sew down the crocheted parts of the eyes. Continue on to Body.

Body

Switch to CC.

Rnd 21. Sc in blo of ea sc around. Switch to MC.

Rnds 22-23. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to CC.

Rnds 24-26. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to MC.

Rnds 27-30. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to CC.

Rnds 31-35. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Do not finish off. Loosely stuff Head & Body.

First Leg

Switch to MC.

Rnd 36. Sc in blo of ea of next 9 sc, skip next 18 sc, sc in blo of ea of next 9 sc. 18 sc.

Rnds 37-41. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to CC.

Rnds 42-48. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to MC.

Rnds 49-56. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to White.

Rnds 57-63. Sc in both loops of ea sc around.

Loosely stuff Leg.

Rnd 64. *Dec 1 sc over next 2 sc, sc in next sc; rep from * around. 12 sc.

Rnd 65. *Dec 1 sc over next 2 sc; rep from * around. Sl st in next sc. 6 sc.

Finish off.

Second Leg

Join MC with sl st in first unworked sc of rnd 35 of Body, leaving a long tail for sewing later.

Rnd 36. Ch 1, sc in blo of ea of next 18 sc. 18 sc.

Rnds 37-65. Worked same as for First Leg. Finish off. Use tail from beginning to sew up gap between Legs.

Arms - make 2.

With White, ch 2 or begin with a magic loop.

Rnd 1. 6 sc in second ch from hook (or magic loop). 6 sc.

Rnd 2. 2 sc in ea sc around. 12 sc.

Rnd 3. *2 sc in first sc, sc in next sc; rep from * around. 18 sc.

Rnds 4-6. Sc in ea sc around.

Switch to MC.

Rnds 7-11. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to CC.

Rnds 12-15. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to MC.

Rnds 16-18. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to CC.

Rnds 19 & 20. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Switch to MC.

Rnd 21. Sc in blo of ea sc around.

Sl st in next 5 sc, then finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Loosely stuff Arms and sew to sides of Body at the top stripe, taking care to place the "seam" of the arm toward the body so it won't be seen.

Tail

With MC, ch 33. 2 dc in fourth ch from hook (first 3 ch count as dc), 3 dc in ea rem ch across. Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing. 90 dc.

Sew Tail to bottom of Body between Legs.

Ears - make 2.

With MC, ch 2.

Rnd 1. 6 sc in second ch from hook (or magic loop). 6 sc.

Rnd 2. 2 sc in ea sc around. 12 sc.

Rnd 3. *2 sc in first sc, sc in next sc; rep from * around. 18 sc.

Rnd 4. Sc in ea sc around. Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Flatten Ears in half (do not stuff) and sew to sides of Head.

Nose & Mouth

With White, ch 7.

Rnds 1-4. Work the same as for rnds 1-4 of Head. 26 sc.

Switch to CC.

Rnd 5. Sc in blo of first marked sc; move st marker to this sc. 2 sc in blo of next sc, sc in blo of ea of next 10 sc, 2 sc in blo of next sc, sc in blo of next marked sc; move st marker to this sc. Switch to White. 2 sc in both loops of next sc, sc in both loops of ea sc around to last sc; 2 sc in both loops of last sc. 30 sc.

Rnd 6. Sc in blo of first marked sc; move st marker to this sc. 2 sc in blo of next sc, sc in blo of ea of next 12 sc, 2 sc in blo of next sc, sc in blo of next marked sc; move st marker to this sc. 2 sc in both loops of next sc, sc in both loops of ea sc around to last sc; 2 sc in both loops of last sc. 34 sc.

Rnd 7. Sc in ea sc around. Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Loosely stuff Nose & Mouth and sew to Head.

Abbreviations
blo          back loops only
CC          contrasting color
ch          chain
dc          double crochet
dec          decrease
ea          each
MC          main color
mm          millimeter
rem          remaining
rep          repeat
rnd          round
rnds          rounds
sc          single crochet
sl st          slip stitch
st          stitch