Create Pet Toys
Crafty Kindness for Animal Friends
Helping animals is a surefire way to get your child excited about doing good.
Your local animal shelter or neighborhood pet friends.
What you’ll need:
FOR CAT TOYS
- Infant- or child-size crew socks (make sure they are new!)
- Cotton balls or craft stuffing
- Dried catnip
- Non-toxic permanent fabric markers
- Non-toxic washable fabric glue (unless you prefer tying a knot)
FOR DOG TOYS
- 3 pieces of fleece (about 7-10 inches) per toy
FOR GUINEA PIG OR BUNNY TOYS
- Toilet paper rolls
- Timothy Hay (available at pet stores)
- Non-toxic permanent markers
Before you begin, call your local animal shelter to make sure they can use pet toys.
- Stuff the sock’s toe with 1 tablespoon of catnip. Stuff the foot of sock with cotton balls or craft stuffing. Squeeze fabric glue on the inside of the sock’s ribbing to glue sock closed, or knot the top of the sock. Decorate with fabric markers.
- Take 3 pieces of fleece, knot at one end, braid, and knot at the other end. See more specific instructions here.
- When you deliver the toys, see if you can play with the animals or get a tour.
GUINEA PIG OR BUNNY TOYS
- Decorate the toilet paper tubes.
- Stuff empty toilet paper tubes with Timothy Hay. See more specific instructions here.
- What do you like about being around animals?
- How do you think the dog or cat that receives your toy will feel?
- Why is it important to help out living things other than people?
- What are other ways we can show animals we love them?
- Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts (Putnam Juvenile, 2007). Ages 4-8. A young boy thinks about the life of his dog before he adopted him from an animal shelter.
- Shelter Dogs: Amazing Stories of Adopted Strays by Peg Kehret (Albert Whitman & Company, 1999). Ages 8-12. A collection of stories about previously stray dogs that became heroes.
- Kind News A fun interactive website from the Humane Society of the United States about how kids can get involved in animals’ rights issues.
Take it further
- When you deliver the toys, ask about other ways you can help at the shelter.
- Gather a group of friends to make more toys, and deliver them together.
- Throw an animal-themed birthday party. Make animal toys and dog biscuits. Other ideas: hang a puppy or kitten piñata, make dog houses from graham crackers, make dog and cat ear headbands, and have guests bring donations for your local animal shelter in lieu of gifts.
Browse our projects to provide comfort with your child.