Our very first homework assignment came to us when my daughters were in pre-school. Three years ago, when my girls were nearly 5, their daycare teacher gave us general guideline to make cheap DIY stick horses for a school “horsie” race. I was surprised by how much fun we had with the project and how much my pre-schoolers were able to contribute.
Three years later, my daughters still play with their horses. They’ve held up to rough play and continue to provide fodder for the imagination. Not bad for under $10 each!
Want to know how we made them? Read on! I’ve included a list of supplies at the end of the post, in case you decide to go shopping.
We started out by taking some sandpaper to 4 foot dowels from the home improvement store. Each horse takes one dowel. I was surprised to realize that my 4-year-olds were perfectly good at this task.
They then painted their dowels. This is certainly an optional step, but each of my girls definitely enjoyed picking a unique colour for her own horse.
We tied off the bottom of the stuffed socks with yarn.
Next, M and J decided on the shape and colour of their horses’ ears, and I cut triangles of felt to their specifications. I sewed pairs of felt triangles together and turned them inside out to hide the seam. I hand-sewed them onto the socks at locations of the girls’ choosing. I also sewed on buttons for eyes.
I then cut equal lengths of yarn, and the girls used yarn needles to thread them through the centerline of the sock, from slightly in front of the ears down the back of the head. I tied little knots to secure them. At bedtime, the manes were still not quite thick enough to meet the girls’ exacting standards, so they gave me instructions to finish off the job.
When all of that was done, I hot-glued the socks onto the dowels. The glued part looked messy, so I wrapped it in ribbon and hot-glued that on too. I also glued a length of ribbon (picked by the children, of course) around the front of each muzzle.
The girls both tied an additional length of ribbon on to make reins. They’ve upgraded over the years, adding beaded reins and even earrings to their horsies. Have fun with this project and send us photos of your creations!
DIY Stick Horse Supplies
- Wooden dowel: 4 feet long, 1 inch diameter
- Sandpaper: 150-grit
- Non-toxic paint
- Felt for ears
- Buttons for eyes
- Yarn for mane
- Ribbon for noseband and reins
- Old socks
- Hot glue gun
- Needle and thread
- Blunt yarn needle
Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering. She blogged about this project on my now-retired blog Double the Fun when we first did the project.