CRAFT Summer Camp
How-To: Make a Cat Toy
By Bernadette Noll and Kathie Sever
Future Craft Collective

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We’re staying at Grandma’s house for a few weeks this summer. Lots of swimming and card games and board games and croquet and lots of totally unstructured free time too. Grandma doesn’t have a regular craft room but we do have Grandpa’s shop to peruse, full of myriad cans and bottles and boxes full of hardware and things that clink and clank.
This week we put the crafting fully into the kids’ hands with the only instruction being that we needed a pet-themed craft. They came up with all kinds of ideas: bird houses, firefly jars, pet bowls, and more. As we watched the toddler gathering feathers from the yard, the idea for a cat toy was born. And this week’s project is designed by and for kids to make on their own (though younger kids will need help with the drilling).


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Materials

Durable stick
Feathers
Bottle caps
Paint
Washers
String
Any other small baubles you can find around the house We came across a bag of small glass eyes in Grandpa’s shop. Who knows where they came from but we used a set of these for decoration. Score!

Directions

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Step 1: Find a stick of about 12″ long. It should be strong enough to endure a little bit of rough-housing.
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Step 2: Paint the stick, the washers, and the bottle caps any colors you choose — the brighter the better.
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Step 3: Once the paint dries, drill a hole in the center of the bottle caps. (Naturally, parental supervision is advised with drilling.)
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Step 4: Using a small pin, poke a hole in the center part of the feather. We found our feathers in the yard and were amazed that once we started looking, we found plenty to choose from.
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Step 5: Drill a hole in one end of the stick.
Step 6: Tie the string to the stick by threading it through the drilled hole.
Step 7: Tie the washers and bottle caps to the end of the string. We unraveled the string so that instead of it being one strand of string, we had 3 separate strands. You could also tie each item to a separate piece and then tie them all onto the main piece of string.
Step 8: Tie the feathers to the string just above the metal pieces.
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Step 9: Find a cat and bounce this little toy in front of them. We couldn’t locate the cat at the time of the shooting so we tried it out on the antique gnome instead. But you get the idea. By using the feathers found in the yard, you can play to your cat’s instincts to play with birds without actually disturbing the wildlife!
Next week we’ll be at Grandma’s still so come on back and join us for another totally kid inspired craft.
About the Authors:
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Future Craft Collective is brought to you by Kathie Sever and Bernadette Noll. Kathie is an accomplished seamstress, creator of Ramonsterwear Custom Western Wear, artist, and mother of two. Bernadette is a writer, co-founder of Slow Family Living, and mother of four. They have found renewed energy in their collaboration and are continuously amazed by the ideas, inspiration, and a-ha moments that have come from this shared effort.


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