Guidelines For Toy Making

It’s so very important for intellectual development and wellbeing that babies have suitable toys.  Toys that bring them joy, teach them about the world and provide them with great comfort.

Each of our packs includes toys, of all kinds - soft toys, rattles, blocks, interactive toys with “bells and whistles”, puzzles and more.  

We always need more toys for our packs - that are either suitable for babies or infants.  In particular soft toys (big and small) are something we never quite have enough of!    

We’d love to receive all types of hand-crafted toys for our babies, so long as they are baby or infant safe.

Toy Ideas 

We’ve noted some ideas below, but please don’t feel like you are limited by these at all!

Some handmade baby toy ideas:

  • Taggies.
  • Rattles.
  • Soft toys, big or small. 
  • Knitted toys.
  • Baby blocks (knitted, sewn and wood).
  • Puzzles.
  • Pull along toys (including wooden toys).

Safety First

Safety is very important, so please do always ensure that all toys you donate are baby or infant safe.

If you aren’t sure if something is safe, please err on the side of caution and use a pattern or approach that you know to be safe.

Some safety tips are:

  1. Always check the designer’s instructions to see if they specifically do not recommend the toy for children under a certain age.
  2. Do not sew on eyes, beads, buttons or anything that can choke a small child, even if you think they can't pull it off.  (So, for example, never use buttons for eyes.)
  3. Always embroider details like eyes, buttons and surface decoration instead of sewing them on.
  4. If you wish to use 3-D plastic eyes on your toy make sure they are the safety eyes that are held on with a tight fitting washer on the back.  They're difficult to get on but they're worth the effort because they won't be pulled off. Make sure these are plastic eyes, not the old glass eyes that may still be available for the restoration of vintage toys.
  5. Never use stick on detailing of any kind.
  6. Furry fabrics are not suitable, nor are toys made of a fur stitch in either crochet or embroidery.
  7. Make sure you are using a suitable filling that is also properly secured inside, so that it can’t come out and potentially choke baby.  NEVER use anything like polystyrene balls inside a baby toy.
  8. Always double or triple stitch edging very securely, and include a pop sock, to make sure no filling will escape.  Remember these toys will get chewed, pulled, etc for months.
  9. Make sure there are no small parts that could come off and choke a baby.

Labelling 

It’s really important that we know about the items you have made so we can make sure they get to the right homes and so that we can include them in our packs!

If, for example, we don’t know the fabric/yarn type or the size we may not be able to include them in our packs.  

So please include a note that lets us know for each item:

  • The age of the baby it is suitable for (ie. size).
  • Yarn/fabric type.  This is very important as we can only include 100% cotton/wool in a number of circumstances.
  • Basic washing instructions, if known.
  • A contact email address and/or phone number, in case we need to check any details with you and so we can thank you!
  • Any other information that our families or we should know about!

If you have little labels you can sew in with key details that would be amazing, but it isn’t required!