Sewing Room Busy Basket – (aka How to Entertain a Toddler with Fabric and Buttons)

I try to use naptime or early morning time to get into my sewing and creating projects.  Because toddlers and sewing really don’t mix.  I find that while preschools can get into their own “sewing” projects, it is a whole different story for the toddler-set.

Emilia, my toddler, will start searching the floor for pins, pulling fabric out of drawers or just try to drag me out of the room if my sewing time and her awake time overlap.  So….she does not spend a ton of time in my sewing space.

But once in a while, I am at a critical part of a project and just need 10-30 min to finish it up.  When this happens and there is a cranky or needy toddler at the door, I employ the secret weapon –  TODDLER SEWING ROOM BUSY BASKET (really it is two small boxes, but busy basket sounds nicer.)

Usually, this box will keep her happy while I finish up what I am in the middle of.  And as she is getting bigger, she loves that she is “sewing” too.  In fact, even my 4 year old likes to check out this basket from time to time.

Inside the Basket:

  1. Button Snake

    There are about a million tutorials for these floating around the web.  Super easy to make and great practice.  Emilia can’t put all the buttons on yet, but she loves trying to take the felt squares off.

  2. Threading Spools

    Another great fine motor practice.  Putting spools on and off a pipe cleaner.

  3. Pocket with Stuffing

    Emilia calls fiber-fill “fluffy”.  She loves taking the “fluffy” out and then trying to stuff it back into the sleeve.  This one gets a tad messy with fiber fill all over her, but it is a favorite…and that is probably why.

  4. Lacing card

    More fine motor practice!  2 year olds probably can’t do the card completely yet, but will like trying to pull the threads out.  This one is from a Melissa and Doug set.  Of course, a sewing themed one would be much cuter!

  5. Texture box

    I keep scraps of different texture fabrics and trims in a box.  Who doesn’t love to rummage through a box of interesting stuff?  I find big buttons, scraps of elastic and velcro, sparkly, furry, and shiny fabric all fit the bill for toddlers.

So, as you can imagine, when all of the scraps, buttons, fiber-fill have been played with, it can be quite a mess.  The best way to contain the mess is to lay out a small blanket or towel and say that everything has to stay on the towel.  I have found that when there is a designated place for the mess, with a bit of gentle reminding, it doesn’t migrate too far across the room.

So, there you have it – keep your toddler sewing with you….while it lasts.