Ribbon Streamers

One of the things the occupational therapists are working on with Eli is motor planning (basically thinking about and carrying out a specific body motion.) Because of his Sensory Processing Disorder he has trouble seeing a certain motion and mimicking it. Many of the signs he uses are approximations of the actual sign… and sometimes not so very approximate. He does stick to his version though and I am able to understand him, another person who knows baby signs though probably wouldn’t recognize many of his signs.

So to work on this skill,  one activity is to play with ribbon streamers. I don’t know if there is another name for these, it’s just the best one I could come up with. They are just lengths of ribbons attached to a handle.

He holds one and I have another. I try to get him to imitate me swinging it from side to side, up and down, around and around, etc. Add some music and dancing and a mini party can be had!

Of course hitting the wall and other things with them is also great fun.

Want to make some yourself? It’s cheap, quick and easy!

I started with two scraps from an old pair of pants. I didn’t measure… I just cut them the length I wanted the handle loop to be and wide enough to fold over a few times to give the handles some stiffness. I chose to use the existing seams to add extra weight.

I folded the raw edges in and folded them again to get the width I wanted and pressed them with an iron.

I stitched down the length of each handle.

This was a perfect project for the $1 box of ribbon I had picked up long ago at Michael’s. I had two of these boxes. Each ribbon is 18″ long which isn’t really even enough for wrapping most presents, yet just right for these ribbon streamers.

I unrolled all of the ribbon spools and sandwiched the ribbons between the two ends of the folded over handle. This is a quick and dirty project… finishing before the end of naptime took higher priority to craftsmanship, so the handle ends are just raw edged.

I then sewed the ribbon into place with three  lines of back and forth stitching. The first handle went relatively smoothly.

The second which used fabric with the outer seam of the pant leg, not so much. Besides the six layers of ribbon, each side of the handle was by this point at least six layers of heavy material thick. I should have clued in that this would be a problem when I broke the first needle.

But no, I had to keep going with a new needle that promptly broke as well…

after being driven through the bobbin case! Ahem…

I managed to hand sew the rest of the handle, not easy let me tell you. We will see how long it lasts.

For now they are working just fine. A therapeutic toy for only $2 (not counting the replacement sewing machine needles!)


I have now finished a couple sets of these streamers to put in my Etsy shop Folk Haven Creations.If there is continued interest I will make more. As you can see the ribbon streamers for sale are not the quick and dirty version shown in the first part of this post.

I’m quite pleased with how the handles turned out on these (and with the fact that I didn’t break any more needles!) I used a pair of jeans that are part spandex so they are a bit stretchy and softer to the touch.

These streamers are also longer, measuring 28″ long from the top of the handle to the ends of the ribbons.

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