Tuesday, August 29, 2017

DIY Walking Rope

Last spring I was lucky enough to chaperone a preschool field trip. Do you want to know what it's like to chaperone a group of 3 year olds? Go to the humane society and try to get all the kittens in the cat room to line up in a perfect line and wait for instructions.

Yeah. It was interesting. Our preschool teacher is awesome and tries to get the kids outside as much as she can. After my experience with chaperoning, I had a new found respect for the teacher. I wanted to make her walks with the kids just a little bit easier.

You may have seen the walking ropes that daycares, schools or large families use. The idea is if younger children have something to hold on to, they are easier to wrangle.

I decided the concept was something that could easily be made with materials around the house. So, one afternoon I start messing around with the idea. After playing around with some rope and ribbon, I figured it out.


Ribbon (I used thicker ribbon I had in my scrap bin)
Sewing Machine (I suppose you could knot the ribbon into loops or try hand stitching or hot gluing..options for those who are sewing machine adverse)
Optional: Hot Glue Gun

Step One: Cut Ribbon

You have to decide how many loops you need for your rope. I decided to make 6 loops which allow 12 children to walk on the rope. One big loop will end up being tied off to make two smaller ones. Once you figure out how many loops you want, you need to cut the same amount of strips of ribbon. All the cuts of ribbon should be the same length. Now, my ribbon strips were quite long. I think they were around 24 inches long each.

Step Two: Create Loops

Turning the design to the inside, make the ribbon into a loop (aka circle or whatever fancy word I should be using instead) and sew the two ends together. I did several stitches, because I assume kids are going to be rough on them pulling and such. Do this with all the ribbon strips you have cut.

Step Three: Attach Loops

Once you're done, lay out your rope. I put my loops across the rope so I could see how close they should be together. Then I cut my rope about 2-3 feet longer than how I had it laid out.

To attach the loops, you can't simply tie them to the rope. They would slide all around, and you'd have a 5 child pile up. How I knotted everything is a bit hard to explain (and to show for that matter) but I'll do my best.

You will want to get one ribbon loop fully knotted on before you move on to the next ribbon loop. First, slip the rope through the loop.

Once you have the rope through the loop (or the center of the circle), tie the rope to one side of the ribbon loop. I tied the rope close to the sewn ends just to conceal them, but it shouldn't matter where you tie the rope.

Next, while keeping the rope knot in the center of the ribbon loop, tie the ribbon loop in a knot around the rope. Having the rope knotted this way will ensure it doesn't move around on the rope.

Step Four: Finish

I did a couple of finishing steps on the walking rope. I made a loop on the front of the rope so the teacher can hold it the rope. I wrapped this front loop with ribbon as a bit of padding and then hot glued everything in the place. I also knotted a loop at the very end of the rope for another child to grab. I also secured this knot with some hot glue.

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