Friday, May 18, 2012

Baby Photo Toy

I actually saw this on Martha Stewart the other day and thought it was so easy and cute! My cousin just had a baby girl last month so I thought I would try this out on her. I used black and white photos because the baby at this point can only see in black and white. Also, I've read that they are drawn to black and white more then color at this early age.
*Make sure you read the whole post and the notes at the end before you buy everything. I write my good and bad learning experiences at the end and it could change the way you do things.*

Break Down
Total Cost: About $7
Total Time: 20 minutes

Baby rings $3 Target
Shower curtain rings $1 Target
Self stick laminating sheets $3 for 5 Target
Hole puncher had
Pictures you want to use
White paper

How To:

Cut your pictures out just smaller then the size of the laminating sheets that you are using. You really can use any size. Larger ones, 4x6, might be easier for the baby to hold. I used "wallet size" which I think was about 2 x 3. Make sure you cut the pictures out smaller then the laminating sheets. You want enough room around the picture for the laminate to stick and seal (see picture below. I feel I should of cut the picture smaller. I would've liked a better seal). Also make sure there is enough room that if baby sucks and chews on it, which they will, it will stay sealed and not get the picture wet.
* I used the self stick laminating sheets. I have a laminator but I thought this would be easier and quicker to use. You can get these in a number of sizes, I saw them at Target. If you use your own laminator, you might have to do these steps a little different. I'm not that experienced in using the laminator.*

Cut out a white, or any color you want, paper to the same size as your picture. This will be the backing you can write names or whatever you want on.

Next, punch a hole in the laminates. I find it easier to poke a hole now and then again once the picture is in it, if needed. Going through all of it once it's puts together is tough and can tear the picture. 

Now using the directions on the laminating sheets, put the picture and the white paper, if used, together. It was pretty easy. Basically, open the sheets, center the picture, peel off the instructions, and seal. Just make sure you take a marker or something to smooth over the sheets to really get a good seal. 
If your picture now covers up the punched hole, use the hole puncher and punch through the picture. 

Now, put the shower curtain ring through the pictures and snap shut. This is why I used the shower curtain rings, they snap shut so you can't loose the pictures. Of course they open pretty easy, with adult muscle, if and when you want to change out the pictures. 
Finally, attach the baby rings and make it as long you want! 

Last thoughts:
*This project was pretty quick and easy! I can't wait to make more! Really you can make anything for your baby to look at. Flash cards, pictures, letters, etc.... These can be attached to almost anything! High chair, stroller, car seat, crib, other toys, and if sealed well, the bath! 
* Martha Stewart used trading card protectors rather then laminating sheets, but I couldn't find those and the babies can chew on these. The trading card protectors are just a sleeve that has an opening where the baby could get the picture wet. 
* The shower curtain rings I used where pretty thick. The hole punch size allowed for the pictures to go on the "snap" part of the ring but then the pictures didn't move much. So, I used the hole puncher to make the holes bigger. I don't know if they have a bigger hole puncher but with my lack of experience, I don't have one. Once I made the hole bigger, the pictures now slide over the shower curtain ring and the baby can see the pictures better. 
* Sorry the pictures are kind of blah. I haven't been feeling great and apparently it affects my creativity! : )

I hope this is something you would like to do! Let me know how your project goes! I would love to hear from you!!

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