A teething toy is a must-have item for parents of infants and young children. Not only do teething toys relieve aching gums, but they also help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. One popular type of teething toy is the silicone beaded teether. These teethers are made of soft, durable silicone beads that are perfect for little mouths to chew on. In this article, we will show you how to make your own silicone beaded teether.
- Silicone beads: These can come in various sizes and colors, such as small and large beads, round or hexagon shapes, and a variety of pastel or primary colors. Shop our silicone bead bundles here. The choice of the bead size and shape will depend on the age of your child, as small beads can be a choking hazard for younger children.
- Silicone teething ring: This can be in different shapes like round, oval, or a more complex shape like a key or a ring with a textured surface. The textured surface can be beneficial as it helps to massage the gums.
- Beading needle: A beading needle is a thin, long needle with a small eye that is used to string beads. You can use a beading needle or a regular sewing needle with a large eye that can accommodate the beading thread.
- Beading thread: This is a thin, strong thread that is used for stringing beads. You can use a waxed or coated thread to make it stronger.
- Scissors: A pair of sharp scissors is needed to trim the excess thread once the teether is completed.
Step 1: Gather Materials
Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials on hand. You can purchase silicone beads and teething rings at most craft stores or online retailers. It's important to check the quality and safety of the materials, specifically the beads, to ensure that they are made of food-grade silicone and free of any harmful chemicals. Also, check the size of the beads to ensure that they are appropriate for your child’s age, as small beads can be a choking hazard for younger children. The silicone teething ring should also be made of food-grade silicone and should be free of any sharp edges or corners that could be a hazard for your child. Make sure to get the beading needle and thread, both should be strong and durable enough to hold the beads and teething ring together. Scissors are also necessary to trim any excess thread once the teether is completed. Gather all the materials together in one place before you begin, it will make the process of creating your silicone beaded teether much more efficient and organized.
Step 2: Choose Your Beads
Once you have your materials, it's time to choose the beads you want to use for your teether. You can choose from a variety of sizes and colors to make your teether unique. Some popular options include pastel colors, primary colors, or a mix of both. It's important to consider the age of your child when choosing the size of the beads. Small beads can be a choking hazard for younger children, so it's best to stick with larger beads for infants.
You can also consider the shape of the beads, round or hexagon shaped beads are the most common, however, some manufacturers also offer other shapes like star or heart. The choice of the bead shape and size is also important from a safety perspective, ensure that the beads are smooth with no sharp edges or corners that could be a hazard for your child. You can mix and match different sizes and colors of beads to create a fun and interesting design. Remember to also consider the color contrast, for example, if your child is visually impaired, it's best to avoid using similar colors that could make it difficult for them to differentiate between the beads.
Step 3: Thread the Beads
Once you have chosen the beads for your teether, it's time to thread them onto the beading needle using the beading thread. Be sure to thread the beads in a pattern that you like. You can alternate between different sizes and colors of beads to create a fun and interesting design. You can choose to make a symmetrical pattern or an asymmetrical one, the choice is yours. It's important to keep the pattern consistent throughout the teether, so it doesn't look cluttered or haphazard. You can also consider spacing the beads out, this will allow your child to easily grab and hold the teether.
You can also add a variety of textures to your teether by using different types of beads such as smooth, bumpy, or ridged beads. This will provide a different sensation for your child's gums as they chew on the teether. Remember to double-check the pattern and design before you proceed to the next step to ensure that you are satisfied with the look of your teether.
Step 4: Add Teething Ring
Once you have threaded all of the beads onto the beading thread, slide the teething ring onto the thread. Make sure the ring is centered between the beads. The teething ring will provide a firm base for your child to hold onto and a surface for them to chew on. It also helps to keep the beads in place, as the ring will keep the beads from sliding around too much. You can use a different shape teething ring other than the round shape, such as an oval or a more complex shape like a key or a ring with a textured surface.
The textured surface can be beneficial as it helps to massage the gums. The ring should also be made of food-grade silicone and should be free of any sharp edges or corners that could be a hazard for your child. Make sure that you have the right size of the ring, it should be comfortable for your child to hold and chew on, not too big or too small.
Step 5: Secure Beads
Once the teething ring is in place, it's time to secure the beads onto the ring. To do this, tie a knot at the end of the beading thread to secure the beads onto the teething ring. You can also add a drop of glue to the knot for extra security. This step is crucial as it will ensure that your child will not be able to pull the beads off the teething ring and that the beads will stay in place.
It's important to make sure that the knot is tight enough to hold the beads securely but not so tight that it causes the thread to break. You can also use a crimp bead or a knot cover to hide the knot and make the teether look more polished. You can also use a heat gun to melt the end of the thread to seal the beads, this method is more durable and secure. Keep in mind that the teether will be used by a baby or a young child, so it's important to make sure that it is safe and secure.
Step 6: Trim Thread
After securing the beads onto the teething ring, it's time to trim any excess thread. Using a sharp pair of scissors, carefully trim away any thread that is extending beyond the knot or glue. It's important to be precise and neat when trimming the thread, as any rough edges or stray threads can pose a safety hazard for your child. You can also use a lighter to melt the end of the thread to prevent fraying.
This step will give the teether a neat and polished look, making it more visually appealing and safe for your child to use. Be careful not to trim too close to the knot, as it can cause the thread to unravel and the beads to come off. Once you have trimmed the excess thread, your silicone beaded teether is now ready for use.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Your silicone beaded teether is now ready for use! Give it to your little one to enjoy and watch as they learn and develop through play. Teething toys not only provide relief for aching gums, but they also help to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The silicone beaded teether that you have created is a safe and durable option for your child to chew on, and the variety of sizes, colors, and shapes of the beads will keep them engaged and entertained.
Before giving it to your child, make sure to inspect it thoroughly, checking for any loose beads or threads that could pose a choking hazard. Make sure to keep an eye on your child while they are using the teether and take it away from them if it becomes damaged or broken. Remember that this teether is not just a toy, but a tool for your child's development and well-being!
Creating a silicone beaded teether for your child is an easy and fun DIY project that will provide them with a safe and durable teething toy. The softness and flexibility of silicone beads make them perfect for little mouths to chew on and the variety of sizes, colors, and shapes of the beads will keep your child engaged and entertained. Teething toys not only provide relief for aching gums but help to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
With the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can create your own unique teether that is tailored to your child's preferences and needs. Remember to always inspect the teether before giving it to your child, and to always supervise your child while they are using it. The teether that you have created will be both a cherished item for your child and a great memory for you. Enjoy!
- "The Importance of Teething Toys for Infants and Toddlers" by Dr. Laura Jana, MD. Published on HealthyChildren.org, a website by the American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/The-Importance-of-Teething-Toys-for-Infants-and-Toddlers.aspx
- "Silicone vs. Wooden Teething Toys: Which is Best?" by Lauren Jimeson. Published on The Bump, a website for expectant and new parents. https://www.thebump.com/a/silicone-vs-wooden-teething-toys
- "Teething Toys: What to Look for and How to Clean Them" by Dr. Susan E. Massa, MD. Published on Parents.com, a website for parenting advice and resources. https://www.parents.com/baby/care/teething/teething-toys-what-to-look-for-and-how-to-clean-them/