Ribbon Rings: How to make a homemade sensory toy for your baby

Babies love movement and colour! Sensory toys are perfect for keeping your little one entertained and for developing their visual tracking and eyesight. Keep reading to find out how you can make a homemade sensory toy for playing with your baby or toddler. 

Sensory play is a great way to entertain babies and toddlers. It includes any activity that stimulates multiple senses and encourages your child to explore the world around them. There are lots of toys out there being marketed as ‘sensory toys’ but you don’t need anything expensive or specialist to enjoy sensory play with your little one. 

What counts as a sensory toy? 

Sensory toys can be anything that helps your child explore their senses. The top five are taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. But we actually have more senses that aren’t talked about as often. 

Two examples are proprioception and vestibular senses. Proprioception is an awareness of where our body is in space. This sense can tell us where are head stops and the sky starts.  And it tells our brain where are limbs are at all times. We also have a vestibular sense which is all about balance. This sense gives us the information we need to stay upright and navigate our environment. 

So the term sensory toys should really apply to items that stimulate your child’s senses and help them explore their body and the world around them. Some people think sensory toys are all electronic with flashing lights and loud noises, but I actually prefer to go for things that require input from the child.

There is an old saying that active toys make for passive children. For example, if you give a child a video game they are likely to sit and stare. If you give your child a plain, old wooden shape sorter, they will likely get stuck in and try to figure out how everything works and what they can use the objects for. Of course there is room for all types of toys in our lives, but when you are picking items for sensory play it’s helpful to go for things that will engage your child’s curiosity and encourage them to explore the object with all their senses and skills. 

Baking bowls, utensils, ingredients and toys on a tuff tray for messy play with the Crafty Toddler Company

So what can I use for sensory play? 

Household objects are brilliant for sensory play. Fill a bag or basket with things from around your home. Wooden spoons, kitchen roll tubes, scarves, sponges, bath gloves, cupcake cases, balled up socks and even a rolling pin can make fantastic toys for young children. But if you fancy making something extra special, here are my instructions for how to make a homemade sensory toy for playing with your baby or toddler. 

How to make a Ribbon Ring Sensory Toy 

Please be aware that children must be supervised when using this toy. Any item with cords longer than 22cm are considered a strangulation risk. Stay safe by only using this toy during supervised play. Enjoy exploring the toy together. When the supervised playtime is over, put the ribbon ring away, out of reach of your child.
For more safety information, visit the Child Accident Prevention Trust website by clicking here. For more information on regulations around commercial ribbon rings specifically click here.


  • Wooden ring 
  • 3 spools of ribbon (different colours) 
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Lighter 

Instructions for making a homemade sensory toy

  • Cut a 36 inch length from 3 separate colours of ribbon.
  • Take one of the colours of ribbon and thread one end through your wooden ring, then tie a knot and pull tight.
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each colour of ribbon.
  • Cut the ends of the ribbon so you have 6 equal lengths.
  •  Finally, melt the end of your ribbons very carefully by quickly passing them through the flame of a lighter. This takes only a second or two and will melt the loose threads to prevent the ribbons from coming apart.
  • You should now have a finished ribbon ring!
  • If you would like a shorter length for safety reasons, simply cut the ribbons to the desired length.
  • If you would like additional colours, simply cut additional lengths of ribbon from each colour you want to include. Remember there will be two hanging ribbons for each piece you attach.

How to play with your easy to make Ribbon Rings

I hope you have enjoyed making your homemade sensory toy for playing with your baby or toddler. So how are you going to play? These Ribbon Rings are perfect for rhyme time! Dance the ribbons through air as you sing your favourite nursery rhymes.

The ribbon rings are also fun to include in a treasure basket with all things multi-coloured or rainbow themed. Or why not make a batch of sensory rice and bury your ribbon ring for your baby or toddler to find? There are so many ways to play! I would love to see what you come up with. Tag me @craftytoddlercompany in your posts on Facebook and Instagram.

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