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Friday, October 12, 2012

Autism Caterpillar Instructions

Autism Caterpillars are used by schools and other agencies who teach children with Autism.  These simple, soft, and darling caterpillars are weighted down with beans and have a sweet, soothing effect on an autistic child.  This new project will involve a little pouring, a little stitching, a little assembly and lots of love.

Autism Caterpillar Instructions

1.  Cut out caterpillar body from your choice of fabric 42" long by 12" wide. Sew edges together and leave an opening. (See diagram below for suggested layout when workin gwith an entire bolt of fabric.) 
2. Put plastic cup funnel into the opening of the Caterpillar

3.    Have neighbor help hold the caterpillar while you pour the beans. Hold Caterpillar vertically to the floor and pour the pitcher of beans into the cup inserted in the Caterpillar. 

4.    Lay Caterpillar flat on the table and wrap a small ribbon from the kit twice around the Caterpillar, approx. 2 inches from the bottom and tie a knot as tight as possible.  Check and make sure the beans will not fall out of the bottom of the Caterpillar.  Place a dab of glue on the knot, and tie another tight knot.

CAUTION: glue is stringy – be careful to not drip glue on the fabric. 

5. Stretch Caterpillar on the table and distribute the beans evenly.

 
6.    Take the large ribbon and slide it under the Caterpillar approx. 5 to 6 inches from the top; do not tie yet. 

 
7.    Take the other 6 small ribbons and slide them under the Caterpillar and distribute all of the ribbons evenly between the neck ribbon and the tail ribbon.

 
8.    Tie the big ribbon tight around the neck into a knot.  Put a dab of glue on the knot and tie a nice bow.


 
9.    Tie off the other 6 sections by wrapping the ribbon once and tie a tight knot.  Put a dab of glue on top of the knot and tie one more time.

 
 
10.    Clip the bottom 7 ribbons so it has 1½ inches on each side of the knot.

 
11.    Cut two sets of small circles from grey and white pieces of felt. The white circles are the base of the eyes and the grey circles are the pupils for the Caterpillar.  Put glue around the edge of the white circles and place them towards the front part of the Caterpillar’s face (see photo).

 12.    Put glue around the edges of the grey circles and glue them onto the middle of the white circles.

 13.    Take a needle and thread and while holding the eye in place stitch a knot in the middle of each gray felt to secure the eyes into place.


For printable instructions, click here.  

18 comments:

  1. This is a great idea. What kind of beans did you put inside? Does it matter what kind of fabric you use?

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  2. Becca,
    We used lentil beans and fleece fabric. We tried other fabrics but many seemed to stretch or tear because of the beans. Don't use rice (it comes out through the fabric) or corn (many people suffer from corn allergies).

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Where can we send them when they are completed?

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    Replies
    1. Stephanie,
      Any school that has a special needs class might like one. Just check with the teachers!

      Best wishes!

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    2. Stephanie Ming, I am a consultant working with teachers to help them learn adaptations for children on the autism spectrum. If you are able to make a caterpillar for me, I would be most grateful. epostman3@cox.net
      Trainingwheelsconsulting.com

      Delete
  5. Just as nap mats need the occasional washing for class use, how would you wash these if they were filled with beans?

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  6. I wonder if poly-beads would work just as well, since they are washable? These are much bigger than i realized from the picture!

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    Replies
    1. They probably won't weigh enough. The weight is what the you're looking for in this project

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    2. They probably won't weigh enough. The weight is what the you're looking for in this project

      Delete
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  10. I can't wait to try it. What a comforting thing for a student :)
    Thanks

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  11. I'm not seeing anything that says how much beans go in each one nor the length of the ribbon.

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  12. Does anyone have the poem that goes with these? I went to an autism event and they were making the snakes and it had a poem attached.

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  13. Does anyone have the poem that goes with these? I went to an autism event and they were making the snakes and it had a poem attached.

    ReplyDelete