- Vivian Teo
Stay-home fun with Avenir DIY plushie sewing kit
Kids not only get a cute plushie but also a sense of accomplishment with the Avenir DIY stuffed animal sewing kit!
I have a very fun stay-home activity to recommend to you and your kid - the Avenir DIY plushie sewing kit! My kids had lotsa fun making the above plushies during the school holiday (but not initially! Read on to find out why!) and they totally adore their creations!
The Avenir sewing kit comes with all the materials you need to make the stuffed toy of about 25cm in height - cloths with perforated holes, a blunt needle, strings and threads for sewing, and stuffing.
The kit says it's for those 6 years and above, so initially I left my kids on their own with their kits only to hear them complaining soon after about something not being right here and there, that the instructions weren't clear and/or their strings were all knotted up. So, I decided to have a look at the instructions (while grumbling how hard can it be!).
Ok, after looking at the instructions I got why they were confused and annoyed. There are no wordings on the instruction sheet and being newbies to this, they weren't good at interpreting the instructions. As an adult I find the instructions not extremely clear - probably just quite clear - but I could still interpret most of them.
So I decided to go through with my kids on things like what the instructions' illustrations mean and the parts they should sew first. I also taught them how to knot their thread, where to start, how they can prevent their strings from knotting up when they are sewing - all pretty basic stuff.
Though the needle is blunt (hence safe for children), the cloths are easy to sew as they come with pre-punched holes making it easy to sew through. See pic below.
After the initial guidance on the basics of sewing and on how to read and interpret the instructions, my kids were more confident about sewing their plushies from then on. Big E, who is 11 years old is able to do most of the plushie on her own while Little E, who is 9 years old, still needs a bit of help and guidance here and there.
Though the kit say 6+, I doubt kids at 6 or 7 or even 8 would be able to do this on their own. So for the younger kids - and even the older ones who don't have experience with sewing and such kits - it's still best that they have someone to guide them when they start on it. A little hard to say how much time they took in total to complete their plushies as they worked on it over a few days but I'd estimate around a few hours in total to complete the entire plushie.
My girls are already asking for their next Avenir sewing kits! Other designs include penguins, flamingo, owl, toucan, llama and sloth. Now with experience, I expect for their next kit, they'd be able to do it more independently. I think the kit does promote logical thinking as well because my kids now understand they need to plan ahead and attempt certain steps first.
On how much these costs and where you can get them, the two you see here are gifts from my brother who bought them from Isetan. I found them online on Shopee, Lazada and Times Bookstores online store as well at around S$20-plus. At this price, you could buy a ready-made plushie but it's the creation process that made my kids feel their stuffed animal is that much more special. I can tell you they feel very proud of themselves when they completed their plushies which now sleep next to them in their beds! They are really good quality as well - the cloths used for the bodies are soft and furry - not felt material - so they are really like soft and cute plushies.
If you're getting these kits, here are a few tips:
1) Unless your child is a sewing pro, I'd suggest helping them get started by guiding them on the basics like how to read the instructions, how to start knotting the thread and sewing, and how they could find an easier way to sew by looking underneath the cloth for the perforated holes.
2) Go through the instructions with your kids. The instructions are not extremely clear, so I'd suggest going through with them so they know which are the steps to attempt first. Initially without my help, my kids started with sewing the two large cloths without doing the decorative designs and faces of their plushies. So yes, you should do all the decorative designs like the stars on the unicorn and their faces first before you join the two biggest pieces of cloths together.
3) If the instructions say you have to sew a line on the legs of the plushies, you might want to skip this part. We did so for the deer but not for the unicorn and we find that without the line, the plushie feels more plump-y and cute. With the line, it was also harder to stuff the leg area.
4) If you want to start your kid off with something less daunting, there are also smaller versions of the plushies at around 16cm which are sold as DIY keychains.
Hope you have fun with these! Let me know in the comment box below if you have other fun indoor activities good for kids!
Disclaimer: My opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.