Off to the Races - Craft Project
Having a BBQ, picnic lunch or special lunch at home with family or a few friends to celebrate racing season and organising some sweeps throughout the day? Here is a great idea to make your racing festivities even more enjoyable (and if you're not into racing, you could use this project as an entertaining/educational tool for children - we have put some ideas at the end of this blog).
Off to the Races - How to Play
We have selected some shapes related to racing and placed them on sticks. Each stick has a pocket for the number representing the race numbers of the horses that can be swapped around before each race.
Step 1: Place the number upside down in the pocket and place all the novelty sticks in a container.
Step 2: Let each guest choose a stick and once all the sticks for the race are chosen, ask your guest to look at the number and place it right side up so all can see.
Step 3: Guests can hold the stick during the race and encourage their number to win.
Alternatively, you can place all the numbers in the pockets right side up and have duplicate numbers folded up in a container. Ask each guest to hand pick a folded number, once they have chosen, you give them the stick that matches their number.
Off to the Races - How to Make
We used the following to make our Off to the Races project:
- Acrylic felt sheets
- Dowel sticks
- Hot glue gun and hot glue
- Oddments you can use - felt, pom poms, chenille sticks, sequins, gems and jewels, craft feathers, tassels, beads, joggle eyes and fabric
For the sticks you will need to follow these steps
Step 1: Select the number of sticks you will need.
Step 2: Choose assorted shapes, we chose shapes that have a racing theme but you could also do a completely different theme e.g. a magic theme could have stars, moon, wand, magician’s hat, etc.
Step 3: Divide the shapes so you have a similar quantity of each shape we chose 24 sticks and selected horseheads, horseshoe, jockey cap, ladies hats and set up 6 of each design.
Step 4: Each dowel stick will require two cut out sides e.g. cut two jockey caps for one piece of dowel.
Step 5: Place the dowel onto the first cut out shape piece select the angle you would like to have, apply glue, then take the other side of the shape and glue on top of this piece. See images below (if you are making horses heads, we glued the mane of the horse between the two shape pieces of felt).
Step 6: Once you have completed your sticks you can decorate them as you prefer.
For the number pockets on the sticks, use felt scraps and follow these steps
Step 1: Cut rectangles approx. 5cm x 8cm and make two slits into each so that the dowel can thread through. Thread all your sticks pushing the rectangle close to the shape.
Step 2: Cut rectangles approx. 5cm x 4cm glue on three edges of the rectangle leaving top-end free, paste onto the rectangle that has been threaded with the dowel.
Step 3: Cut paper rectangle slips that fit into the pockets and number them. Slip them into the pockets.
That's it! Your novelty sticks can also be used as a centrepiece on the day of your function.
Other Ideas for This Project
Entertaining/teaching tool for older children: Make novelty sticks with a feature that represents a famous city anywhere in the world, place the numbers in the pockets and have the same numbers folded in a container, ask the children to select from the container and match the number to the novelty stick. Once all done, let the children research the city that their number matched, providing several key questions they must answer e.g. population and the breakdown of the population e.g. number of children, favourite foods of the city, industry, entertainment, schooling.
A party/sleepover activity: Make your own hero on a stick. This activity encourages creativity and imagination.