The holidays are a great time to remind ourselves and our littles about showing goodwill towards others. I often try to build these opportunities into our countdown calendar by taking part in activities that demonstrate giving back.
This year we had the opportunity to participate in a charity bowling event which raised awareness and collected donations for the local humane society. Since my kids are wild about animals this felt like a cause right up their alley (see what I did there – har, har!)
The organizer was collecting donations of gently used towels and blankets that can be reused to line the pet crates at the shelter. They were also accepting gifts of new toys, treats, and bedding.
Along with cleaning out our linen closet and rather than purchasing store bought toys, which can be rather pricey, I decided to make our own homemade dog toys.
We actually make these all the time for our sweet Jersey girl and the process couldn’t be easier! Essentially it’s an empty water bottle stuffed into a sock and knotted at the end. Yep – that’s it.
But our playful pup goes mad for them. The sound of the crunching water bottle paired with the soft and chewy fibers of the sock provides hours of puppy pleasure for our fur baby.
SIDE NOTE: For the ones we make and use at home, I actually use those rogue socks that mysteriously lose their mate in the dryer.
For the ones we were going to donate I went and picked up two packs of men’s works socks from Walmart for under $10. These are 100% cotton and are nice and thick, so they hold up pretty well for hours of play.
I collected water bottles over a few weeks and discarded the caps. This is really important! The caps can become dislodged pretty quickly during play and pose a potential choking hazard so best to leave them off from the get-go.
You simply slip the empty water bottle into the sock. A task I gave to my two girls as another element of the do-good challenge.
Then you tie a firm knot in the neck of the sock close to the top of the water bottle. This creates a tight hold around the bottle and a pretty sturdy final product.
I took it one step further by creating these cute little tags and tied one to the neck of each sock toy. I printed them on card stock, snipped the corners and punched a hole to loop a string through.
They turned out so sweet!
With two packs of socks we ended up making two-dozen dog toys. That’s 24 happy pooches this holiday season and man did we feel good delivering these toys.
You can download and print these tags here if you have any furry friends on your gift list this year. Simply set up your print file to print 9 per sheet to get the size you see.
Happy Howlidays to you and your furry friends!