These DIY weighted plush monsters for calming kiddos are great for teachers in classroom with kids on the spectrum. The weighted plush monsters are really cute, super soft and heavier on their bottoms than their tops. I made the pattern this way because some of the kiddos I know like weighted plush to hold as they find it calming. The weighted monsters can be made from any fabrics but we love using fleece best. This post is sponsored by Fairfield World but the ideas and opinions are my own.
The monsters go great with a book that I love. Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster is a great way to turn worries and fears into possibilities. The monster is kind of like a friend to Jonathan, a friend who forces him to stand up for the good things that might happen in common child situations.
There are lots of reasons to give some kids weighted plush. Here are some that make sense to me.
- Plush make a great tool for transition times. Whether from one home to another in the case of a child with separated parents or from class to class, a loved monster coming along can be supportive.
- By sitting in the lap of a child, the monster provides pressure which can remind a child to stay in their seat.
- The monster acts as a fidget. With weighted feet and long horns, a child has something to play with.
- Weighted plush can be used a tool to work against anxiety and stress. Teachers and parents can talk to the monster with ideas and in the process, share the same ideas with the child in an indirect manner. This method of communicating works better for some children than direct instructions.
- Weighted animals can be helpful to get kids to sleep. The weight applies pressure while the monster provides companionship.
- It’s been proven that weight and pressure can calm anxiety.
- Children experiencing symptoms of depression, mania, anxiety, or trauma have reported relief from the use of weighted animals.
To make a monster, use my free printable pattern. Here are the instructions.
- Cut two of each pattern piece out from fabric, fleece or felt for the body and the eyes.
- Cut four of each pattern piece out from fabric, fleece or felt for the legs, arms and horns.
- Cut a 4 x 8 piece of fabric. Fold it. Sew it leaving an opening. Fill it with Poly Pellets. Stitch it closed. This is your bean bag.
- Sew two of the leg pieces together, inside out, then flip. Do this for the other leg, both arms and horns.
- Sew your eyes onto the front of your monster.
- Fill the legs halfway with PolyFil.
- Place your pieces to the front of your monster facing the middle.
- Place the back of the monster (inside out) on top and pin the six pieces in place. Be careful not to spill the Poly Pellets.
- Sew around the monster leaving a two inch opening below an arm.
- Stuff the monster from the head down with Poly-Fil leaving room to slide your bean bag in.
- Stitch your monster closed.
- Add a mouth if desired with felt and embroidery floss.
Here are some photos that might help you follow the directions.
I love this monster too. I made his horns a little longer and only gave him one felt tooth.
If you are giving weighted monsters as a classroom/teacher gift, you might want to add a gift card to the bookstore too. That way the teacher can pick out something on her own too.
Cheers to Appreciating ALL of the Educators,