Toy Index | Next Long-Lasting Toy
Play Helps
A Feely Caterpillar

This strange creature was invented for a little girl of four who had lost her sight following surgery for the removal of a brain tumour. Now she could no longer use her eyes she had to learn to explore the world by listening and touching. This toy helped her to become acquainted with many textured fabrics, and of course the rending sound made by pulling the Velcro apart added to the attractiveness of the toy. It appeals to many sighted children too.

You Need

  • A variety of well defined textured fabrics. (See below).
  • A saucer for a template.
  • Velcro - circles, or squares cut from a strip.
  • A little polyester fibre.
  • A scrap of black and white felt for the eyes.
  • A small ball of wool to make a tassel tail for the final section.


  1. Cut out a pair of circles in each fabric.
  2. Lay them out in front of you and arrange them in contrast to eachother. Eg hessian, fur fabric, satin, blanket, corduroy, cotton.
  3. Take one pair to make the head and the tail - say hessian. Put one circle at the head of the row and the other at the tail.
  4. Take one circle from the next pair - say fur fabric. Stitch a "rough" Velcro spot to it. Pin it to the hessian, wrong sides together.
  5. Stitch a "furry" Velcro spot to the other fur fabric circle. Following my sequence this will be backed by a satin circle with a "rough" Velcro spot - and so on all down the line.
  6. When you come to the final hessian circle stitch a wool tail to the centre. (I know caterpillars don't have tails, but it is important for a visually impaired child to know when she has finished)
  7. To make a tassel, bind round your fingers in wool, carefully slide them out, keeping the strands of wool in order. Bind round firmly near one end of this little hank. Cut the loops and trim them off. Stitch the bound end to the final section of the caterpillar.
  8. Before you take out the pins, check that the Velcro spots are in order and that the finished circles will all link together.
  9. Take the first pair of circles. Remove the pins and put them right sides together. Pin or tack, and stitch most of the way round. Leave a gap for turning and stuffing.
  10. Turn, stuff and close the gap. Continue like this all down the line. When you put the next pair of circles right sides together you will find the Velcro spots sticking together. They are easy to prise apart when you turn the circles right side out.
  11. Add felt eyes to the first section.
Next Toy | Toy Index | Home Page
A Feely Caterpillar