BRAID THAT OCTOPUS - A Craft Project For Kids Ages 4 -10
8 Steps
When I was a young child (about 4 or 5 years old), my mom taught me how to braid by making an octopus doll and allowing me to braid its legs. The following set of instructions is a step-by-step guide on how to teach your little one how to braid.

If your child is somewhat older, you can cater this project to their skill set by discussing the math involved. Whatever the age of your child, this project is intended for kids between the ages of 4 – 10 years old.

Supplies and Tools

1. Yarn
2. Scissors

3. Ruler/Measuring Tape

4. Glue Gun

5. 9 Rubber Bands

6. Markers, buttons, ribbons, googly eyes, or whatever else you need/want to make your octopus look fabulous
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## Step 1: Cut the Yarn

Cut 36 pieces of yarn with each piece being approximately 36 inches in length. Lay out your cut yarn in groups of 3. [There should be 12 groups of three.]

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Cater the yarn to your child’s abilities

• Yarn that is thick and tightly wound is often easier for little fingers to deal with. Working with fuzzy or loose yarn can be frustrating for young kids.

Talk numbers with your child

• If your child is a bit older, allow her to measure and cut the yarn. Ask her questions about the math involved. For example, “Each section of the leg has 3 strands of yarn. There are 3 sections to every leg. How many strands of yarn will we have per leg?” [3x3=9 strands of yarn per leg] If we want 8 legs and there are 9 strands of yarn per leg, how many strands of yarn do we need?” [8 x 9 = 36 strands total] “We know that there are 12 inches in a foot and we want each strand of yarn to be approximately 36 inches. So how many feet will there be in each strand?” [36 ÷ 12 = 3 feet per strand, approximately]

crios42 says: Jun 17, 2011. 9:46 PM
This worked out great. I found that after the braiding, just tying off the legs worked better than using rubber bands. We might have been using yarn that was too thin though.
playfulplans says: Apr 7, 2011. 8:52 AM
Just a delightful learning toy and a thorough Instructible.

Congrats!
OlivePie says: Jan 27, 2011. 12:35 PM
Great Idea!! It is so simple and Fun. This is definitely my kind of project. :]
Zambezia says: Aug 1, 2010. 2:16 PM
I absolutely love the octopus! However, sorry, I am confused by the maths here! You say each leg has three sections and each section has three strands, so with 8 legs that is 3x3x8 = 36. In my books 9 x 8 = 72 - at least it did when I did "A" Level Maths. Unless I am missing the point completely (I am a simple male after all!) each leg is made up of only 3 strands (a 3 strand braid??), so only 24 strands are needed to make 8 legs. (Step 4 talks about glueing the 12 sets of legs??) Not trying to be difficult - just trying to understand as I think it would make a great project for my kids at a charity in Brazil. As I said at the beginning - absolutely adore the octopus, but just confused by the maths of the material requirements.
Mehehehful says: May 13, 2010. 7:27 PM
Love it! uuber cute!
PhilosopheFop says: May 12, 2010. 5:16 PM
This is a really cute idea for helping kids develop fine motor skills. I think it would insult the intelligence of anyone over the age of 6, however.
10? I was doing algebra and some trig at age 10.
An algebraic octopus would have been cool though! :)
canida says: May 12, 2010. 1:29 PM
Cute idea!

I'd recommend another loop on the head so you can hold or tie it down - braiding is a bit harder without something to pull against.