Introduction: Electric Snuggly

Grade 1 and 2 students can design a fictional character from a list of attributes, and create a 3D replica from textiles. Ss will include a feature when the character doll is squeezed that will turn on an LED where its heart, eyes or other feature, would be. This can act as a symbol of a way we communicate and show empathy for others. Project from start to finish will take several hours.

Science concept: A battery or cell transforms chemical energy into electrical energy, via an electric circuit.



3V Button Cells

Recycled cardboard

Card paper stock

Class set of scissors

Class set of glue sticks

Class set of lead pencils

Round tracing object

Roll of aluminium foil

Socket-to-socket (otherwise known as F-F)

Jumper leads for demonstration

Assortment of hand tools, including wire cutters, and wire strippers

Masking tape

Bag of soft rags

Ream of paper

Class set of Hessian material

Plastic sewing needles

Rolls of wool in assorted colours

Class set of white-board markers

Step 1: Make Your Electric Pressure Switch

  1. Take a piece of cardboard, object for tracing, and trace a circle with a pencil.
  2. Cut this shape out with a pair of scissors.
  3. Take a length of foil and glue it onto one side of the cardboard disc and fold it around and glue the remaining foil onto the back. Note: It is important to fold it around (do not cut foil into two parts and glue on each side separately - it will not work).
  4. Take a piece of card paper, object for tracing, and trace a circle with a pencil.
  5. Cut this shape out with a pair of scissors. In the middle of the paper circle, trace a small circle, using your pinky fingernail as a starting point.
  6. Fold the circle in half, and cut the inner circle out with a pair of scissors, taking care to follow the inner circle line.
  7. Next step is to cut one 'warm' and one 'cool' wire in half and strip the ends to be used. There will be two warm ends and two cool ends as a result, so a pair of Ss can share the cutting by choosing just one wire (either a warm or cool wire) to cut, and two ends to strip.

  8. T shows Ss an assortment of hand tools: several wire cutters and at least one wire stripper. T demonstrates how to cut a wire using each type of cutter. T now demonstrates how to strip the plastic insulation from the ends of the cut wires to reveal the metal conductive fibres inside, using the special wire cutter.

  9. Tape the stripped end of the cool wire (negative wire) to the foil disc, and flip upside down to reveal the other foil side of the disc.

  10. Tape the stripped end of the warm wire (positive wire) onto the positive side of the button cell.

  11. Now, place the cardboard 'donut' over the exposed foil disc, and carefully place the negative side of the button cell over the hole of the 'donut' and allow the strips of tape to come together for testing.

  12. Loosely place an LED onto the ends of the jumper leads, taking note of the positive (long lead of the LED) and negative ends. Squeeze (press) the two sides together to see if the LED illuminates. If it does, proceed to tape another length around the unit to secure all components.

Step 2: Make a Stencil, Stitch, Stuff and Stitch Again to Seal

  1. Start with drawing a large head, and complete with features such as eyes, nose and mouth.
  2. Without a neck, draw shoulders and arms out wide, creating a large body.
  3. Draw legs together, big and fat.
  4. Take a black, thick white-board marker and trace outside shape.
  5. Using a pair of scissors, carefully cut out the Master Stencil.
  6. T demonstrates how to cut strips of fabric 'French Fries' using old, soft, clean rags (students can bring these from home). This will become the 'stuffing' or filling of the snuggly.
  7. Place the Master Stencil onto one piece of the Hessian material. Using the black marker, trace a line just outside the Master Stencil shape, and onto the Hessian material. (This will become the line to follow when stitching).

  8. Cut a length of wool. Thread one end of wool through the eye of the plastic needle. Bring the two ends of wool together and show how to tie a reef knot.

  9. Line up both Hessian sheets together to begin back-stitch, leaving a small section un-sown, to allow access for inserting the 'stuffing' and pressure switch later on.

  10. Bring the needle underneath the Hessian sheets and up through part of the line to begin the back-stitch. Pull through all of the wool and stop at the knot (don't pull too hard as the Hessian mesh is not tightly woven, and will come through). Make first stitch by moving forward a few holes, and stabbing back into Hessian sheets. Pull thread right through till the end is neat.

  11. Move forward again from underneath Hessian sheets, locating the line, and pull through excess wool till taught. Now, move needle back to previous end of stitch and pull through excess wool, and repeat steps until approximately 10cm is left on wool thread to tie off.

  12. Slowly turn hessian sheets inside out from the space that has not been sewn.

  13. Take a pressure switch, insert the LEDs into the jumper leads and bend the end of the LED legs, using the needle-nose pliers, to match the desired location on the Hessian material. Secure its position and with a handful of stuffing, carefully place it inside the space, filling it out, ready for sealing.

  14. To seal, take a length of needle and thread (wool) and performs a blanket stitch, or uses a sewing machine, or a handheld device.

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