Weighted lap toy


You ever have one of those days where you wake up and you just want to run away? Or crawl into a hole? You’re just so overwhelmed and tired from a non-stop week that you wish it could all go away just for one day?

That was me yesterday. I wish it hadn’t been. I was supposed to attend a bachelorette party for a good friend of mine, Catherine. She’s been a friend of mine since 2007 when we met at the University of Guelph. She’s the kind of friend that calls and says, “I’m coming over” when she reads a facebook status update that concerns her. She’s the friend that’s always surprising you by sending thoughtful cards in the mail just to say she’s thinking of you. She’s the friend that makes you laugh, even when you don’t think you can. She’s the friend that listens to you cry on the phone and offers sound and rational advice, without making you feel silly. She’s the kind of friend that every woman needs.

Yesterday I called Catherine a mere two-ish hours before I would be heading out the door to celebrate her upcoming marriage with all of the wonderful women in her life. I called her… and I bailed on her. I was scared to call her, but Eric knows Catherine. He said to me, just call her and be honest, Catherine will understand. I knew he was right, but I didn’t want to bail on a friend who has always been there for me. She squealed with delight when Eric proposed to me. She came to my bachelorette… and… well… other than myself, she was only one of two of my friends who actually completed “the list”. She offered her home, and threw me a baby shower when I was pregnant with Madeleine. I wanted to give back to her all she has given me. But… I just couldn’t.

I had no energy left in me. The thought of having to get ready, leave the house, and drive to Niagara Falls took more energy than I had left. So, for the first time in my life, I listened to what my mind knew was right for me, instead of what my heart wanted me to do. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t go. Catherine responded the way that kind of friend would. She told me that she understood and that I needed to take care of myself.

Man, am I blessed. I am so lucky to have friends like Catherine. I will re-pay her by having an amazing time watching her marry the love of her life next Saturday.

I am already starting to feel more replenished. Maddy had quality time with daddy, Grandma, and Great Grandma. I sewed, knit, watched a movie, and just plain relaxed. I didn’t even cook a single meal.

I have been meaning to make a weighted lap toy for Maddy for a couple of weeks now, ever since our OT suggested it would be helpful. My Maddy-free time was the perfect time to work on it. I decided to make an owl… or at least use owl inspiration, as I wanted to keep it square and basic.

The whole point of a weighted toy is that it meets some of Maddy’s proprioceptive needs. It can be placed on her lap while she plays, to help her keep calm and organized. In other words, it can do some proprioceptive work so that Eric and I don’t have to. I also used varying textures so that Maddy can use it for some tactile work too.


  • Scrap material of different textures (I used flannel, a ribbed, stretch material, velvet, and a satin-like material)
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Rice (or any other legume or grain you think would work)


1) Cut out two squares from your main fabric. I happened to cut mine at 11.5″, but it all depends on how big you want it to be. Iron both squares.

2) Trace a heart for the face of your owl on the wrong side of the fabric.

3) Cut out the heart and iron.

4) Trace two circles for the eyes, and a triangle for the nose on the wrong side of the fabric(s). Cut out and iron if needed.

5) Using a zigzag stitch, sew the eyes and nose onto your heart. Careful to centre them properly.

6) Using a zigzag stitch, sew the heart onto the centre of one of your squares.

Note my crooked nose – first time sewing with a stretch fabric!

7) Place your two squares wrong sides together. Sew together, leaving a 2″ opening.

8) Pull your fabric through the opening you left.

9) Tape a funnel out of paper and insert the small end into your opening. Pour rice (or whatever filling you prefer – I ran out of rice so I used quinoa too) inside.

10) Using an invisible stitch, hand stitch the opening.

See how easy it is? Now we just need to get Maddy to like (or at least to not hate) having something on her legs…


3 responses »

  1. Cute toy!

    As long as I’ve known Catherine, she is one of your sweetest friends and a fantastic friend to you. I’m sure she wanted you there and missed you, but I bet Eric’s right – she would understand. Can’t wait to see pics of Catherine and Tim’s wedding!

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