Toddler Sensory Tree

embroidery hoop fabric
Lately I’ve  noticed a lot of designs using embroidery hoops and fabric or scrapbook paper.  It’s such a whimsical, creative, and cheap way to add texture and color to a room.  I especially love how some people (courtesy of Pinterest) have used them in children’s room designs.
I took the embroidery hoop art idea and combined it with an educational experience for my one year old daughter and designed a “sensory tree” for her playroom.
Each of the hoops houses a different fabric with a variety of different textures.  (Excellent for inquisitive little fingers ready to explore the world!)  Shopping for these fabrics was so much fun, because I was able to venture into many of the unchartered sections (at least to me) of the fabric store.  Additionally, price was barely a factor, because I only bought between 6 and 12 inches of any one fabric.  I believe my total bill for this entire project was less than $25.  I’ll do a quick run-down of the steps.
First, though, let’s start with what you’ll need:
  • A variety of fabrics in different textures and colors
  • embroidery hoops of different sizes (mine range in size from 4″ in diameter to 8″ in diameter)
  • white spray paint
  • small wall hooks or nails
  • acrylic paint (or a tree wall decal would work well too)
  • scissors
I spray painted the embroidery hoops and hooks in Krylon Heirloom White spray paint.  I kept it simple with white because I knew I wanted to bring in a variety of fabric colors.  By all means, though, bring in fun spray paint colors here as well!
Lay fabric on the inner circle and place outer circle on top.  Pull the fabric taught and tighten screw to hold the fabric in place.  Trim off the excess fabric.
To create the tree, I actually projected an image from the internet onto the wall and traced the rough outline.  Having access to a projector is one of the many perks to being a teacher, especially for non-artistic folks like me.
I used acrylic paint to paint the tree and leaves, and then put up small wall decal mirrors (another sensory aspect to the tree).
To hang the hooks, I just screwed them into the wall.  Now that my daughter has begun to explore her new tree, I think I might switch out the screws for small nails, thumb tacks, or maybe even clear command hooks.  She loves to take the circles off the wall, but struggles with manipulating them up and over the small hook.  She ends up trying to pull them off the wall, and although it hasn’t happened yet, I’m sure the hooks are bound to just rip out.
So far, the sensory tree has been an educational design feature that gives Abby something new to explore in her playroom.   Come back and visit soon to see the complete playroom reveal in an upcoming post!
Check out my other basement playroom projects:


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3 thoughts on “Toddler Sensory Tree

  1. Thanks for sharing your tree at All Things Pretty! It will be one of our features this week. Hope you’ll come back and share what you’ve been up to again and grab a button!

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