Ages: 2 years and up
Giddyap! Keep your little neigh-sayer horsing around for days with this soulful steed, easily assembled in about an hour from a dowel and a fuzzy slipper sock. If clippety-clopping through the house loses its spark (unlikely), let him try a horseplay scenario or two. He can jump over foam blocks in a steeplechase course or compete in a toy animal rodeo, using a yarn lasso or tongs to corral that plastic cow as he trots by.
Looking for a fantasy variation on this great toy? Check out our magical Hobby Unicorn.
Loosely fill the slipper sock with polyester stuffing.
Make the nostrils. With the heel facing up, pinch the fabric on one side of the toe and sew a 1/2-inch-wide horizontal stitch across the pinch. Knot the ends, then repeat for the other nostril.
To make ears, cut four matching rounded triangles from felt (ours are 2 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches high). Glue them together in pairs. Slightly bend each ear to create a hollow, then sew them to the head as shown.
Cut out almond-shaped eyes and pupils from felt. Sew the pieces together, then sew them onto the head.
To make the forelock, sew a 4-inch piece of yarn through the head where shown, then knot it close to the head so it looks like fringe. Repeat, tying 10 lengths of yarn about H inch apart to the top of the head. (Tip: To avoid continuously rethreading the needle, use one 2-foot length of yarn at a time and trim it after each stitch.)
To make the mane, sew and tie 35 1-foot-long pieces of yarn about 1/2 inch apart to the back of the head and neck. Taper the width of the mane into a V shape as you work your way down the sock.
Pad the top of the dowel with a large handful of stuffing. Pull the head over the dowel and add stuffing as needed. Apply one large bead of glue to the dowel, then press the sock to the glue for 5 seconds. Pleat and glue your way around the dowel, then glue a length of cording to the dowel just below the sock.
To make the bridle, glue two 1-foot lengths of cording around the horse's head as shown (fold the ends under to hide the raw edges). To make the rein, drape a 21-inch length of cording around the back of the horse's head, then glue it to the sides of the bridle as shown, wrapping the ends around the cording at the nose to hide the raw edges.