One night when Hendrix was having bedtime woes I told him we’d have to get him a set of worry dolls, (those miniature hand assembled dolls that have a knack for vanishing worries while tucked under your pillow as you doze off to dreamland). It was the first he had ever heard of such a tale. He was beyond astonished at this fact and requested he become the owner of a pack of these dolls immediately.
Later I pulled out my own pouch of childhood worry dolls and I remembered how teeny-tiny they were, each doll no larger than a plump raisin. I became worried a certain 2 year old hand might think of his 4 year old brother's worry dolls as a snack should he receive a set. So instead we decided to fashion a non-choking hazard alternative; we made our worry dolls from wooden pegs and acrylic paint.
I purchased two sizes of pegs at the craft store to suggest age variation among the dolls. Hendrix and I each painted a family of 5 (or two adults and three kids) and little Avi (the 2 year old) painted three child-sized pegs. We drew faces on the peg people with sharpie markers.
Although Hendrix occasionally buries the dolls under his pillow at night after expressing a worry or two, both my kids especially LOVE playing with them during the day. To be honest, this neighborhood of peg people is probably their new favorite toy, at least for the time being.
Any craft that can actually provides a use when it’s completed qualifies for gold stars in my opinion. I highly recommend this project. If you paint these dolls with the intent of using them as toys I would recommend adding a coat of spray varnish after the paint dries (either glossy or matte), just to keep them in better shape. Oh and just as a P.S., I am in no way claiming these dolls all 100% choke proof. In fact, probably only the larger sized pegs would pass the choke tube test. Still, the size does very much decease the opportunity to mistake the toy for, say, a tasty looking M&M.