August 23, 2017

Make Your Own Worry Dolls to Help Ease Childrens Fears

All children experience some anxiety in the form of worry, apprehension, dread or fear. These fears can often occur when a child is faced with unfamiliar experiences or situations, like starting preschool or meeting new friends. In Guatemala, these fears are relieved through the use of Worry or Trouble Dolls. Worry Dolls are tiny, hand-crafted dolls that are used to help relieve troublesome thoughts for children. These colorful, little dolls stand about one half to one inch tall and are made on tiny wooden or twisted wire frames.

These frames are then decorated using colorful scraps of brightly colored Mayan woven fabric, string, and yarn which are woven around the doll’s frame to create the body. Finally, faces are painted on the doll and about 6 – 8 dolls are placed in small, colorful bags or a trinket box.

The bag or box is set next to the bed and before going to bed you tell one worry per worry doll and place them under your pillow before you go to sleep. Legend has it that when you wake up in the morning the worry doll will be gone along with your troubles.

You can easily adapt this handiwork project into a craft for children by using a two prong clothespins as the frame and pipe cleaners as the arms. You can decorate the frame with embroidery floss and yarn. To make a Worry Doll, twist a pipe cleaner around the clothespin to form two arms. Tie one end of a long piece of yarn or floss around the center of the doll, and wrap the yarn around the body down one leg. Then wind the yarn back up the other leg. Wind down and up the other leg, and tie off the ends. Secure with glue. Then, wrap the chest and arms the same way that the legs were wrapped. Glue yarn to the head for hair. Faces can be drawn using a black permanent marker.

For smaller children, you can print a picture of a paper doll and have them color them with bold, brightly colored markers or crayons. Glue pieces of colorful fabric for clothing and glue yarn for hair. Place your Worry Doll in a decorated envelope. Have your child decorate the envelope with crayons and markers and write, “No Worries” on the front of the envelope.

Now you have a Worry Doll to help wash away your child’s fears! Isn’t it nice to say goodbye to your worries and send them on their away?

Written by Pam Laughlin from

Kraftykid offers children’s 3, 6, 9, and 12 month subscriptions to craft of the month clubs. Fun and educational craft kits delivered directly to the lucky child’s home each month. Fun facts sheets and kid-tested instructions included.

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