DIY Youth Projects

Interested in helping the animals, but aren't old enough to volunteer on your own quite yet? Here are some great projects you can do from home to benefit the animals at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society!

For Dogs
Apple Cinnamon Dog Treats
Needed:
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated (about 1/3 cup grated apple)
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened natural applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Mix apple, applesauce, honey, water, and egg in a bowl. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Sift flour and cinnamon together.
  4. Add the flour and cinnamon mixture to the wet mixture in 2 or 3 additions, stirring well after each addition.
  5. Knead the dough by hand until all of the flour is absorbed, and the dough is smooth and flexible.
  6. Generously flour a board or countertop and roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Cut the dough into about 1" pieces and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet.
  8. Bake about 20 minutes, until firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely.
  9. Store in a ziplock bag or other airtight container.
Dog Bandana
Needed:
  • Regular scissors or pinking scissors
  • Half yard of quilting fabric. Holiday or seasonal are always fun!
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Tailor's tape measure. Regular tape measure or yardstick will also work.
  • Large paper bag or craft paper.
Medium-Sized Bandana Directions:
  1. Lay your craft paper on a table or flat surface. If you are using a large paper bag as your craft paper, cut it open and lay it flat.
  2. Draw a 26" horizontal line on your craft paper.
  3. Locate the middle point of the line and draw a vertical 8" line downwards.
  4. Draw 2 diagonal lines connecting the tip of the vertical line to the endpoints of the horizontal line, forming a triangle.
  5. Cut the triangle pattern out.
  6. Place the pattern on top of the fabric and cut the pattern out. You may need to use a small weighted object to hold the pattern in place during this step. 
  7. You are all done! You can also save the paper pattern cut-out to make more bandanas!

Large-Sized Bandana Directions:
  1. Lay your craft paper on a table or flat surface. If you are using a large paper bag as your craft paper, cut it open and lay it flat.
  2. Draw a 36" horizontal line on your craft paper.
  3. Locate the middle point of the line and draw a vertical 10" line downwards.
  4. Draw 2 diagonal lines connecting the tip of the vertical line to the endpoints of the horizontal line, forming a triangle.
  5. Cut the triangle pattern out.
  6. Place the pattern on top of the fabric and cut the pattern out. You may need to use a small weighted object to hold the pattern in place during this step. 
  7. You are all done! You can also save the paper pattern cut-out to make more bandanas!
Oat Dog Biscuits
Needed:
  • 2 1/2 cups of oats
  • 1 tsp. salt or less
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. beef or chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 cup hot water
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Dissolve bouillon in hot water
  3. Add remaining ingredients
  4. Knead dough until it forms a ball (approximately 3 minutes)
  5. Roll dough until 1/2 inch thick
  6. Cut into slices or bone shapes
  7. Place dough pieces on a lightly greased cookie sheet
  8. Bake for 30 minutes

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For Cats
Cat Blanket
Needed:
  • 2 pieces of lightweight fleece material (24" x 24")
  • Scissors
Directions:
  1. Lay 1 piece of fabric on a flat surface and cut 4" fringe along all 4 sides.
  2. Repeat this for the second piece of fabric
  3. Layer the first piece of fabric onto the second piece of fabric and lay flat on a table or the floor.
  4. Using a piece of fringe from the top layer and a piece of fringe from the bottom layer, tie a knot.
  5. Repeat knotting around all four sides
Cat Fleece Rope
Needed:
  • Fleece strips
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • For large ropes, you will need 4 strips of fleece, approximately 3" wide by 16" long
  • For smaller ropes, you will need 4 strips of fleece, approximately 2" wide by 12" long
Directions:
  1. Tie all 4 strips together on one end, leaving a few inches of fleece on one side of the knot. Pull each strip tightly to make sure your knot is secure.
  2. Spread the strips out so you have one going in each direction. We're going to call them North, South, East, and West for the purposes of this tutorial. 
  3. For the first pass, you will always do this: fold South towards North and North towards South.
  4. Fold East over South and through North. Fold West over North and through South.
  5. Tighten each strip, but not too tight; just so it's neat. Do this by pulling North and South, then East and West, and repeating until they're all even and situated nicely.
  6. When it's your desired length, take your four strands and tie them off near the braid. You'll want to leave more end than you think to easily tie them off, and so you can finish the ends with fringe. Pull each strand tightly to ensure a secure knot.
  7. Finally, grab your scissors and cut the strips at the ends to the same length.
  8. Then cut the two ends almost to the knows to make fringe for extra fun.
Octopus Cat Toy
Needed:
  • Tennis Ball
  • 2 Pieces of Fleece (44" x 6")
  • 1 Piece of Fleece (10" x 1")
  • Scissors
Directions:
  1. Use scissors to cut the fleece into 2 pieces measuring 44" by 6" and 1 piece measuring 10" x 1".
  2. Lay the 2 wide strips of fabric in the shape of an X and place the ball in the middle. 
  3. Wrap the ball with all the layers and gather the strips at the bottom of the ball.
  4. Take your skinny strip and tie a tight double knot to secure the fabric around the ball. Now you should have four wide strips hanging from the base of your ball.
  5. Cut each of the four strips into three even sections. You will have 12 sections in total.
  6. Braid the 3 newly cut strips and knot it at the bottom. Repeat until you have 4 braids in total.
Note: It is very important that the braids be tight. If the braids are too loose, we will be unable to give them to the cats due to safety issues, and they typically will not hold up well in the washer.
Cat Puzzle Box
Needed:
  • Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • Empty square or rectangle tissue box or shoe box
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Scissors
Directions:
  1. If using a tissue box, cut off the top so that the box is open.
  2. Cut the tubes to the same length as the height of the box if needed.
  3. Place the tubes in the box, gluing each one in place as you go.
  4. Continue until the box is filled as much as possible with the tubes.
  5. SFAHS staff can fill the tubes with yummy treats for the cat's enjoyment!
Catnip Socks
Needed:
  • Infant Socks (Please use infant socks only)
  • Stuffing or fiberfill
  • Dry Catnip
Directions:
  1. Take an infant sock and fill from toe to heel with stuffing. The stuffed portion of the sock should not be longer than 2".
  2. Add a pinch of dry catnip
  3. Pinch the sock around the heel and ankle, then stretch the ankle and cuff to tie the sock closed in a knot. DO not use ribbon or string to tie the sock closed.
  4. Done! This is an easy cat toy to make and cats love it.
  5. The finished toy should NOT be longer than 3 1/2"

Cat Wand
Needed:
  • Wooden dowel
  • Colorful duct tape
  • Fabric strips
Directions:
  1. Take a 12" piece of duct tape and place it sticky side up.
  2. Cut fabric into thin strips about 4" x 1/2"
  3. Take strips of material and place them one by one on the tape, but leave some room at the bottom of the tape to stick to the dowel.
  4. Next, take your dowel and place it at one side of the tape and start rolling. Try to keep it as even as possible.
  5. Once the tape as been rolled up and secured to the dowel, the toy is complete!
Fleece Flower Cat Toy
Needed:
  • Zip tie or plastic ring from a milk container
  • Scissors
  • Many square pieces of fleece (recommended: 6" x 1.5")
Directions:
  1. if you are using a zip tie then making the diameter of the ring about 1" long and cut off tail end, leaving just the circle.
  2. Take the square piece of fleece and cut into 12-14 strips. use additional fabric if needed to cover the ring completely.
  3. Tie strips onto the ring. Please double knot for extra safety.
  4. Continue typing fleece to the ring until you cannot see any part of it. 
Kitten Ring Ball Toy
Needed:
  • Scissors
  • 1 empty toilet paper roll
Directions:
  1. Beginning on one end, cut the toilet paper roll into even rings, about 1/2" wide.
  2. When finished, begin to place the rings inside of each other in a criss-cross pattern to form a round shape.

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Small Animals
Rabbit Rattle Toy
Needed:
  • Paper Bags
  • Scissors
  • Toilet Paper Tubes
  • A Wood Stick. Store-bought willow or apple sticks only.
  • Twin or sisal (rabbit safe rope)
  • Rabbit treats, timothy hay
Directions:
  1. Cut off the bottom part of the paper bag.
  2. Make a longitudinal cut to the bag on one side only.
  3. Layout the paper and put the toilet paper roll on it.
  4. Fill the toilet paper roll with treats, hay and the willow or apple stick. CAUTION: Only use twigs or sticks that you have purchased from a pet store and are meant for rabbits. Certain woods are toxic to rabbits. The stick should be big enough to stick out at both ends of the toilet paper roll.
  5. Roll the toilet paper roll up in the paper bag.
  6. Cut off the excess paper, twist the ends! 
Rabbit Roll Ball
Needed:
  • Scissors
  • 1 empty toilet paper roll
Directions:
  1. Beginning on one end, cut the toilet paper roll into even rings, about 1/2" wide.
  2. When finished, begin to place the rings inside of each other in a criss-cross pattern to form a round shape.
Rabbit Roll Toy
Needed:
  • Piece of cardboard. Recommended 6"x12"
  • Pencil
  • Round template or compass to draw circles. Recommended 3" diameter.
  • Scissors
Directions:
  1. Use the pencil to trace three circles of the same size on a piece of cardboard, then cut them out.
  2. Circle 1: On 1 piece cut 4 slits about 1/3 the length of the diameter that is of equal size and length. They should also be as evenly spaced as possible.
  3. Circle 2 & 3: On the other 2 pieces, cut a slit half the diameter of the circle and cut out a "T" shape.
  4. Take Circle 1 and fold it in half, which will reveal one slot in the middle.
  5. Take the Folded Circle 1 and slide it into the T slot of Circle 2.
  6. Once the 2 circles are joined, unfold the flaps of Circle 1 and fold them up the opposite direction.
  7. Now insert Circle 3 into the slot.
  8. Raise flaps of Circle 1 to give the toy a 3D ball shape.
Rabbit Tissue Box
Needed:
  • Scissors
  • 1 tissue box of any type
  • 4 empty toilet paper rolls. Quantity may vary depending on the size of your tissue box.
Directions:
  1. Cut out and remove any plastic from the opening of the tissue box.
  2. Place the toilet paper rolls into the tissue box one by one until the entire opening of the box is covered. Paper rolls should fit snuggly.
  3. You're done! We will drop treats such as timothy hay into each individual toilet paper roll for an enrichment activity for the rabbits.

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