I really wanted to make L a Jacob’s Ladder Toy, but didn’t want to make a trip to the local hardware or craft store for supplies. So, we made this Jacob’s Ladder out of an old board book! (If you don’t have a board book they are easy to find at the dollar store.) I just love the outcome! This one is super-colorful compared to the wooden one I had as a kid and is just as much fun!
I loved playing with my Jacob’s Ladder when I was young…it’s such a unique toy! Flip-flopping it back and forth is very calming, but it also makes you think creatively and problem solve. I enjoyed watching L play with the one we made today…not only was she ecstatic when she finally figured out how to work a Jacob’s Ladder, but she was also folding it into shapes, pretending it was a snake, a bracelet and a funky hat.
- board book
- 3 pieces of ribbon (35 inches long each)
- box cutter
- paper cutter (optional)
First, using a box cutter, disassemble your board book.
Next, measure the dimensions of one page and decide how best to cut it. The book I used was 7 in x 7 in. I chose to cut the pages down the middle in one direction and into thirds going the other direction. Each piece ended up being 3.5 in x 2.25 in. If you have a paper cutter on hand, it makes this step super quick and easy! I cut up 4 pages, leaving me with 24 pieces.
Once you have 24 pieces cut, sort them into “nice” and “ugly” piles, 12 cards in each pile. The “ugly” cards won’t be seen.
Next, glue each “nice” card to an “ugly” card with a thin layer of wood glue. Put some canned food on top of the cards to keep them flat and clamped down for the first few minutes, while the glue is setting. Once they are all glued, let them dry for an hour or two. You should now have 12, double-stacked cards.
Now, time to make that Jacob’s Ladder! Lay one card-stack in front of you, “nice” side down. Spread a thin layer of glue on top of the card-stack. Place the ends of all three strips of ribbon onto the card-stack. As you can see in the photos, two of the ribbons spread out into one direction and the other ribbon to the opposite direction.
Spread a dab of glue on each ribbon end and press another card-stack carefully on top, “nice” side up.
Fold all the ribbons over the top of the cards and to the opposite direction. Pulling them taut, place another card-stack on top of the ribbons, “nice” side down.
Spread a thin layer of glue on the card-stack and fold the ribbons over, keeping them pulled taut much as possible. You can press the ribbons down into the glue to hold them in place.
Spread a dab of glue on top of the ribbons, and press another card-stack on top, “nice” side up.
Folding the ribbons over again, repeat the last three steps, until you reach the last card-stack and the end of your ribbon.
Trim the ribbon, pull it taut, and glue it in between the last two card-stacks.
Place a can of food on top of the entire Jacob’s Ladder Toy and allow the glue to dry completely for an hour or two.
Now, time to play!!! If you’ve never used a Jacob’s Ladder before, you flip the top card to one side and let gravity do the rest of the work. The card’s flip-flop down, one after another, like magic in your own hands!