Giddy-up and Jingle with Magical Play Reins

play reins

play reins

Post by Lydia Kenyon

This is a very easy and fun gift to make for a kindy-aged kid, anytime of the year, but the addition of some bells gives a particular Christmas magic to these play reins.

Children love playing horsey, or perhaps reindeer, but left to their own devises sometimes come up with harnessing solutions that get a bit to close to the neck for my liking! This ‘harness’ slips over the head and rests safely on the chest. I like to put bells on the chest plate and the reins. That way both beasty and rider get to jiggle and make jingle sounds.

My two are galloping around the house just now…I’m thinking I may have to set a speed limit.

You can make this toy in 1-2 hours and the best thing is that if your little elf helpers like finger knitting that can do most of the work.


4 colours of Yarn – about 16m of each. Pure wool is best though I’ve used a blend for the reins pictured.

2x 10x15cm pieces of felt sheet – for breast plate

1x 7x7cm piece of felt sheet (contrasting colour)

Yarn (1m) to blanket stitch.

Large eyed needle

2x handfuls of unspun wool (fleece) for filling.

materials used for play reins







Step 1.

finger knitting






Take each of the 4 strands of yarn and finger knit together to form a long chain –about 2m long –this will be the neck halter and the reins.

Step 2.







Sew the ends together securely to form a circle.

Step 3.

breast plate






Sew the two felt sheets together for the breast plate. Sew the topside first. As you sew the side section incorporate the reins with the stitches. You can do this anywhere on the circle.

Step 4.






Leave about 20cm for the neck halter and then begin sewing the reins onto the other side of the breast plate.

Step 5.







Sew the bottom of the breast plate. Leave a 3 cm gap. Fill with teased fleece. Sew remainder of section.

Step 6.

finished play reins






Cut a shape from the felt sheet of contrasting colour, and sew unto the breast plate.

7. Further embellish with felt shapes and bells – as you wish.

A quick, easy, inexpensive gift…that is light to post, a treasure to keep, and is sure to play its part in some high drama antics. Giddy up. Whoa.

Poster for Golden Christmas


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