Skill Sharing Workshop – Group 1

DIY Reactive Stuffed Animal


Group 1: Nala Ren, Kate Jung, Qinxinrui Zhu


Babies and toddlers don’t always require fancy, store-bought toys. Even odd, everyday items (such as wallets, sunglasses, and water bottles) can engage and entertain them as they discover a world of sensory touch.

While potentially anything can keep them occupied, children also tend to get bored or quickly outgrow toys — making it unsustainable to keep replacing them. So why spend money and create more waste when you can DIY a unique toy by repurposing or using household items?

Materials Required:

  • Non-conductive fabric (e.g felt)
  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Conductive Thread
  • Non-conductive Thread
  • 220-ohm resistor
  • Pressure Sensor (you should have one already made from the Variable Resistors Workshop)
  • Polyester Stuffing (or filling of your choice)
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Metal snap/metal button (optional)
  • Micro-USB to USB cable
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack (optional)
  • A marker or fabric chalk


Where to Purchase Materials:

Walmart / Michaels

  • Felt
  • Polyester Stuffing
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Metal snap
  • Non-conductive thread
  • Rechargeable Battery PackMarker/fabric chalk

Creatron Inc. (GTA)

  • Circuit Playground Express
  • Conductive Thread
  • 220-ohm resistor
  • Micro-USB to USB cable

Circuit Diagram :


Step by Step Documentation :

Step 1 :Cut out the shape of a cat x3 (front, back, and circuit piece) from non-conductive fabric (we used felt). With fabric chalk, mark the pieces as “front”, “back”, and “circuit”.


Step 2:Sew on the Circuit Playground Express near the middle right of the cat shape using non-conductive thread.


Step 3: Using conductive thread, sew on a metal snap or a metal button (or just sew a star shape) to make the cat’s nose and sew a connection between the button nose and pin A1.


Step 4: Place the pressure sensor on the cat’s ear and using conductive thread, sew a connection between the 3.3V pin and the bottom tab of the pressure sensor.


Step 5: Using conductive thread, sew a connection between the top tab of the pressure sensor and a 220-ohm resistor, and then sew a connection between the other end of the resistor and GND. Then sew a connection between the end of the resistor closest to the pressure sensor and your data pin (A7).


Step 6: Place the front piece directly on top of the circuit piece and mark where the button nose on the circuit piece touches the front piece. Cut out a hole in the front piece so that the button nose is exposed.


Step 7: Sew around the entire edge of both pieces using non-conductive thread, only leaving a gap where the CPX is connected to power via the power/USB cable. Place the back piece directly on top of your newly sewn front+circuit piece and sew around the entire edge using non-conductive thread, this time making sure to leave a gap big enough for your CPX to pass through as well as the power/USB cable.



Step 8: Turn the cat inside out. Now your front and back pieces should be visible and your circuit piece should be entirely hidden on the inside.


Step 9: Stuff the cat with the stuffing of your choice and sew closed the hole that you left open for stuffing (sewing around the power/USB cable if using). Then connect your power/USB cable to a battery back and you’re finished!


Link to Code:


Tutorial Video:

Reflection & Conclusion:

We really enjoyed creating this tutorial as it allowed us to explore a new opportunity space and type of audience that we haven’t encountered before. Choosing this specific ‘target’ user group also gave us a great chance to think about issues within sustainability and usability. Overall, we think that this is a cute and customizable idea that a busy parent or older sibling can execute easily, and can be expanded to include more complicated inputs/outputs that the creator (of the toy) can customize to their preference. Lastly, we became familiarized with newer topics in this class (such as pressure sensors) together, while learning to collaborate remotely.

Related Tutorials & Works:

MakeCode Documentation. (2018). If. Microsoft MakeCode.

MakeCode Documentation. (2018). Boolean. Microsoft MakeCode.

Prior, O. (2021). Variable Resistors Workshop. Online Lecture.

Prior, O. (2021). Capacitive Touch. Online Lecture.


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